Red is an important colour, but the Saskatchewan Arts Board and Creative Saskatchewan would like to see the cultural sector enjoying a little more black when it comes to the bottom line.

'Everyone is entitled to earn a living.' - Tracy Buechler

That's why the organizations offer a business course.

"I think it's made me a better artist," said Tracy Buechler on CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"You just get confident."

Finding green 

Buechler is a mixed media artist from Warman, Sask., and a graduate of the course.

"You obviously want to find a way to promote yourself and find a way to continue doing what you love to do."

The course is open to all creative entrepreneurs and has seen graduates from varied lines of work including visual artists, musicians, actors and writers.

"We get people coming out of university that have really focused on their passion, they've really focused on their creative process, but they really don't know how to make a living," said Phyllis Lodoen, an instructor with the Arts Entrepreneurship and Business Development course.

Lodoen said the course challenges creative types to ask some serious questions about what they are producing and how to make a living at it.   

"What are you offering? And who cares about what you are offering?"

art

Tracy Buechler, a mixed media artist from Warman, produces work like the piece shown here and is a recent graduate of the creative business program. (Tracy Buechler)

The art of grants  

The course also teaches people in the cultural sector how to find the grant money they need to get their business off the ground, or to fund special projects.

"One thing I think that really does surprise creative entrepreneurs is that there is a plethora of resources available," said Lodoen.

For Buechler, the course provided her with the information she needed to create a co-operative, and to understand that there is nothing wrong with paying attention to the business side and making sure the books remain in the black.

"Everyone is entitled to earn a living," she said.

This is the sixth year for the course. It is offered in Saskatoon, Regina, Lloydminster, Swift Current and Yorkton. 

with files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning