A federal election is always an important opportunity for a public conversation about our collective priorities. Arts and Culture were not particularly prominent this time around, although ELAN joined with two dozen other arts organization to take out a full page ad in Le Devoir addressed to the party leaders. Part of the reason that Arts and Culture were less urgent in 2019 was that funding was increased considerably last year, both federally and provincially.
Climate was a much bigger issue this year. About 500,000 concerned citizens, many of them too young to vote, marched through the streets of Montreal on September 27 for the international climate strike. ELAN staff joined many other arts organizations marching among a sea of vividly expressed banners. Some were hopeful and humorous, many were bleak and dire. We can hold different views about the gravity and urgency of climate change, and can vote for different parties to address the problem, but it was good for democracy and the planet to give this issue top billing in 2019.