March is the end of winter. It is also the end of the fiscal year, and so many arts organizations such as ELAN are busy wrapping up projects by the 31st. Our largest project this year is ACCORD, funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage's Cultural Development Fund. This 5-year program was created in 2007 and has been extremely beneficial for many arts and culture organizations. We sincerely hope the Cultural Development Fund will be renewed for another five years in the next federal budget.
Projects like ACCORD, RAEV (Recognizing Artists: Enfin Visibles!) and the State of the Arts Forum last September are the public face of ELAN and provide direct benefits for ELAN members. There is another dimension to the work that ELAN does, which is far less visible to members, and the benefits are less direct but no less tangible. Examples of the 'back room' work includes the Media Strategy developed as part of State of the Arts, and a Working Group with Federal Partners such as Canadian Heritage, Canada Council, Telefilm, CBC, the National Film Board, Industry Canada and several others. The second meeting of this Working Group was held on February 17 and possible future collaborations between funders and artists were identified The most exciting development was a grant from Industry Canada to research how the Creative Economy can be used as a community development motor for Quebec's English-speaking artists.
March is also time for ELAN's membership campaign. Many of you have received emails in the past couple of weeks inviting you to renew your membership. The fee of $25 for professional artists ($15 for friends) is partly economic - membership revenues help us provide services - and partly symbolic: it lets us know that the work we do is important to you.
Arts & Community Culture On-the-Road (ACCORD) is a 2-year pilot project to develop touring in regions of Quebec from the Eastern Townships, Quebec City and Wakefield to the Gaspé, the Lower North Shore and the Magdalen Islands. The first phase, which concludes March 31, has focussed on identifying potential community partners in the regions, designing skill-building workshops for potential presenters, creating a Tool Kit, and inviting artists (from all disciplines) to register for the ACCORD project. Click here to register.
Thanks to those who have registered during the set-up phase. The artists and presenters information will soon be online as we move into phase II in April and begin matching artists with community presenters. Note, QDF has been developing its own touring project for the past three years and theatre artists will register with them.
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