Image courtesy of Studio 303.

What is burn-out?

We are beginning Creative Resilience, our new mini-series on arts and health, with an open discussion on burn-out. Burn-out, a word increasingly familiar in creative industries, is not just synonymous with exhaustion, but describes the specific mix of exhaustion, cynicism, and professional inefficacy that is usually a product of overwork.

Burn-out is common in industries where “the work is the passion”. Artists are often paid little and work precariously, and demand is often high while the resources to meet it are scarce. In arts organizations, funding is almost always tenuous and dependent on political whim, making it difficult to support the individual artists navigating these conditions, while reproducing the conditions for burn-out within the organizations themselves.

Solutions to burn-out often place the onus on the individual: recognize the signs of burnout and work to mitigate it, take time away from work. But what does “time away” look like when the work is the passion? And when the work is the passion, what are the effects on identity from both the cynicism and inefficacy of burn-out, as well as the act of taking time away to mitigate it? And how do we find permission to take time away when wages are already low and work is already precarious? Beyond the individual, we are curious about the communal, structural changes necessary to mitigate burn-out. If burn-out is the product of overwork, then how must we renegotiate our understandings of work itself?

What is a Performative Discussion? 

To explore these questions, we will join Studio 303 in holding a “Performative Discussion”. This format is borrowed from Lois Weaver’s Long Table, and is created by the placement of a long table (anyone seated at it may speak) surrounded by unlimited chairs for observers (anyone may move from speaker to audience member when and as they wish). Beyond a few opening prompts, this format requires little facilitation and allows the conversation to move naturally. Through it, we hope to bring together and make sense of communal experiences of burn-out, precarity, and the arts.

Creative Resilience

Creative Resilience is a mini-series that responds to years of formally and informally discussing the unique ways that artists experience health and healthcare. Combining community conversations about structural barriers to artists’ health with tangible tools and workshops, we are beginning the series with an open, participatory discussion of burn-out in collaboration with Studio 303. To RSVP to “Performative Discussion: burn-out”, please email



In 2016, ELAN developed a project to explore how the organization could support its network of Artists in connecting with schools across the province.  Funding from the Government of Canada enabled ELAN to design, test, and scale strategies to connect Arts, Communities and Education (ACE). When the Secretariat for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers was created in 2018, the ACE Initiative was one of the first projects they selected for funding.

ACE 2.0, as we call it, is beginning the 2019-20 Connect phase –in October our ACE Facilitator, Paula Knowles will meet with 10 schools across the province. Each school will develop a vision for a project that students and teachers develop with artists and community members to meet education goals while contributing to personal and community vitality. ACE is now one of two programs the ArtEd team is supporting.

The ArtistsInspire Grants program, funded by the Government of Canada through the Action Plan for Official Languages, launched on May 23rd at the Laval Senior Academy. These $1500 micro grants provide every English public elementary and secondary school in the province with an opportunity to have students and teachers engage in creative artistic and cultural experiences during the school day. The first ArtistsInspire Grant experience took place at Sunnyside Elementary with artist cj fleury.  Our education partner, LEARN, has been a collaborator in our ArtEd work from day one, and without their networks and support our programs would not have succeeded.

As we began the new school year, ELAN’s ArtEd Initiatives worked on connecting with artists through a series of orientation sessions. ELAN’s ArtEd Team, led by Christie Huff, is focused on making a difference for every artist, community and school we have the privilege of connecting with. Artists who participated in our orientation sessions (60+) expressed gratitude for the work being done to enable them to achieve their potential as facilitators. As we reintroduce our ACE projects and launch into the first year of the ArtistsInspire Grants this fall, our team also organized a community organization outreach and information session that took place on September 10th.

Photo from artist orientation session in September 2019.

In October, Artists will have free professional development opportunities that have been designed to respond to needs they expressed. The ELAN ArtEd training program includes a QEP (Quebec Education Program) 101 for artists, a session on including students with special needs, a 2-day Mental Health First Aid program thanks to the support of the Community Health and Social Services network (CHSSN) and how to plan for multiple years of funding for ACE goals. Over the next 6-12 months, we will be designing professional development pathways for emergent artists to develop their knowledge and skills.

If you are an artist who is interested in our programs, please contact us through We want to connect with every artist who identifies as a member of the English-speaking communities of Quebec and has experience working in school settings.  

Image from IETF Hackathon, by Dan Webster.

Working to improve the discovery and circulation of arts events on the internet, ARTS2U took part in the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) Hackathon 105, held in Montreal on July 20-21. IETF Hackathons encourage developers to collaborate and develop utilities, ideas, sample code and solutions that show practical implementations of IETF standards.

Click here to learn more about the IETF Hackathons!

ARTS2U Project Manager Dan Webster presenting at IETF Hackathon.

Since 2014, ELAN has been researching the shifting arts media landscape. Our findings, including our 2018 Digital Solutions report, have shown that creators and producers lack tools and time to capture the possibilities of new technologies to promote their work.

In fall 2018, with funding from Industry, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED), we began work on a prototype listings feed called ARTS2U that responds to these needs. ARTS2U uses scraping technology and manual data entry to compile information on arts events into one easy-to-access location. The prototype is being tested with arts producers, arts organizations, and media.

Now, we’re connecting ARTS2U with similar projects across Canada. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital Strategy Fund, we’re setting up a network to share knowledge and encourage collaborations. Long-term, we believe that developing strong relationships and fostering compatible approaches will lead to better digital tools for artists and arts organizations.

Stay tuned for more information about the ARTS2U prototype and network in the coming months! If you have any questions or comments, get in touch with Program Manager, Amy Macdonald at

ELAN launches ArtistsInspire Grants (AIG), a $2.2 million investment for Quebec official-language minority schools to create arts and cultural opportunities. Visit the new AIG website at

ELAN Quebec, in partnership with LEARN, officially launched ArtistsInspire Grants (AIG) today, a micro-grant program that will fund artistic and cultural activities in 300 official-language minority schools throughout the province of Quebec. Eligible public elementary and secondary schools are encouraged to apply for this funding, with $1500 available per school for each of the next four years, starting in 2019/2020.

“Access to arts and cultural expressions allow us to hear stories and see ourselves in multiple ways, showing us an infinite possibility of bright futures. Our government knows that it’s important for parents in minority communities to provide their children with an environment in which they can thrive in their own language and culture. We are proud to implement this program, which will not only increase the number of activities offered, but also immerse students at official-language minority schools in the cultural life of their community.”

— Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.

“The ultimate goal of the program is that through the hands-on creative experiences that artists facilitate, teachers, students and community members in the province are inspired to develop their creativity capacity in ways that lead to individual and community outcomes for learning, wellbeing and socio-economic development.”

— Christie Huff, Lead Consultant – ELAN’s Arts & Education Initiatives.


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ELAN (English-Language Arts Network) est heureux d’annoncer le lancement du programme de subventions Artistes Inspire (AI), soit un investissement de 2,2 millions de dollars destiné à créer des activités artistiques et culturelles dans les écoles de langue officielle en situation minoritaire au Québec.

En partenariat avec le programme LEARN, ELAN Québec lançait aujourd’hui le projet Artistes Inspire (AI), un programme de micro-subventions qui financera des activités artistiques et culturelles dans 300 écoles de langue officielle en situation minoritaire au Québec. Les écoles primaires et secondaires publiques admissibles au programme sont invitées à faire une demande de subvention. Un montant de 1 500 dollars par école est disponible pour chacune des quatre prochaines années, à compter de 2019/2020.

« L’accès aux arts et aux expressions culturelles nous permet de découvrir des histoires et de nous voir sous de multiples angles, nous montrant ainsi mille et une possibilités pour un avenir prometteur. Notre gouvernement sait qu’il est important pour les parents des communautés minoritaires d’offrir à leurs enfants un environnement où ils peuvent s’épanouir dans leur langue et leur culture. Nous sommes fiers de lancer ce programme, qui permettra d’accroître le nombre d’activités offertes, en plus d’inviter les élèves des écoles en milieu minoritaire à une incursion dans la vie culturelle de leur communauté. »

— L’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Tourisme, des Langues officielles et de la Francophonie.

« L’objectif ultime du programme est de susciter, par l’entremise d’activités créatives offertes par des artistes, l’intérêt des enseignants, des étudiants et des membres de la communauté à développer leurs capacités créatives afin de favoriser, tant sur le plan individuel que collectif, l’apprentissage, le mieux-être et le développement socio-économique. »

— Christie Huff, consultante principale des initiatives en arts et éducation chez ELAN.


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Guy Rodgers with John Hobday (Independent Arts Consultant who has worked for Canada Council for the Arts, the Samuel & Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, CBC, and more) at State of the Arts in 2011. 

Photo by Dimitri Nasrallah

Fifteen years ago, the Quebec Arts Summit brought together 150 artists and cultural workers to take stock of an English-language cultural renaissance that had become noticeable after the referendum of 1995. The rapidly growing number of English-artists choosing to live and work in Quebec was a revelation, and the inspiration for ELAN’s creation. Seven years later, in 2011, ELAN organized State of the Arts, a three-day gathering of artists and cultural workers from all disciplines and from many regions of Quebec. Principle activities took place at la Société des arts technologiques (SAT), where 100+ community leaders discussed challenges and opportunities, debated strategies and brainstormed innovative ideas. Satellite activities took place at Centaur Theatre, the launch of the book Minority Report: An Alternative History of English-Language Arts in Quebec, and a series of thought-provoking panel discussions at la Maison du Conseil des arts de Montréal.

In February and March, ELAN is hosting a new edition of State of the Arts. The emphasis is on diversity and inclusion. At our 2011 event, our priorities were to connect with younger artists, newly emerging disciplines, and artistic communities outside Montreal. In 2019, project manger Farah Fancy has expanded the consultation format to include small group discussions and personal consultations around Quebec to engage a more diverse group of people in the conversation. With the assistance of Emily Enhorning, ELAN’s Membership Coordinator, Farah has also prepared two short surveys that we encourage you to take. One of the surveys is for individual artists living in Quebec and the other is for arts and cultural organizations. Each survey will only take a few minutes to complete.

The English-speaking arts community in 2019 is distinctly different than it was 15 years ago.  ELAN was founded by artists whose references were rooted in 20th century issues of official languages and historical tensions between the two solitudes. That has been a significant part of our mandate and we have made significant progress. The 21st century has brought new challenges and opportunities. This edition of State of the Arts signals a turning point for ELAN, in part a generational transition, and in part a valuable updating of ELAN’s mandate and mission for current and future members. We hope you’ll be part of it.

Guy Rodgers
Executive Director

ELAN & LEARN have teamed up to manage the Government of Canada’s Community Cultural Action Fund Micro-Grant Program for Minority Schools in Quebec. The goal of the program is to provide students in minority language schools with opportunities to experience the arts ELAN will be overseeing the administration of the program and will be working collaboratively with LEARN to reach the 300+ English schools.

We are seeking proposals from Communications Specialists to develop outreach strategies and design communications tools required to successfully launch a micro-grant program that aims to bring arts and culture in English-language schools in Quebec. Deadline for submissions is JANUARY 28, 2019. Click here for details. 

Apply now!

Surveillez les événements et les activités à venir en lien avec le Sommet des arts, notamment de nombreux ateliers, appels à projets pour les artistes, séances de réseautage, partage de ressources, et plus encore !

Nous organiserons toute une journée consacrée au Sommet des arts, le 28 février 2019. Assurez-vous de mettre cette date à votre agenda !

Cliquez ici pour en savoir plus sur le Sommet des arts.

Aidez-nous à compiler des données concrètes. Grâce à ce sondage, nous espérons mieux identifier les obstacles auxquels font face les artistes et les travailleurs culturels du Québec, ainsi que leurs aspirations et objectifs pour un meilleur avenir.

Participez à notre sondage !

Le sondage est uniquement disponible en anglais, mais les réponses en français sont les bienvenues. 

Help us compile real data! Through this survey, we hope to learn more about barriers faced by members of the arts and cultural community in Quebec, as well as the aspirations and goals they have for a better artistic future.

Click here to begin the survey!

Your engagement is important to us. Visit the State of the Arts web page to stay up-to-date on future surveys, resources, reports, events, and more ways you can participate.