Creative hubs and creative hub networks in Canada and beyond
The last month has been incredible. I’ve been working on a commissioned report, using some of the Banting Fellowship research that I undertook between 2015-2017, as well as some brand-new, hot-off-the-presses research on creative hubs in Canada and elsewhere, and the many networks they connect to. Below is an excerpt from the Executive Summary.
The Arts Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage commissioned the development of a report analysing an environmental scan of Canadian and international creative hub networks. This report reflects the iterative and fluid nature of important interlocking conditions affecting the field of creative hubs in Canada, pointing to both challenges and opportunities…. [The] report [includes] a spreadsheet that inventories more than [90 networks, including] 20 Canadian and international networks that are already supporting creative hub activity, although none are explicitly dedicated to this sole endeavour. The report examines four kinds of information that contribute to understanding the work and contributions of each of these networks: core mission; user groups and clients; promotion and advocacy of creative hubs; and knowledge sharing of best practices. The inventory identifies six types of business models that characterize the networks, including the caveat that some of the business models are mixed, to accomplish core mission or related activities, strategies or commitments.
Within this ecosystem, four key pivots have been identified that characterize each network. These pivots are characterized in turn by the following names: groundbreakers, social changers, internationalist maker networks, and knowledge builders. Those pivots are used to delineate the apparent priorities given to each kind of related activity, strategy or commitment by the networks under consideration. To flesh this out in practical terms—and relate it to the highly personalized and networked nature of this work in Canada—exemplars of those pivots are explored in some detail in … this report.
The notion of the pivots are key to my findings in the report. I’m looking for opportunities to circulate some of the public information in other forms. Stay tuned.