Guy Rodgers with Board Members Bettina Forget and Kristelle Holliday presenting at ELAN’s 14th AGM.
Photo by: Nasuna Stuart-Ulin
It was a pleasure to see so many of you at ELAN’s 14th Annual General Meeting on August 27th. For those who could not attend, the full AGM package of activity reports, financial statements, budgets and bios is available here. I want to thank outgoing board members Khosro Berahmandi, Amy Blackmore, Farah Fancy, Warona Setshwaelo, Dan Webster, and two board members who served ELAN with dedication and enthusiasm for the maximum period of six years: Rob Lutes, and Vice-President Valerie Buddle. ELAN is an artist-driven network and our community is extremely well served by passionate, knowledgeable directors who contribute a wealth of knowledge. I look forward to working with the newly elected board members, as well as returning board members.
ELAN is now embarking on its 15th year and much has changed since 2004. Many of the historical obstacles faced by English-speaking artists in Quebec, important at the time of ELAN’s creation, have decreased as ideas about diversity and inclusion have gained prominence. But as we observed during last year’s consultations for Quebec’s new Cultural Policy, there is still a malaise in some quarters about fully recognizing the value of English-language artists and their contribution to Quebec’s cultural life. The creation of a new Secretariat for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers (SRESQ) last fall signaled that the government of Quebec is committed to identifying and eliminating barriers, real and received.
On August 13th, the SRESQ announced funding for four major long-term projects. The arts and culture project is called Un Nouvel Élan Pour les Artistes Anglophones du Québec (A New Momentum for Québec’s English-Speaking Artists). This three-year project will enable us to identify sources of funding within all culture-related provincial agencies (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Société de development des enterprises culturelles) and Ministries (Culture and Communications, Education), as well as funding for infrastructure, employment and training, and economic development. Over the next three years, we will work to connect community needs with government resources, and provide community members assistance to write applications. In addition, we will seek to create a working group of artists and senior government officials to continually identify new needs and opportunities. This project has the potential to change the dynamic for Québec’s English-speaking artists in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago. We’ll keep you posted on progress.