From Left to Right: Isabelle Shi, Amy Macdonald, Jennifer Broydell, Sufia Duez, Emily Enhorning, and Guy Rodgers at ELAN’s 14th AGM. Photo by: Nasuna Stuart-Ulin.
ELAN has an excellent board of directors that takes its responsibilities very seriously as representatives of various artistic disciplines and communities. At our first meeting with the new board, we took a moment to discuss ELAN’s new funding, which greatly increases ELAN’s ability to provide services and to advocate for Quebec’s English-speaking artists. A board member expressed concern that increased funding for ELAN should not cause reduced funding for individual artists and organizations. The ensuing conversation was important, and I would like to take a minute to share the highlights with you.
ELAN has four significant projects underway in 2018/19. None of them has received funding from sources that are available to individual artists or companies. Our State of the Arts project is the third time (previously 2004 and 2011) that ELAN has undertaken outreach to identify community needs and connect with previously unserved groups of artists. The project is funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Strategic Initiatives program. These federal funds are not available to individual artists and are only occasionally allocated to the Quebec region.
Next, the App that ELAN is developing to connect artists and audiences is funded by the federal department of Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED). These funds are never available to individual artists and are rarely available to the cultural sector. ISED has funded ELAN for two research grants because the potential economic benefits of this work are considerable.
What’s more, ELAN’s Arts, Communities and Education (ACE) project is funded by Quebec’s new Secretariat for Relations with English-Speaking Quebeckers (SRESQ). The Secretariat’s mandate covers the entire spectrum of community needs: health, education, youth, seniors, employability, economic development etc. Because the ACE pilot project (2016-18) demonstrated clear benefits for schools and youth, the SRESQ selected this new ACE project (2018/20) for funding.
ELAN’s most recent project, also funded by SRESQ is somewhat of an anomaly. The three other projects funded in August responded to community-wide needs: health, seniors and literacy. The decision to fund ELAN was recognition of the important work of artists to give our communities a voice and an identity by telling our stories. Over the next three years, this new project will identify provincial sources of funding that are currently unknown or unavailable to English-speaking artists, and will help artists apply for this additional support, which could range from infrastructure and touring to training, translation and many other needs. As I said at the Annual General Meeting in August: This is the most important project ELAN has undertaken. We will keep you posted on progress.