ELAN’s 7th annual Arts, Culture, Heritage (ACH) Working Group meeting on February 1st filled the second floor of McGill University’s Thompson House with fifty artists, cultural workers and representatives of federal institutions. The diverse group of participants discussed various challenges facing Quebec English-speaking communities in arts, culture and heritage, and explored collective solutions to these issues, and opportunities for collaboration between groups. Half of the participants were members of ELAN and the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN). The other half consisted of a dozen participants from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, CBC, the the National Film Board, Telefilm, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Global Affairs Canada, Canada Economic Development and Parks Canada. In addition, le Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec (CALQ) and le Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) sent representatives for the first time. Co-leaders from the ACH Working Group will continue to develop ideas over the coming year, and we will report on this progress at ELAN’s Annual General Meeting in August 2017.

One of the direct results from the Working Group will be a March meeting between ELAN‘s board and Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. If you have questions about Council’s New Funding Model, send them to admin@quebec-elan.org by March 20th. We will share Simon Brault’s answers with you next month.

YES Montreal is holding its 17th Annual Artists’ Conference on March 27th at the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT). The Conference is part of YES’ Business Skills for Creative Souls Program, which has helped thousands of artists develop entrepreneurial skills so they can build sustainable careers. YES and ELAN regularly collaborate on workshops for artists and I will be speaking at the conference about the support ELAN offers. The day’s schedule is always stimulating and thought-provoking. I hope to see some of you at the morning panel discussion or during the post-conference Schmoozer.