Sherri Helwig

Sherri Helwig
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Telephone number
Building AA 329
Arts Management


Sherri Helwig has been a faculty member within the longest-running undergraduate Arts Management program in Canada (at the University of Toronto Scarborough - UTSC) since 2003. She also currently serves as a member of the executive of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), President of the Canadian Association of Arts Administration Educators (CAAAE), an editorial board member of the American Journal of Arts Management, and an artsVest™ organizational governance mentor to senior staff and boards at arts, culture, and heritage organizations across Canada.

Sherri also continues her professional practice as an independent arts consultant with a client list that includes local, provincial, national, and international cultural organizations, government departments, and arts funders. She is a Founding Member of Arts Consultants Canada / Consultants canadiens en arts (ACCA).

In years past: Sherri served for sixteen years as Program Director for Arts Management at UTSC, and for three terms as Associate Chair of her academic department during which she was responsible for coordinating curriculum development and experiential education efforts across multiple programs. She has served in invited roles such as Scholar-in-Residence at American University in Washington D.C., Senior Research Fellow with the Canadian Conference for the Arts, and as a member of advisory committees for the Department of Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada, and the City of Toronto. She served in senior leadership roles with several national arts service organizations where she managed national projects, partnerships, and collective bargaining negotiations, led presentations to federal and provincial tribunals, and secured record heights of public and private sector support. She has taught arts management-related courses for Queen's University, American University, York University, Humber College, and the Harris Institute, and has lectured extensively across Canada and within the United States, Italy, Finland, Spain, China, and The Netherlands.





Master of Arts (Art History), University of Toronto
Honours Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art/English double major), University of Guelph
Certificates in Program Evaluation, Entrepreneurship, and Museum Studies
Further studies in areas including course design, university teaching, community-engaged learning, arts education, leadership, arts marketing, etc.


Canadian Association of Arts Administration Educators (CAAAE)
Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE)
Arts Consultants Canada / Consultants canadiens en arts (ACCA)
University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) - Executive

Teaching Interests

Arts management applied practice; employment and labour relations; leadership, shared leadership, and governance; experiential education - including work-integrated learning (WIL) and service learning.

Research Interests

Arts Management practice-as-research; employment and labour relations; leadership, shared leadership, and governance; discipline-specific pedagogy; comparative cultural policy.

Awards and Grants

Scholar-in-Residence (fellowship), American University, Washington, D.C.
Senior Research Fellowship, Canadian Conference of the Arts
Decanal Merit Awards (for leadership/outstanding service), University of Toronto Scarborough [five awards]

Public Engagement

Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA): Juror, Musical Theatre/Opera/Touring Divisions (2016-2017)

25th Anniversary Exhibition, Station Gallery: Juror (2017)

Museum Collections and Conservation Management Board, City of Toronto (2000-2001)


Inaugural Global Arts Administration and Education Conference, China: invited member of the International Planning Committee (2019 to present) [in progress: delayed due to COVID travel restrictions]

Professional Practice

artsVest™, a Business/Arts national mentorship program: serving as an organizational governance mentor to staff and board leaders at arts, culture, and heritage organizations across Canada (2016 to present).

Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN), a limited-term, grassroots, pro bono response network created to help Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations deal with the response to the COVID-19 crisis: participated in sector-wide planning discussions, resource sharing among mentors, and advising related to strategic decision-making, board direction, and systems change (2020).

Arts Reboot, an ad hoc assembly of arts practitioners in the Waterloo Region: advised representatives of a transitional board of directors regarding strategic and operational planning for a regional arts council/service organization to replace the Waterloo Regional Arts Council and the Creative Enterprise Initiative (2018-2019).

Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, a public gallery dedicated to arts education and the exhibition of contemporary art): provided human resources- and organizational change strategy advice to the Board of Directors, and later implemented that strategy (and others) as Interim Executive Director/Curator during a sabbatical from the university (2016-2017).

Alberta Foundation for the Arts, a public agency and provincial corporation of the Government of Alberta: facilitated a strategic review of the provincial art collection’s policies and programs, and conducted a qualitative evaluation of the Community Support Organization’s Funding Program, with support from student researchers (2007-2008).

Canadian Heritage, a department of the Government of Canada: conducted a commissioned study of international digital cultural services (2000).