CIMA's MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: CultureCap
For our second instalment of CIMA's Member Spotlight series, we were excited to chat with Keely Kemp, President of CultureCap - a business services agency for creative companies. You may know Keely from her time at the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), but she's launched a new firm called CultureCap, which offers a suite of business services to music companies of all shapes and sizes.
Read the Q&A below to find out exactly what CultureCap does, and how they can help your business!
CIMA: You were with the OMDC for over a decade before founding CultureCap. What unmet need did you see in the marketplace that led you to start your own consulting firm?
Keely Kemp: I loved my time at OMDC for lots of reasons, but the best part was that it gave me the opportunity to work with the industry in so many different capacities. I helped create export opportunities for the domestic and the international industries. We had initiatives to leverage music opportunities with the film, TV and games industries. And of course the big one is developing and running funding programs that serve the industry and the funder. OMDC gave me a unique perspective on the industry, – its challenges and opportunities, and I am very grateful for that.
But I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart, and I realized that entrepreneurs have the best chance of success when they work with what they know. I saw a need for a company that could provide the industry with expert business services, and it turns out I was right!
We just marked our first year in business, and we’ve already helped clients access numerous government funding programs. We’ve developed focused business plans to lead independent music companies and organizations into the future. And we’ve used our expertise on a few special projects that have been very rewarding.
CIMA: So, CultureCap is a “business services agency for creative companies” – in simple terms, what does CultureCap do?
Keely Kemp: Our slogan says it best: “we bridge culture and commerce.” All of our services have a common goal: to build a vibrant, profitable cultural sector that makes great art and creates meaningful work. It’s a win/win: we work with labels, managers, publishers, established artists and all types of organizations and events, to help them grow and succeed.
CIMA: What kinds of services and projects does CultureCap specialize in?
Keely Kemp: Our team approach gives us a lot of specialized knowledge and experience, for strategic planning, business planning, business consulting, grant writing, tax credit submissions, special projects, research, recruiting, digital project management. And pretty much anything else the client needs help with.
CIMA: What sort of expertise does your team bring to the table?
Keely Kemp: I know it sounds corny, but the Culture Cap team is stronger than the sum of its parts, as they say. Our team has an incredible repertoire of expertise and knowledge across many different sectors: music, film/TV, digital, and it comprises energetic people who have worked within funding bodies, served as executive directors of non-profit organizations, run sponsorship and fundraising campaigns for large corporations and charitable organizations. Team members have been marketing executives, artist managers, festival bookers and communications professionals. And we have an accountant and MBA, an educator and academic. These are subject matter experts who apply their specialized knowledge of business systems and processes, marketing and financial expertise to the benefit of our clients.
CIMA: How does your team’s experience align with the unique and ever-changing needs of the independent music sector?
It aligns perfectly. We’re a lot more than external consultants; many of us come from the independent music sector. From previous roles, many of us have been at the forefront of change for a long time, and we understand the importance of creative thinking, and of being nimble and flexible. For example, I started in the industry a long time ago, at an indie dance label called Summersault Records, before moving on to Select Distribution. We all like to keep our eyes on the horizon and where the industry is going.
CIMA: What kind of role can CultureCap services play for your average independent music company?
We’re in this for the long haul, so we spend time with our clients to understand their particular business, their artists and staff. With that knowledge, we can help develop short and long term goals, and create a roadmap to achieve those goals. Here’s just one example: a few months ago we helped a company develop a three-year business plan, including budget and financial projections. We took that plan and built a number of funding applications to finance their growth strategies. The funding came in, and the client is moving forward with the plan. They’re already seeing a positive ROI, this early in the process. The client says it best: “CultureCap changed my life!”
For more information about CultureCup, please check out their website at: http://www.culturecap.ca/