Growing plant

Coach Access Program for Small Non-Profits

A flexible program to strengthen and grow small arts and cultural organizations

Download the application form, then email to Carol Finlay, Education Director at

The Coach Access Program for Small Non-Profits builds leadership and management capacity, resulting in thriving arts and cultural organizations.

The program is affordable, flexible and available to eligible Creative Manitoba organizational members across the province. Program applicants are encouraged to consult with Creative Manitoba’s Education Director at prior to application.

The program combines elements of facilitated group classroom learning, live webinars, online courses with recorded and written resources, peer learning opportunities, and access to highly qualified arts and cultural industry-specific coaches at subsidized rates.

Coaching in Winnipeg takes place at the Creative Manitoba co-working space (245 McDermot Avenue). In some cases, coaching may be conducted via live video conference and through e-mail.

Book a coaching session

Flexible content and delivery with a team approach to learning and coaching

All program participants begin with an intake process-a guided organizational assessment checklist that identifies priority areas for learning and coaching. A learning plan is created. Participants then access subject matter experts from the Creative Manitoba Coach Access team to drill down further and accomplish real, hands-on work.

Organizations may send teams of up to three staff, volunteers, or board members for coaching sessions at no extra charge.

Organizations that choose to work with multiple coaches will benefit from a team coaching approach.

Advantages of the program:

  • build management skills and competencies for staff , volunteers and board members
  • identify and focus on priority areas for your organization
  • guided hands-on learning is directly applied to your workplace
  • program structure encourages organizations to dedicate time to internal operations
  • program is specially designed for small non-profits to build capacity
  • blend of in-person and online options allows maximum flexibility/affordability

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicant organizations must be Creative Manitoba organizational members in the arts and culture sector
  • Organizations must be non-profits, or planning to become a non-profit in the case of start-ups
  • Charitable status is not a requirement for this program
  • Applicant organizations may be operated by volunteers, paid employees, or a combination of both
  • Operating budget of less than $500,000

Note: selection for program participants is not a juried process; applications will be processed in the order received. Limited spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


  • Application deadline: November 30, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance into program: December 7, 2017
  • Guided organizational assessment completion deadline: December 15, 2017
  • Winter subsidized seminars and coaching registration deadline: January 8, 2018

How the program works

  • Once accepted into the program, participants complete an organizational assessment process guided by a coach. Preparation for the initial meeting with the coach consists of viewing a series of short organizational assessment videos (approximately one hour in total). Video links are provided to program participants.
  • Participants schedule three one-hour sessions with an organizational assessment coach to be completed by mid-December. Together, a learning/action plan will be created.
  • Organizations may also opt to book coaches at the hourly subsidized rate to attend and facilitate processes at board meetings.
  • The organizational assessment process will help participants decide which topics and coaches to choose for the second part of the program. (January 15–March 31, 2018)
  • Participants book coaching sessions by January 8, 2018. Please note that there is a required half day seminar for grant writing.

Subject to available funding, Creative Manitoba intends to offer the Coach Access Program for Small Non-Profits on an ongoing basis.

Program requirements

  • Complete the organizational assessment process by December 15, 2017
  • Attend a minimum of 2 coaching sessions per month for January, February and March, 2018
  • Agree to participate in Creative Manitoba program evaluation
  • Agree to Creative Manitoba’s Coach Access Program cancellation policy

Coach Access Program for small non-profits subsidized rates

  • $99 organizational assessment package valued at $300 exclusively for program participants includes organizational assessment webinar, 3 coaching sessions and learning plan
  • Coaching: $30/hour with a minimum booking of 6 sessions (save $50/hour)
  • 1 hour webinars: Free

Additional seminars and courses at reduced rates* for Coach Access Program

*Regular rates are $50 more for each seminar or course

  • Half day seminars $75
  • Full day (7 hour) course $150
  • 2 day (14 hours) course $250
  • 3 day (18 hours) $350
  • Full course (36 hours) $450

Rural discounts

  • 50% off organizational membership ($50)
  • A further 50% off subsidized seminars and courses when attending in person for Winnipeg offerings

Minimum payment total

$279 includes:

  • $99 – organizational assessment package
  • $180 – six coaching sessions

Organizations can be invoiced.

Topics and team

Gerry AtwellGerry Atwell: grant writing
Gerry Atwell is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked professionally in music, theatre, visual arts, film, radio and television. He has composed music and performed narration for dance performances by choreographers. As a musician, he has won a Juno Award with the band Eagle & Hawk. As a writer, his award winning teleplay The Hands of Ida was directed for television by Guy Maddin. As a grant writer, Gerry has raised over 1.5 million dollars for arts and community organizations including the St. Norbert Arts Centre and Manitoba Theatre for Young People. As a consultant for not for profit agencies and corporations, Gerry has been instrumental in creating a number of highly effective youth programs. Gerry is currently Chair of St. Norbert Arts Centre.


Cheryl BaldwinCheryl Baldwin: financial management and QuickBooks
Cheryl Baldwin owns BCP Business Services, a business driven by her desire to help small businesses and non-profits flourish. She has an extensive understanding of the non-profit sector from staff, volunteer, and board perspectives as a result of years of direct involvement in many roles at local and national levels. Cheryl brings over 25 years of experience coupled with education in business, financial, project, human resource, operations and disaster management; accounting; and arts marketing and fundraising.


Barbara GemmellBarbara Gemmell: volunteer resource management, board governance, leadership succession and strategic planning
Barb Gemmell of Gemmell Training & Consulting, provides customized facilitation and consultation services to organizations of all sizes and structures. Her work in the voluntary sector, combined with her extensive personal volunteer experience allows her to monitor trends and learn about best practices and innovative approaches. Barb has developed community college courses, webinars and authored “Looking to the Future: Engaging Today and Tomorrow’s Volunteer” and a “Train the Trainer Guide” for Creative Manitoba. She specializes in volunteer resource management, board governance, leadership succession and strategic planning.


Sue HemphillSue Hemphill: managing collaborations, conflict and diversity, arts-based community development and engaging community
Sue Hemphill is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Healthy Hive Consulting-For Organizational and Community Development. Sue trains, coaches, facilitates and consults leaders, staff groups and teams from nonprofit, government and private sectors. Her expertise is in the areas of: managing organizational change, staff and audience diversity, and supervising for high performance through providing support and accountability. Sue is passionate about connecting the arts to: restorative and social justice, social inclusion, the environment and population empowerment and community revitalization. Reflecting on over 25 years as a community developer/cultural animator, mediator and facilitator, Sue developed a multi-day course, The Art of Collaboration: Harnessing the Power of Partnerships, offered through a partnership with Creative Manitoba.


Dana KletkeDana Kletke: arts administration, organizational development and financial management
Dana Kletke has been Co-Executive Director of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) since 2008. She also maintains an active visual arts practice as a mixed media artist who has shown her work nationally and in rural exhibitions that have toured throughout Manitoba. Dana is currently participating in Neurocraft, a collaborative project by the Manitoba Craft Council and the Society for Neuroscience. Dana assists organizations with the development of the annual operating budget, reviewing and updating financial information, preparing for the year-end review engagement, working with the bookkeeper, accountant and treasurer, and preparing to present information to the board of directors. (Painting behind headshot: Clay Hills by Karen Jonsson)


Chantel MierauChantel Mierau: Excel for financial reporting to arts funders
Chantel Mierau is a Winnipeg artist who has six years of experience as an Administrator in the non-profit sector, and is currently the Finance & Administration Manager at aceartinc. and co-chair of MARCC (Manitoba Artist Run Centre Coalition). She has also served as board member, secretary and treasurer of the Manitoba Craft Council. She has taught Excel formally for staff at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and is passionate about making the lives of arts administrators easier through spreadsheets.


Douglas RiskeDouglas Riske: strategic planning, organizational assessment, change management, board, artistic and business partnerships
Douglas Riske was Executive Director of the Manitoba Arts Council from 1998-2015. This experience, knowledge and understanding coupled with over 25 years as an artistic director, producer, executive director and senior cultural manager has prepared him for the challenges of a changing landscape in Canada’s cultural sector. Riske was a key player in the proposal for the creation of the Canadian Public Arts Funders, a national organization serving provincial, territorial and federal public arts agencies across Canada. He also acted as General Manager of the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts, a Foundation dedicated to innovative support for arts organizations across the province.


Kerri TwiggKerri Twigg: community project and program development, career development and LinkedIn social media
Kerri Twigg has helped hundreds of people to find their stories and confidently communicate their value over the last 20 years. As a strategist, her clients enjoy her years of experience as a career transition consultant and workshop facilitator. Kerri specialized in community arts development prior to starting her own consulting company, Career Stories Consulting-where she coached entrepreneurs and professionals to use their stories to land ideal work. Kerri is active on social media, with a strong preference for LinkedIn. After a recent workshop she taught at the Women’s Enterprise Centre, one student said, “I must say after graduating in business, I’ve learned more in your workshop than in my marketing classes!” Kerri is a Certified Job Search and Resume Strategist. She has a B.A in Theatre and Drama, an M.Ed. and a HR Certificate.

Program partner

ArtSupport Manitoba provides seminars on the essentials of fundraising. A partnership with Creative Manitoba opens these seminars up to Coach Access Program participants.

Cancellation, rescheduling and substitutions policy for coaching sessions

  1. A minimum of 3 days’ notice is required to cancel a coaching session without penalty.
  2. When notice has been received to cancel a coaching session at least 3 days in advance, the session will be rescheduled or refunded. Rescheduling is subject to coach availability and is at the discretion of the coach.
  3. Exceptional circumstances such as sudden illness or family emergencies may be considered for cancellations. Proof may be required.
  4. Substitutions may be allowed for regularly scheduled coaching sessions. Please check with the coach first. Some exceptions may apply for funded program participants.
  5. Creative Manitoba reserves the right to make final decisions regarding cancellations, rescheduling and substitutions.