The business of making and selling art is a strange combination of words for many people. Look around and take away all of the things in life that exist because of an artist, an artisan, a designer, and you'll soon realize that business and art do, in fact, go together. The chair on which you are sitting, the illustrations in your daughter's story book, the music that you sing to on the way to work, the pot in which you cook tonight's casserole - all are examples of the business of making and selling art. The Training Needs Study of Arts and Cultural Workers in Manitoba conducted in 1999, resounded the following:
- While their education prepared them very well in their particular discipline (i.e., art, craft, performance, etc.) it did not prepare them very well at all on how to make a living from their discipline; i.e., business skills, marketing, self-promotion, etc.
- Training that is currently available in business management, marketing, export marketing, and human resource development does not meet the needs of the arts and cultural sector.
- Training is needed that deals with the realities of working in the arts and cultural industries and the differences associated with marketing arts and culture.
- Time and money are two key factors identified as barriers to participating in training for both individuals and employees of arts and cultural organizations.
- They want and need a forum to network with others who share the same challenges working in the arts and cultural sector.
- There is a need for a coordinating body to identify training needs and develop an organize training for the arts and cultural sector.
In 2003, after much lobbying and work, Uniquely Manitoba was formed to respond to these needs.
To assist Manitoba's artists, craftspersons and specialty food producers in developing their products to become market ready. Manitoba made products are second to none in the world and through this program we ensure our gift producers meet the highest standard in product development and marketing.
Provide opportunities to Manitoba artists, crafters and specialty food producers to have a professional merchandizing assessment (adjudication) of their products.
Provide an opportunity to artists, crafters and specialty food producers to test their potential in the wholesale and retail marketplace.
Provide basic export information through workshops and to refer interested producers to appropriate export consultants and supports.
Provide appropriate and accessible workshops to prepare producers throughout each phase of the program.
Work cooperatively with existing organizations to ensure all resources are utilized and not duplicated.