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Director’s Message – November 2017

Culture is an unpredictable, volatile business. Just ask any of the three Quebec Ministers of Culture and Communications who have held the portfolio in the past 18 months.

Hélène David launched Quebec’s Cultural Policy review, then moved to Higher Education in the 2016 cabinet reshuffle. ELAN would like to thank David’s successor Luc Fortin for making a valiant effort to walk the tightrope of promoting French-language culture while recognizing that English-speaking artists have also made important contributions. Now the Cultural Policy dossier has been entrusted to a new face, Marie Montpetit. We wish her well and expect she will respect the commitments made by her predecessor.

Meanwhile, the optimism surrounding CALQ’s 2016-19 Cultural Diversity Action Plan (FR only) turned to confusion, disappointment, and anger for many culturally diverse artists and organizations when this summer’s funding results were announced (see this article in Le Devoir). During the question period at CALQ’s annual information session for arts service organizations, I asked CEO Anne-Marie Jean if she was aware of the negative response. She replied that a Cultural Diversity Action Plan does not mean that every culturally diverse organization will be funded. Fair enough. But that doesn’t explain why award-winning culturally diverse artists and organizations were cut or not funded.

Additionally, the Quebec Drama Federation, a venerable service organization, has been granted one final year of reduced funding before being cut completely. How could such a drastic decision be made without asking the English theatre community if it collectively benefits from the work QDF does?

CALQ has agreed to meet with QDF and PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) to discuss hard questions about what it means to value cultural diversity. We hope these meetings will restore confidence in how CALQ’s decisions are made.


Guy Rodgers
Executive Director

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Consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in culture and media

The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ) has selected Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM) to hold a local consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in the cultural and media sector. DAM will hold this consultation with Culture Montréal, the English Language Arts Network (ELAN), and Espace Nodal.

The consultation will be held in both official languages and will take the form of two types of activities between November 3 and 8. This will encourage all cultural and media stakeholders to voice their opinions. The activities will include public hearings (Nov. 8) and closed discussion groups (Nov. 3-7) to provide a safe space for testimonies. It will also be possible to post anonymous testimonies on the CDPDJ website.

Racialized English-speaking artists, cultural workers, media professionals, students, cultural development stakeholders, and citizens are welcome and encouraged to contribute their stories. Please consult the call for participation for more information. The deadline to register is October 29.


For more information:

Call for participation – click here
Discussion group registration – click here
Public hearings registration – click here


Other ways to participate:


Read DAM’s press release here.

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Visiting Curators Series Panel & Reception

Sunday, October 22, 5:00-8:30pm
5:00pm; Panel/Q&A 5:30-7:00pm; Reception 7:00-8:30pm
Parisian Laundry – 3550 Saint-Antoine West
Drinks and refreshments will be served
RSVP: admin@quebec-elan.org or click ‘Going’ on the Facebook event
FREE and open to all.

Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, ELAN’s Visiting Curator Series is designed to create links between Quebec artists and cultural centres outside Quebec, with the goal of increasing career opportunities and market awareness.

The confirmed curators for 2017 are:

  • Emelie Chhangur: Assistant Director/Curator at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) and independent curator/writer
  • Alex Fialho: Programs Director at Visual AIDS, Research and Curatorial Associate Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and frequent contributor to Artforum
  • Larry Ossei-Mensah: NYC independent curator and cultural critic, Co-Founder of ARTNOIR

The curators will present on strategies for artists to get their work seen and exhibited, observations of the art markets they participate in, and their own curatorial practices. The discussion will be followed by a reception and networking event.

For more details on the curators and the project, click here.

** Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, travel subsidies are available on a first come first served basis for artists coming to the event from West Quebec. For more information, please contact amymacdonald@quebec-elan.org.



Director’s Message: October 2017

ELAN’s 2017 edition of Arts Alive! Québec kicked off July 1 in pelting rain, and ended September 24 in melting heat. The vagaries of weather were beyond our control, but three years of steadily growing audiences, media attention, collaborators, and community support confirmed the value of the things we can control.

Canada 150 was the main funder this year and their support enabled us to hire more artists (including an impressive number of ELAN members), host more performances, and offer more workshops. It was a real pleasure working with enthusiastic volunteers in Knowlton, Quebec City, Hudson, Huntingdon, Wakefield and Montreal’s West Island. We have no immediate source of funding for a next edition of Arts Alive! Québec, but several ideas. For a taste of summer 2017 activities, click here.

Thanks to new funding, mostly from le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), ELAN is doubling its staff from two to four. We received 132 excellent applications for the positions of Membership Services Coordinator and Communications and Outreach Coordinator, and will be conducting interviews throughout October. I expect to be able to announce the names of our new team members in November. We are excited about what ELAN can do with a fresh injection of ideas and energy. Stay tuned.


Guy Rodgers

Executive Director

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Arts Alive! Québec

Arts Alive! Québec has been a great success — and still two more events to come!

Attend Arts Alive! Wakefield September 8-10 for a weekend of theatre productions, community art, workshops, BBQs and more. For our final event, don’t miss Arts Alive! West Island September 23-24 for artists and craftspeople, vendors, music and more!


Director’s Message: September 2017

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ELANews August 2017


ELAN has moved!

ELAN is all grown up! After 13 years we have finally moved out of shared accommodations into our own self-contained office — with a view! But we haven’t gone far, just one floor up!

Come say hi and check out our new space at 708-460 Ste-Catherine West.