Thank you for your interest in the Canadian Artists Network’s Mentoring program. We are delighted that you are willing to share your talents with another artist … and we’re speaking to both mentors and mentees here. Most of our mentors tell us that they also learn a lot from their mentees; it’s a two-way street.

Let’s go through the process of the mentorship. Some of this you may already know if you’ve read through our main mentoring pages.

Most of our mentorships are one-to-one: a mentor [who must be at least 60 years of age] and a mentee [who can be any age]. The mentorships last anywhere from three to six months. Both sides agree to commit at least seven hours per month to the mentorship. The Canadian Artists Network pays the mentor a fee of $500 per month. We also pay approved expenses of mentees [more on that later].

How We Begin

If the Canadian Artists Network has brought you together, your first step will be to meet and decide if you would like to work together. If you came to us as a team, you’ve already taken that step.

Once you have decided to start a mentorship, your next task is to decide on a goal, or goals. You have to have something to aim for in order for this to be a success. It could be learning a new skill, a new role, creating a manuscript, dance or installation. Once you have your goal in mind, you need to create a plan.

The Mentoring Plan

This is an extremely important part of the mentorship preparation for several reasons:

    • It’s a constant reminder of what you are aiming for
    • It gives both of you a set of signposts to follow
    • It gives both you and the Canadian Artists Network something against which to measure your progress
    • It gives us a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve

The Mentoring Plan is drawn up by the mentee with the mentor’s input. It should contain the following sections:

    • Both your names
    • The date it is submitted to us
    • The goal[s] – this can be anywhere from a couple of paragraphs to a full page. It should state in detail the reason for the mentorship, what’s at stake, what will be accomplished, how it will make the mentee a better artist and what the mentor brings to the table
    • The Timeline – this should be a month-by-month breakdown of the steps you feel you need to take to reach your goal. It’s important because, like any project plan, it gives you a way to gauge your progress.
    • The budget: This is a very flexible part of the mentorship plan. The mentee is entitled to up to $1,500 in approved expenses. Some mentorships don’t have any expenses; some – particularly in the visual arts – use the entire allotment. Here are some items that CAN can cover:
      • Rental of rehearsal space
      • Hiring actors for a reading
      • Hiring dancers to work out choreography
      •  Art Supplies
      • Books your mentor recommends
      • Tickets to shows your mentor recommends
      • Travel [if the mentee must travel some distance to meet with the mentor. We will pay $.58 per kilometre. Other forms of travel as required.]
      • Some software – due to the expense of most software, a compelling case must be made for us to cover it
      • Hardware – we do not pay for hardware such as computers, cameras, etc. Again, if you make a compelling reason why the mentorship can’t proceed without it, we’ll be happy to listen.

Here is a template you can download to help you get started:

Once you both are satisfied with the template, you submit it to the Canadian Artists Network for approval.

What Happens Next?

Once the Canadian Artists Network approves the Mentoring Plan, we will send you Letters of Agreement in which you will agree to all of the things we have talked about. You will also agree to observe the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct, to which the Canadian Artists Network is a signatory. The agreement will also include your Mentoring Plan to formalize the process.

Then the fun part begins: the actual mentorship.

The Letter of Agreement will specify the length of the mentorship, which can be up to six months. At approximately the half-way point, I will check in with you about your progress. Then, at the end of the mentorship, we will need a final report. The mentee will update us with a brief report one year after the mentorship ends so that we know what impact it has had.

All these reports can be filed online. We will send you the links when you are approaching each milestone.

That’s it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.