Minister of Culture and Communication Nathalie Roy said Sunday that a new $225.8 million plan will support Quebec’s cultural community, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
She said at a news conference in Montreal that the plan, which uses funds allocated in the very latest 2022 budget, will be extended over three years.
The minister said this assistance would affect “all artists: music, theatre, singing, dancing, circus and humor. We also thought about how to invest in the areas of visual arts, digital arts, literature, performing arts, television, film and crafts.”
Ms. Roy explained that the first component, worth $123.3 million, will be used to “implement safety nets, develop new clients” and combat labor shortages affecting society.
In addition to improving measures already in place, such as an emergency fund for artists and cultural workers in the performing arts, the money will also support clients that have not historically been funded, such as “small theaters and alternative venues.”
The second component of $79.5 million will be aimed at encouraging cultural revival, the minister said, particularly by funding “more shows with more artists and performers, more tours and more promotion.” She said she wanted to help emerging creators in particular, by allocating funds to their art projects and by making the first parts of shows “eligible for assistance in representing the Society for the Development of Cultural Works (SODEC)”.
A self-help music production assistance program will also be established.
The third and final part, amounting to $23 million, will aim to encourage international impact, as well as innovation.
Thus, the minister announced the funding of “all types of digital production, such as virtual reality, immersive installations, and podcasts.”
The cultural community rejoices
The conference was attended by half a dozen representatives of the cultural sector.
«Bonification des enveloppes au fonctionnement, soutien à la mission, programmation spécifique, ça c’est de très bonnes nouvelles pour les trois prochaines années,» a commenté Julie-Anne Richard, la directrice générale de Rideau, des unef profession fusen Stage show.
I predicted “the ability first and foremost to be a little bit more competitive as a cultural sector (…) because it’s true that we’ve been losing momentum and we’re in the context of a labor-deficient business, so it’s very important.”
“We feel in the plan that the teams are still listening and listening to the sector that has advanced,” she said.
The two crown companies, Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec and SODEC, were involved in developing the plan.
SODEC President and CEO Louise Lantan called the initiative “extraordinary”. “It would allow us not only to lift our heads above the water, but really to propel us forward,” she said.
She noted the good communication between the authorities and the ministry. “I think the community has been listened to at its lowest needs, as it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.”
This article was produced with financial support from Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.