Creative Industries in Hamilton

By RTH Staff
Published November 21, 2011

The City of Hamilton's Department of Economic Development has produced a short video on creative industries in the city, featuring interviews with architect David Premi, Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys, violinist Cecilia Chang of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Juan Lopez of Pipeline Studios.


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By adrian (registered) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 20:26:48

This video is very well done, I thought. EcDev is doing an excellent job.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2011 at 21:18:35

They do a good job with what they have.

I'd like to see EcDev present council with a "Top 10" list. Specifically: Top 10 things City Council can do to make Hamilton more welcoming to economic development.

I'd be interested to see where things like updating zoning, easing parking requirements downtown etc. feature, if anywhere.

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2011 at 09:00:34

"Creative industries" as a branch of EcDev is a slippery slope. For starters: Who's working for whom, and to what end?

Nice enough commercial, though. Good on Fenian Films.

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2011 at 19:35:48 in reply to Comment 71512

“Let’s not forget it was [Tony Blair's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport] Chris Smith who first started the whole notion of the creative industries. I think it has done us a service in some respects and a huge disservice in others because it has commoditised what we do and I do not want to be a commodity."


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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted December 02, 2011 at 21:07:26

Heritage Minister James Moore told the Canadian Heritage committee Thursday that the arts are good for the economy, while pointing out that Canada is the only G8 country that actually increased funding for arts and culture during the recession.

As an economic generator, arts and culture industries are worth $46 billion, and employ 4 per cent of Canadians.

Nevertheless, Moore said, the Heritage department has eliminated 400 jobs, and the savings from those salaries mean more money has gone directly to artists and less is spent on the bureaucracy in Ottawa.

In fact, he revealed, the government department hit hardest in the budget is his own: "We will have the biggest cut in my department, more than anyone else, in order to protect the integrity of the Canada Council for the Arts, national museums and festivals across the country."

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2011 at 09:41:51

Hamilton’s arts and culture division is getting a makeover.

The department — formerly under the umbrella of community services at City Hall — is being taken over by the city’s economic development and planning division.

The move will give the department a higher profile, more resources and a new businesslike focus, said Tim McCabe, the city’s director of economic development and planning. It’s responsible for areas such as museums, public art installations, heritage, festivals and other special events.

“I want to turn it into another economic driver,” McCabe said. “I think I’m going to insert some economic development staff and approach it like we do other businesses.”

Expect more money and opportunities flowing into culture, but also greater accountability for money and opportunities. Great news for any festivals and orgs that can demonstrate ROI, but potentially double-edged because culture's raison d'etre isn't purely pecuniary. Having bureaucrats pimping artists out for the benefit of PR optics or spreadsheet bounce is inherently problematic. It will be interesting to see how this shapes the expectations/criteria around arts funding.

Some obvious efficiencies, though. As you'd expect, the lacklustre Tourism Hamilton gets re-assimilated by EcDev and blended into the culture division, which will be a cost savings, since the city's dumping $1.4 million a year down that well.

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By Garett (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 14:14:29

As of 2010, 10,560 residents of Hamilton/Burlington/Grimsby self-identified as working in the Art/Culture/Recreation/Sport sector:

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By Garrett (anonymous) | Posted October 02, 2012 at 13:39:02 in reply to Comment 72860

Creative math circa 2006:

The Creative Trident approach reveals that Hamilton employs a total of 7,100 people in the creative sector.

Employment In Creative Industries
Creative Occupations: 1,915
Support occupations in creative industries: 1,395

Employment In Other Industries
Creative Occupations: 3,790

Total Employment
Creative Occupations: 5,705
Support occupations in creative industries: 1,395

Compare to Toronto: "The creative sector employs over 100,000 people from a broad range of product producing and service providing industries....With 28,000 designers, Toronto is Canada's design capital... Toronto is home to over 500 apparel manufacturers. Toronto's annual wholesale shipment of clothing and apparel is approximately $1.5 billion....In 2009 production companies spent a total of $877.84 million on films produced in Toronto. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD....The music industry in the Toronto region is one of the most concentrated in North America. The music industry has a larger share of the region's employment than New York, NY and Austin, TX....Toronto has the 3rd largest theatre scene in the world behind New York and London. Toronto has 123 not-for-profit performing arts groups."

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By Garrett (anonymous) | Posted January 31, 2012 at 11:03:44

The standard definition of the creative industries used by the UK's Department for Culture Media and Sport includes 13 industries in total: advertising; architecture; art & antiques; computer games; crafts; design; designer fashion; film and video; music; performing arts; publishing; software; and TV & radio.

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By Garrett (anonymous) | Posted February 01, 2012 at 08:40:02 in reply to Comment 73528

Closer to home, Invest Toronto classifies 13 fields as constituent parts of Creative Industries. In order of magnitude of employment, they are Design (Architects, Landscape Architects, Industrial Designers, Graphic Designers, Interior Designers); Newspaper, Periodical, Book & Directory Publishers; Motion Picture & Video Industries; Fashion; Broadcasting (except Internet); Independent Artists, Writers & Performers; Software Publishers; Performing Arts Companies; Cultural Institutions; Promoters (Presenters) of Performing Arts, Sports & Similar Events; Sound Recording Industries; Agents & Managers For Artists, Athletes, Entertainers & Other Public Figures; and Internet Publishing & Broadcasting.

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By Lip Service (anonymous) | Posted December 05, 2012 at 15:23:40

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted March 05, 2013 at 14:57:42

"Young people are stringing together multiple unpaid internships, and it’s not always helping them find a job — breaking an implicit promise that has drawn a generation of workers into offering their work for free.

Unpaid internships that last months or even years make up the most unstable part of an increasingly precarious workforce, which accounts for almost half of employment in the GTA and Hamilton, according to a recent report.

Very few facts are known about unpaid internships. The Ministry of Labour doesn’t regulate or keep statistics on them. Yet, for young people, they seem to be everywhere."

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2013 at 18:19:21 in reply to Comment 87041

A 2008 study found that 50 per cent of university graduates in the United States had completed internships, up from 17 per cent in 1992. As they become more common, employers increasingly know that a single posting will attract dozens of applicants. Why should they shell out hard-earned cash to pay someone who will do the work for free?

Unpaid internships may be good for an individual young person, and they are certainly good for employers who get free labour – but they are bad for society as a whole.

Unpaid internships skew the job market, so it is the wealthiest, not the most qualified, who are able to apply. To work without pay requires other sources of income, either from parents, or by working at another job. This isn’t just bad for most people who are unable to work for free, it is also bad for employers who are cutting out many qualified applicants whose parents are not wealthy enough to provide support....

Young people looking for work this summer have two options. We can work at job-jobs in the retail, food service and hospitality industries and get paid, or we can take unpaid work in industries where we hope to get paid work in the future.

Some of this unpaid work is illegal, most is immoral, and almost all is damaging to the economy as a whole. There are very specific circumstances wherein young people do not need to be paid to work. Employers who can pay should and the government should investigate unscrupulous employers and enforce existing laws.

A stronger, fairer society would be one in which young people got paid to work, just like everyone else.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 05, 2013 at 19:19:10 in reply to Comment 87041

That excerpt is very confusing, since it implies that half of all work is unpaid internships... it's not, half of all work is unstable part-time work and other "precarious" employment. Which sucks, but is different from an unpaid internship.

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