Left to right: Edmund Nash, Guy Rodgers, and René Marquez at the MainFilm Schmoozer, 2019. Photo by Laurence Ly.

Covid-19 has hit artists with a force that is impossible to fully evaluate. We were taking baby steps toward reopening theatres, studios and galleries, carefully adhering to public health directives that increase costs and reduce revenues. Now three regions are shutting down again. How quickly will audiences return? When will productions become economically viable? And what can we expect from this second wave? This is unexplored territory and nothing is more disorienting than the unknown.

The only good thing about all of this is that we are in it together. Adversity can bring out the best in people, and in entire communities. Artists and arts organization have banded together to experiment with new ways to create work and present it to audiences. Arts Service Organizations are gathering information about support programs and sharing it with their members.

All of ELAN’s projects have veered in new directions. The entire ArtEd program, which was aiming to send artists into 240 schools this year, has had to develop a back-up plan for on-line interactions. ARTS2U has developed a pilot project called ArtsCast that is filming local artists in small venues to help connect them with paying audiences on-line. ELAN’s Québec Relations project is presenting valuable information about funding sources via webinars. The new SELFIES project will film group conversations this fall and winter with English-speakers about our sense of belonging in Quebec. We are preparing two filming scenarios: in-person if possible and on-line if necessary. The times are uncertain but we are all doing the best we can to adapt to the evolving situation, and to help one another. That is the silver lining to this dark cloud.


Guy Rodgers

Executive Director

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

Click here to view our Accessibility Audit.

ELAN is an official minority language organization within a country that recognizes two languages as official. ELAN is located in Tiohtiak:ke, the original name for Montreal in Kanien’kéha, 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 acknowledge the colonial origin of English and French in Canada, and recognize that both languages benefit from official status throughout the land. 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. Kanien’kéha and Anishinaabeg are but two of the original languages of this province; Atikamekw, Cree, Inuktitut, and Innu-aimun are also among the many Indigenous languages spoken across Quebec as majority languages, all well before French and English.

ELAN acknowledges the important work being done by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to revive the traditional languages of these territories, and their advocacy for the official status of Indigenous languages.