Julien Valmary of Le Conseil des arts de Montrèal and Guy Rodgers
Photo by Amy Macdonald

Advocacy is important to ELAN’s members. Our work in broadcasting has been easy to share because its impact has been substantial, and the benefit for filmmakers is direct. Today I want to give a brief report on advocacy work that has a less dramatic impact, but provides benefits for members working in all disciplines.

Quebec’s new Cultural Policy is scheduled to be released in April. During the past two years, ELAN has worked with three Ministers of Culture and their staff to ensure that English-speaking artists are recognized and supported. We are counting on new Minister of Culture, Marie Montpetit, to honour assurances made during public hearings by the previous Minister, Luc Fortin.

Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) is developing a new Strategic Plan. CEO Anne-Marie Jean invited me to meet with her to discuss needs and expectations of English-speaking artists. Thanks to detailed responses to ELAN’s member questionnaire, I had plenty of information to share. It is clear that many English-speaking artists have serious questions about CALQ and their relationship to it. Some of the solutions Jean and I discussed include regular CALQ information sessions for English-speaking artists, and an FAQ page to dispel erroneous information that has circulated for years.

Le Conseil des Arts de Montreal (CAM) hosted its first information session for English-speaking artists and cultural workers in March. The 20 people who attended the meeting came away with answers to their questions. We will share highlights on our website soon. Canada Council also presented an information session for the theatre community about their new funding programs, and we are arranging sessions for other disciplines.

Alongside ELAN’s advocacy behind the scenes – like last month’s meeting with Quebec’s new Anglo Secretariat– these information sessions demonstrate ELAN’s practical role in mobilizing support for its members.


Guy Rodgers
Executive Director

460 Sainte-Catherine West
Suites 706 & 708, 917 (Quebec Relations)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3B 1A7
Phone: (514)-935-3312

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ELAN is an official minority language organization within a country that only recognizes two languages as official. ELAN is located in Tiohtiak:ke, which is the original name for Montreal in Kanien’keha:ka, the language of the Mohawk—also known as Mooniyang, which is the Anishinaabeg name given to the city by the Algonquin. While we are based in this city, our projects have also taken place in many regions across Quebec.
We would also like to acknowledge the important work being done by First Nations to revive the traditional languages of these territories, and their advocacy for the official status of Indigenous languages. Kanien’keha:ka and Anishinaabeg are but two of the original languages of this province, in which English and French are colonial languages. The province that we know as Quebec is an amalgamation of the traditional territories of the Innu and Inuit nations, Algonquian nations, as well as the Mohawk nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Atikamekw, Cree, Inuktitut, and Innu-aimun are also among the many Indigenous languages spoken across Quebec as majority languages, and well before French and English.