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Creative Entrepreneurship

Members receive discounts on Creative Manitoba courses, classes and workshops.

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 March 3, 2018
 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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$10 members / $25 non-members (includes a complimentary membership)

A continental breakfast and lunch are included for the low price of admission.

Creative Entrepreneurship is a one-day symposium for emerging artists to learn essential skills about growing their career in the arts, from finances, to grant-writing, to personal branding.  Learning comes from young, experienced local artists and arts admin like this year’s panelists Jennifer Smith (Video Pool), Aaron Zeghers (Winnipeg Underground Film Festival), Heather Thomas (Atlaas), and visual artist, Gabrielle Funk.

Creative Entrepreneurship is aimed to emerging artists leaving post-secondary education and looking for practical skills on how to grow their arts career, post-university.  The course is open to anyone with an existing arts practice including visual artists, actors, craftspeople, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, new media content creators and writers.


  • Heather Thomas, performer/composer/educator
  • Jennifer Smith, arts administrator/writer/curator
  • Aaron Zeghers, film maker/film programmer/photographer
  • Gabrielle Funk, visual artist/muralist/community art facilitator


  • Grant Writing 101 (with Bev Pike): Learn the basics of applying as an individual artist to MAC, WAC and the Canada Council for the Arts in this informative session.
  • Finances for Artists (with Jan Skene and Kathe Meseman): Learn the basics of accounting, taxes and all things finances for artists.
  • Personal Branding on Social Media (with Kerri Twigg): Learn how to create and grow your personal brand on social media to help bring an audience to you and your work with credibility and interest.
  • Self-Promotion for Artists (with Elise Dawson): Learn how to bump your reputation and find your market, promote and market yourself and your work. Includes a public speaking component.


Jan SkeneJan Skene has worked as a self-employed professional actor/singer and performer manager/arts consultant for the past 30 years.  Her acting credits extend to most of Winnipeg’s live theatres and numerous television, film and radio productions. Her contract work as a consultant has resulted in a deep network of connections in Manitoba’s cultural community, and expertise in the business of being a self-employed actor. Currently she is Manager of Youth Mentorship Programs at Creative Manitoba and manages Skene Stunts Inc. (which she co-founded with her husband Rick). In a volunteer capacity, Jan is President and National Councillor for ACTRA Manitoba, and a board member for Film Training Manitoba.


Kathe MesemanKathe Meseman has 25 years of experience in bookkeeping and accounting for small and medium size enterprises, including the non-profit and arts sectors. She is an expert in financial setup, full cycle accounting and training, project costing/reporting, government remittances, payroll, month end and year end. She has been helping artists do their taxes for years.


Kerri Twigg has been leading workshops to help people tell their stories with confidence for 20 years. She is a trusted career strategist who helps clients all around the world land their ideal jobs and gigs. Kerri owns and runs her own consulting firm, Career Stories Consulting, teaches PR at The University of Winnipeg PACE program, and hosts workshops on LinkedIn all over the city.


Elise DawsonElise Dawson is an artist and gallerist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated from the School of Fine Art at the University of Manitoba before beginning her career in galleries. Dawson is an active champion of the artistic community in Winnipeg; she previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and continues to work with local organizations like First Fridays. She recently completed an artist residency in Puebla, Mexico and is a 2017-2018 participant of’s CARTAE program.


Bev PikeBev Pike has raised millions of dollars in art funding as a grant writer for artists and organizations since 1984. Pike is known for her large-scale land-form paintings, her videos and her artist-books that have been shown across Canada in solo and group exhibitions. Her works are held in the Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England as well as in public and private collections across North America.


Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith is a Métis curator, writer and arts administrator in Winnipeg.  She works at Video Pool Media Arts Centre leading their Distribution Department. Jennifer is the President of the board for the Coalition of Canadian Independent Media Art Distributors, is the chair of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) and works with on the boards of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC), the Manitoba Artist-Run Centre Coalition (MARCC) and the Artist-Run Centres Collective and Conference (ARCA). As a curator she focuses on researching craft based contemporary art, women’s work and feminism.  Jennifer has curated exhibits and video programs for the Manitoba Craft Council, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, Open City CinemaMAWA, the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library, and has been published in Studio Magazine.


Aaron ZeghersAaron Zeghers is a Canadian artist working in film, video and photography. He primarily works as an experimental filmmaker, utilizing analog formats and obsolete technologies, in-camera effects, various types of animation and other experimental techniques to create his films and expanded cinema performances. Zeghers’ films have screened at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival RotterdamAnn Arbor Film FestivalFestival du nouveau cinémaDOXA Film Festival, and New York’s Mono No Aware. In the past year Zeghers has also toured widely with his work, performing his expanded cinema work in Rotterdam, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Toronto and more. His latest experimental animation Everything Turns… premiered as an expanded cinema performance at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2017. As a film programmer, Zeghers is the founder and co-director of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival and the Open City Cinema on-going film screening series. He is also the current Artistic Director for the Gimli Film Festival, Manitoba’s largest film festival.


Gabrielle FunkGabrielle Funk is a Winnipeg-based visual artist, freelance illustrator, muralist, and community art facilitator through Art City and Grafitti Art Programming.  She has been active in Winnipeg’s art community since 2013. Her most recent body of personal work focuses on the creation of a visual narrative told through self-portraiture in exploration of femininity and sexuality as a cultural, physical and spiritual construct. In her work the inclusion of wildlife is utilized as a reflective or antagonizing force. Through this work Gabrielle aims to beckon viewers into a world laced with quiet tension and subtle admission utilizing subject matter and symbolism that is as hostile and wild as it is familiar.


Heather ThomasHeather Thomas is the front woman of electro-r&b band ATLAAS, and one half of “arguably Winnipeg’s best all female-90s r&b-comedy-ukulele duo”, BUNNY. When she’s not performing her own music she backs up soul-pop act, Begonia, and works as a studio vocalist. Thomas also composes for theatre, film, and podcasts, and is a mentor at a music focussed youth outreach program.

In 2017, Thomas headlined the Rainbow Trout Music Festival and produced several events, including a sold-out ATLAAS show at the Winnipeg Planetarium. She recently spent time at the National Music Centre completing an artist entrepreneur intensive, and in May she will embark on a cross-Canada tour to support the upcoming self-titled ATLAAS EP.


Schedule for the Day

9 am:  Registration & Breakfast

9:30 am:  Tips for Success Across Creative Disciplines
Artists Panel with Gabrielle Funk, Heather Thomas, Aaron Zeghers & Jennifer Smith; Moderator: Thom Sparling

11 am: Coffee Break

11:15 am: Career Mapping w/ Kerri Twigg, Career Stories Counselling

12:00pm: Lunch & Networking

1 pm: Your Art as a Business (Finances) w/ Jan Skene & Kathe Meseman

2 pm: Coffee Break

2:15 pm: Afternoon Workshop (Choose 1 of 3 options)
Personal Branding on Social Media w/ Kerri Twigg
or Self Promotion & Public Speaking w/ Elise Dawson
or Grant Writing 101 w/ Bev Pike

3:15 pm: Coffee Break

3:30 pm: Get to Know the Experts & Your Peers
Take this opportunity to make new connections & seek expert advice!

4:30 pm:   End Remarks & Evaluations

 March 3, 2018
 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


245 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 0S6

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Cancellation policy

Creative Manitoba reserves the right to cancel or postpone any event where a minimum registration level has not been met. Participants registered for an event that is cancelled by Creative Manitoba will receive a full refund.

Registrants may cancel up to one week before the event to receive a full refund. No refunds will be issued to registrants who cancel within one week of the event start date. No refunds will be issued for registrants who do not attend.

Substitute participants are allowed in most cases, but not all. Please check with us ahead of time if you wish to send a substitute participant by calling 204-927-2787.

It is our intent that Creative Manitoba programs and events foster a supportive, nonthreatening environment for everyone to participate and share in - regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity or cultural differences. We ask that you please be welcoming and respectful of world views that differ from your own.

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