Photo Credit: Linda Leon 

 

Lifelong cultural worker and CEO of the Yukon Arts Centre since 2008, Al Cushing supports arts and culture in the Yukon and works tirelessly to help the community thrive.

Last week, we asked Cushing some questions about his role as CEO of the Yukon Arts Centre. You can find that article by following this link

We followed up with our CEO to ask a few more questions about his experience at the Yukon Arts Centre. Here is what he had to say:


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS CEO OF THE YUKON ARTS CENTRE?
Number one is the coordination of our amazingly talented team; they do all the hard work. 

At least quarterly I find myself immersed in numbers as we collectively work to ensure that every dollar we receive is spent effectively and in line with our ‘Ends’ and to the advantage of the Yukon.

YAC does an amazing variety of things, some small, some large; Kids Kreate, Mainstage Presentations, special productions for groups such as the Arctic Council, co-presentations with folks like Nakai, Gwaandak and Adaka.  Sometimes it feels like I spend a lot of time herding some very talented cats.

WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
Long, but never boring.

WHAT IS A POPULAR MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR JOB?
People often think it is a Government job but it’s not!  YAC is not a branch of government.  It is an independent not-for-profit charitable corporation.

WHAT KIND OF TRAINING PREPARED YOU FOR THIS POSITION?
For the first five years of my career I learned by watching, listening and most importantly doing.  Then, just as I was sure I knew it all, I had the good fortune to go to work with Rae Ackerman the Production Manager of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  He became a friend and a mentor who showed me how little I knew and helped me to learn.  Learning should never stop, within the limits of time I have tried to take a couple of courses or workshops every year; accounting, HR Principals, rigging, facilitating, lighting, design.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE INTERESTING JOBS YOU HAVE HAD IN THE PAST?
I have been fortunate that I have never had an uninteresting job.  Theatre Designer, Technical Director, Production Manager, VP Operations.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT AT YAC?
I would love to see YAC expanded to include a new gallery for the permanent art collections and the lobby spaces expanded to include a cabaret theatre and a full kitchen.