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

Application deadline: October 20, 2017. We will be accepting four Winnipeg organizations and four rural organizations into the program this fall.

Download the application form, then email to Carol Finlay, Education Director at carol@creativemanitoba.ca.

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 carol@creativemanitoba.ca 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.

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: October 20, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance into program: October 27, 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 Atwell: grant writing
  • Cheryl Baldwin: financial management and QuickBooks
  • Barbara Gemmell: volunteer resource management, board governance, leadership succession and strategic planning
  • Sue Hemphill: managing collaborations, conflict and diversity, arts-based community development and engaging community
  • Dana Kletke: arts administration, organizational development and financial management
  • Chantel Mierau: Excel for financial reporting to arts funders
  • Douglas Riske: strategic planning, organizational assessment, change management, board, artistic and business partnerships
  • Kerri Twigg: community project and program development, career development and LinkedIn social media

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.
© 2017 Creative Manitoba