By Anna Mathew
Young Associates founder and principal associate has been named one of the four faces of innovation in Canada by Metro News. The article profiles four innovative Canadians, praising Heather for her pioneering work in developing sound financial management best practices in the Canadian arts sector.
At first, Heather Young didn’t know much more about arts administration than the students she taught at Humber College in Toronto 20 years ago.
But what she quickly learned in trying to teach sound fundamentals of arts management was that hard information on the topic was difficult to muster — let alone make available to budding artists and art groups. As good innovators often do, she saw a need and filled it.
Young crafted her own materials, including Finance for the Arts in Canada, a textbook and reference guide to aid in running an arts organization. Her company, Young Associates — with a staff of 12 — now serves as a financial management resource for 90 Toronto companies. She’s soaked in years of knowledge working with arts groups in the city — something she believes is essential for innovation.
“Get to know your subject area as intimately as you possibly can,” she said. “You need to know the upsides and downsides of what you’re working on … and in particular the gaps in the available supports.”