About Heather Young

Author, Finance for the Arts in Canada

Heather Clara Young has worked in the field of arts management for over twenty-five years. Her experience includes leadership roles with a variety of arts and heritage service organizations, theatre and dance producing companies, galleries and museums, facilities, festivals and community organizations, in both professional and volunteer capacities. Before founding Young Associates in 1993, Heather had served as General Manager for both Nightwood Theatre and the Fringe of Toronto Festival.

As the Principal of Young Associates, Heather has provided bookkeeping and consulting services to dozens of organizations, and delivered professional workshops, training and seminars on topics ranging from budgeting to sales tax, to setting prices, to reading financial statements. She has completed business and strategic planning assignments for an array of arts organizations in Toronto and across Southern Ontario, frequently in partnership with First Stage.

For 15 years, Heather has taught accounting and financial management to diploma and continuing education students in Humber College’s Arts Administration programs, and Humber’s Fundraising and Volunteer Management Program. She was a 2004 recipient of Humber College’s Continuing Education Award of Excellence for Outstanding Academic Contribution. In 2010, she was appointed to teach finance for the University of Toronto’s Specialist Program in Arts Management In 2012, Heather was awarded the Sandy Tulloch award for Innovation in Arts and Culture by Theatre Ontario. Heather is also a member of Arts Consultants Canada.

Finance for the Arts in Canada, published by Heather in 2005, is a unique self-study guide, reference source and textbook for the accounting and finance functions in cultural organizations. Used by numerous arts managers and various post-secondary institutions across Canada, it has been praised for its clear and straightforward approach to building excellence in financial skills.

Heather holds an honours BA in English and French from the University of Western Ontario, and a certificate in Finance and Accounting from Ryerson University.

Comments from Humber College Arts Administration and Cultural Management Program:

"Heather Young has a gift in her ability to take what can appear to be a complex subject and present it with clarity, confidence and consistency to an audience for whom budgeting and accounting may be a source of some trepidation."

- Jerry Smith, Program Coordinator

"I have learned so much from Heather. Her knowledge and ability to explain her subject material is topped only by her kindness and humour. She is one of my touchstone teachers!"

- Wendy Smith, Past Board Member, Neilson Park Creative Centre

"I took Heather Young's Accounting class in the Arts Administration Program at Humber's Continuous Education Program. She managed to make accounting accessible and has the ability to take "accountese" and make it understandable to the layperson, not an easy feat. She is approachable and very knowledgeable. Heather is one of the few teachers I have encountered that was able to take a staid subject and inject it with humour, interest and experience. She taught information that was applicable to my job, information that I could take away and immediately implement. I think Heather is a first-rate teacher and motivator."

- Susan Nagy, Executive Director, Lakeshore Arts

"Heather is a great teacher, not only for her extensive knowledge of her subject but more importantly, for her infinite patience with those of us who can't tell a credit from a debit. Her ability to frame the financial management instruction within an arts context made the material much easier to understand and apply within our chosen fields."

- Denise Dickin, Assembly Hall Coordinator

"I had the good fortune of having Heather teach me the Financial Management course for the Arts Administration Certificate. While I had a great fear of numbers and my ability to grasp the concepts of Financial Management, Heather's teaching style is wonderfully non-threatening, gentle and encouraging. I sincerely believe that I would not have gained the understanding of financial management had it been anyone but Heather teaching the course. Bottom line: Heather is a wonderful teacher."

- Rosie Thorne, Program Administrator, Culture Division, City of Toronto