Alexandre Schmitt (Vice President, Alliance des radios communautaire du Canada); Lily Ryan (President, Quebec Community Newspaper Association); Mélanie Joly (Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie); Francis Sonier (Association de la presse francophone); Guy Rodgers (Executive Director, English Language Arts Network) and Hugh Maynard (representative on behalf of English-language community radio in Quebec).

 

The Official Language Community Media Consortium has been working for the last two years to raise awareness of the urgent necessity for government support for media in a minority language situation.

Through the federal government’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023, a $14.5 million investment toward community-based, minority language media has already been initiated, made up of $4.5 million over five years to create 100 internships, and $10 million toward the Minority Media Fund to provide financial assistance for projects that contribute to the maintenance of official-language minority radio and newspapers. The Consortium met with Minister Joly on July 11, 2019 to update on the progress of the support measures and to talk about progress on a Harmonized Interdepartmental Action Plan to Support Official Language Community Media, especially a proportionate share of federal government advertising in official language minority media.

As an organization serving the minority-language community of English-speaking Quebecers, ELAN strongly condemns the implementation of Bill 21 and Justice Michel Yergeau’s decision last week to reject an appeal from civil rights organizations to suspend this law. We support the newest actions of the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association who now seek to appeal the Quebec Superior Court’s decision.

We therefore join our voices in solidarity with the Canadian and Quebec organizations that have condemned Bill 21, including the Canadian Council of Muslim Women; Fédération des femmes du Québec; Justice Femme; the Public Service Alliance (MUNACA); the Quebec Writers’ Federation; the Council of Canadian Muslims; the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA); and the municipal governments across Quebec that have declared that they will not enforce Bill 21.

Read the full statement below:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

“Indigenous rights include Indigenous language rights. Indigenous languages are irreplaceable foundations for individual, community and Nations’ identity, sense of belonging to a place, and well-being.”

Via Kanehsatake Voices / Kanehsatà: ke Kontinónstats ne Kanien’kéha (Mohawk Language Custodian Association, Inc.)

MLCA Position on Quebec’s Indigenous Cultural Policy (2016)

 

This year marks the United Nations’ observance of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. As we in turn mark National Indigenous Day today in Canada, we’re thinking about the weight and cultural essence of language. The National Inquiry’s MMIWG Final Report, released earlier this month, recognized that assaults on Indigenous cultures were “the starting points for other forms of violence Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people experience today.” The National Inquiry found that the most appropriate term to encompass the breadth of violence imposed by the Canadian state on Indigenous peoples was indeed genocide. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee had also reported,

 

“It seems logical to conclude that Canada’s actions in forcible transferring Aboriginal children from their racial group to another in order to eliminate or destroy their cultures and languages – and therefore their racial group – could at least amount to a legal wrong cognizable in Canadian law because of Canada’s acceptance of it as a legal wrong in international law.”

 

With Canada’s acknowledgement of the magnitude of the state’s colonial violence and its generational impacts, grows the urgency for cultural revitalization. Language shapes our essential world-view and our understanding of the impacts of human activities. It is intrinsic to forming identity. How do different languages change the ways we understand our own experiences? What do our languages permit us? What do we not see because we lack the words?

 

“English doesn’t give as many tools for incorporating respect for animacy. In English, you are either a human or a thing. Our grammar boxes us in by the choice of reducing a nonhuman being to an it, or it must be gendered, inappropriately, as a ‘he’ or a ‘she’. Where are our words for the simple existence of another living being?

One afternoon, I sat with my field ecology students by a wiikwegamaa and shared this idea of animate language. One young man, Andy, splashing his feet in the clear water, asked the big question. “Wait a second,” he said as he wrapped his mind around this linguistic distinction, “doesn’t this mean that speaking English, thinking in English, somehow gives us permission to disrespect nature? By denying everyone else the right to be a person? Wouldn’t things be different if nothing was an ‘it’?”

From Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

 

During our State of the Arts Activation Conference this past February, we heard from Nadine St-Louis (Executive Director of Sacred Fire Productions) who led a teach-in, “From theory to practice: reclaiming Indigenous narratives within colonial spaces”. Nadine spoke of a shift in awareness of both the contemporary colonial history of Canada and the histories of First Nations before colonization. An essential thread of hope and progress is the resurgence of Indigenous voices reclaiming the stories and languages that are integral to this land.

 

“Making room for the use of Indigenous languages is forward-thinking.” Nadine St-Louis.

Indigenous Women’s Turn to Take the Talking Stick

“By highlighting the richness of Indigenous languages as a means of expressing living cultures, the FNQLSDI hopes to contribute to strengthening a sense of belonging and pride among First Nations people, young and less young.”

 

In response to an audience question on the connections between colonization and climate-change, Nadine St-Louis said, “The Indigenous worldview is: land, community, family. You as an individual are at the bottom. Capitalism and colonialism is the reverse. Money, me-myself-and-I, and the land at the end. … The most important ethic is your responsibility to the land. We need to change how we view wealth, how we invest, how we do ‘development’.”

 

We recommend: Turtle Island Reads

The Turtle Island Reads initiative is a partnership between CBC Montreal, LEARN, Quebec Writers’ Federation, CODE NGO and McGill Faculty of Education as well as McGill University’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office.

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.

 

Executive Director
Guy Rodgers

On August 14, 2018, Kathleen Weil (minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers) announced that $6.9 million will be distributed to four organizations over the course of 3 years to increase and fortify connections between English-speaking artists and the government of Quebec. These organizations include: Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), Literacy Quebec (LQ), Seniors Action Québec (SAQ), and English-Language Arts Network (ELAN).

ELAN will be using this 3-year grant towards a new project entitled:
A New Momentum for Quebec’s English-Speaking Artists.

This community-driven project will aim to:

  • Encourage English-language cultural organizations, as well as individual cultural workers and artists to participate fully in social, economic, and cultural life of Quebec.
  • Enhance visibility of English-speaking artists and bolster their capacity to collaborate and work in partnership with the Quebec government.

To reach these goals, ELAN will:

  • Document arts, culture and heritage funding opportunities.
  • Design a comprehensive directory of active ACH (Arts, Culture, and Heritage) organizations, which includes their missions, audiences, and needs.
  • Create a resource that matches individual artists (and their needs) and cultural organizations (and their needs) with funding opportunities that are currently available.
  • Establish a committee that brings government and ACH community representatives together to brainstorm and initiate projects.
  • Develop an Action Plan to make long-term impact using this project as a building block.

In addition to connecting English-language artists to funders and vice-versa, this project will identify new funding sources and help individual artists, as well as arts organizations in our community take full advantage of the support that is available to them.

Breakdown of funds:

Community Health and Social Services Network – $5.7 million
English-Language Arts Network – $400,000
Seniors Action Québec – $400,00
Literacy Quebec – $400,000


Links to Resources :

Press Release from Ministère du Conseil exécutif

CBC – Quebec unveils where $7M earmarked for Anglos will be invested

Global News – Quebec invests nearly $7 million in English-speaking community

 

Monday, August 27, 2018
AGM: 6:30-8:00 PM
Schmoozer: 8:00-10:00 PM

Centre St-Pierre, 1212 rue Panet, Montreal
(south of metro Beaudry)


Free entry + Free food + Free drinks!

This venue is accessible to individuals with reduced mobility
If you have any questions about accessibility at this event, please feel free to contact us at admin@quebec-elan.org or you may call us at 514-935-3312

RSVP by email: admin@quebec-elan.org
or by selecting ‘Going’on our Facebook event.

 

We’ve had a momentous year and we’re excited to share the results of our work with you! Come out and celebrate our community, and learn about what awaits us next year! Your participation matters to us. Thank you for your engagement!

ELAN members in good standing as of August 7 are eligible to vote on important agenda items such as approving ELAN’s budget and electing new board members. Renew your membership by August 7 to ensure your participation! Members in good standing will also be given priority to attend this event. Friend members and observers can’t vote but are welcome to attend!

*Audited statements will be available as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience.

Supplementary documents

2018 AGM Agenda

2017 AGM Minutes

Audited Statements (to come asap)

Photo provided by QCGN (Quebec Community Groups Network)

Today, on April 23, 2018, the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers (SRESQ) announced $950,000 in funding for five community-based projects. The recipients are the English Language Arts Network (ELAN), the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN), Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders, and Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ETRC).

Kathleen Weil, Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Minister responsible for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, announced that the funding will increase the amount of government representation and support provided to English-speaking communities across the province.

ELAN has received $230,000 for a two-year project to ‘establish long-term arts education collaborations.’ Based on ELAN’s ACE (Arts, Communities and Education) initiative, this new funding will greatly increase collaborations between artists and educators for the benefit of students. 10 to 15 schools and communities will receive assistance for arts-based projects that will develop transferable skills and creative thinking.

Cultural and Education are natural partners, and both are under provincial jurisdiction, however bureaucratic structures have made it difficult in the past for artists and educators to collaborate. This new funding and partnerships demonstrates that the new Anglo Secretariat is fulfilling its mandate of closer collaboration between government ministries and Quebec’s English-speaking communities.


Resources:

English-Language Arts Network

https://www.quebec-elan.org/about/

English-Language Arts Network ACE Initiative
https://www.quebec-elan.org/elans-ace-initiative-design-test-scale-wrap-up/

School of Community and Public Affairs

https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/scpa.html

Quebec English-speaking Communities Research Network

https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/scpa/quescren.html

The Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers

http://www.mce.gouv.qc.ca/ministere/centre_presse/srqea/2018-04-10-en.htm

http://www.fil-information.gouv.qc.ca/Pages/Article.aspx?lang=en&idArticle=2511247102

Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders

https://micami.org/en/

Quebec Community Groups Network

http://qcgn.ca/

Eastern Townships Resource Centre

http://www.etrc.ca/