The future is looking bright for innovators


Business-savvy students got advice from successful business owners last Friday and were encouraged to use their imagination to be successful in the arts business.

As part of Halton Entrepreneurship Week, Sheridan College and the Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre (HalTech), hosted the first Arts and Innovation day to help students become the successful entrepreneurs they strive to be.

“Arts and Innovation day was brought to students to show them that it is possible to succeed in the business of art,” said Kelly Karius, project manager for Sheridan’s Department of Undergraduate Research.

Students feel it is nearly impossible to get a job in arts and Sheridan brought these speakers to share their success stories to show students it is possible, said Karius.

Michael Collins, retired dean of the Faculty of Arts, Animation and Design program, was the keynote speaker of the day.

He gave a speech on what challenges he faced in his career and what it takes to be successful in the art business.

Among the challenges Collins faced, he found that the time and energy he had to put into his career were the most challenging.

Students need to take a risk and use their imagination to innovate, Collins said. Being creative and using your own ideas will help make you a successful entrepreneur, he said.

“Some people innovate because they have to, or they have an issue they need to resolve. In order to resolve the issues they need to be creative and think outside the box.

Ben Sainsbury, co-founder and producer of CinemaSuite, and Juan Lopez, CEO and co-founder of Pipeline Studios, also shared their experience and knowledge on the business of arts innovation.

Lopez urged students to be open to all aspects of business when starting out. A graduate in economics, Lopez now owns his own animation business, creating feature films, animated shows and online and mobile content.

Sheridan College visual and creative arts students Grace Rossiter and Danielle Ferri, were at the event to see what opportunities await them after graduation.

“I’m attracted to the entrepreneurship aspect because I want to start my own business one day,” said Rossiter.

“It’s helpful coming here and knowing there is a lot of opportunities, because you always hear about how hard it is to find a job after graduation, especially in arts.”

Ferri was there to get some advice on how to expand her business in selling Amigurumi dolls, which are Japanese-inspired knitted small animals and creatures.

“The most important thing I learned today was not to be afraid to take any opportunities and to be brave. If you need to venture outside of your comfort zone then do it,” said Ferri.