For more than 40 years, the Arts & Media MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business has trained leaders in arts.

The unique program —the only one of its kind in Canada — counts people like Roy Thompson Hall and Massey Hall director of operations Colleen Smith and CTVglobemedia senior vice-president Tracey Pearce among its alumni.

The program’s director, Joyce Zemans, says the degree’s success stems from its unique mandate to give candidates a strong management foundation in the arts.

As the Internet continues to meld with traditional media and mould it into something new, the need for skilled leaders is growing, Zemans says.

“Without question there’s recognition across the board that more and more people in the cultural sector are coming with management and leadership skills and there’s more demand for those people as well,” Zemans said.

The program attracts students with a surprisingly wide variety of backgrounds and skill-sets, with the one thing in common being each one usually has spent some time working in the arts or media industry and now want to take a commanding role.

“Most of our students come from solid experience in the arts sector. They may be from all forms of media, but what they all want is to develop the management skills they require to become leaders in the sector,” Zemans said.

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