At the AGM, we launched our Collectors’ Edition Booklet, commemorating 15 years of ELAN’s history!
Booklet design by Huot & Vallentin.
Discover our projects since the founding of ELAN in 2004, learn about our provincial advocacy work over the years, and see some of our members’ artwork!
Letter from the President
The first ELAN AGM 15 years ago was an effervescent, social affair. There was excitement in the room, a feeling of anticipation; it felt as though we were launching a rocket into space. I remember being there, clutching a plastic cup of red wine, and having the sense that I was seeing the start of something big. Everyone “sort of” knew each other, so we took the opportunity to discover our peers as conversations were struck up, business cards were swapped, and creative collaborations sketched out. Many artists, especially those in non-performing disciplines such as visual arts and writing, tend to stay inside their creative bubbles, and here, suddenly, we were given a space to mingle and exchange ideas. At this first ELAN AGM, strangers became friends, and since then a myriad of creative collaborations and projects have germinated and come to fruition.
I trace ELAN’s success to its core characteristic: everyone involved in working with ELAN is an artist. From the indefatigable Guy Rodgers, who writes multimedia shows and plays the guitar, to the ELAN staffers, who are choreographers, musicians, and actors aside from project managers, and the dedicated board who all are either practicing artists or cultural workers, everyone at ELAN is an active member of the creative community. ELAN is an organization for artists, by artists, and as a result, our projects and advocacy work address the real needs of our community.
Now, at our 15th anniversary, we come together again to mingle and to celebrate ELAN. Our circle of friends and collaborators has grown, and I look forward to many more exciting projects and collaborations.
Letter from the Executive Director
ELAN was inspired by the successful models of the Quebec Drama Federation (QDF) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), which had both taken root in the previous century in volatile, at times hostile, linguistic conditions. Having been actively involved in the creation of both QDF and QWF, I can testify that ELAN came into this world under much more favourable circumstances than its predecessors. When ELAN was founded a decade after the second referendum, many people were looking for ways to do things differently. Far more than half the Anglos in Quebec were comfortably bilingual and almost a third of us were in romantic relationship with Francophones. This might have been an adaptive survival strategy, but it was working. We were a long way from the two solitudes that had kept Quebec divided for centuries.
Slowly at first, but steadily, ELAN brought together artists in Montreal, and in many regions of Quebec, helping them connect with one another, with audiences and with funders. Then ELAN connected with French-speaking artists in Quebec and in minority language communities across Canada—also collaborating closely with partners specializing in inclusion, notably Diversité Artistique Montréal and Vision Diversité. After surviving a couple of near-death incidents during its first decade, ELAN has steadily attracted members, partners and resources that make it possible to do things we could only dream about fifteen years ago. This booklet is a tribute to many of the people who have contributed to make ELAN a thriving reality.
Founding Executive Director