2019 annual report
As I write this, we are all in confinement in the midst of the pandemic. So today I’d like to send out a message of hope. Despite the uncertainty that has hounded us for the past months in our homes, our workplaces and our communities, we must demonstrate solidarity and openness. More than ever before, our society needs art, beauty and the ability to dream. We’ve seen how adaptable several organizations have been, quickly finding solutions to make sure works of art reach their audiences. It is our responsibility to remind people that arts and culture can have a positive impact on their lives and on the life of their community, especially in Montreal. There’s a long road ahead, but together, the Conseil’s members and employees along with arts collectives and companies, will make it through. In the meantime, this 2019 annual report is an opportunity for us to look back on key events that marked the year for the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
In 2019, the Plante administration reiterated its confidence in and commitment to the Conseil by granting us a second increase of $1.5 million, bringing our total budget to $18,450,000. I would like to express my gratitude to the City of Montreal and its elected officials for hearing our call and allowing us to pursue, in close collaboration with Montreal’s arts community, the objectives of our 2018-2020 strategic plan.
With this additional support, we were able to invest $ 578,000 in continued efforts to ensure the inclusion of all artists in Montreal’s cultural life, through initiatives promoting equity and greater representativeness. We also allocated a further $705,000 for outreach, increasing the presentation opportunities for artists and their works around the Island of Montreal through our various territorial initiatives, while at the same time improving the quality of life of Montreal residents.
Also in 2019, we published the results of our survey Les arts au coeur des citoyen.ne.s, conducted in partnership with Léger. This study revealed how much Montrealers cherish their city’s artistic and cultural life, which in some regards is part of the city’s DNA: 85% of Montreal residents say they notice artworks in public spaces and 64% report that they regularly, and in large numbers, attend arts events accessible to them. But despite the obvious appeal of the arts, few Montrealers donate to arts organizations or volunteer with them. This means we have to step up our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of public engagement to support the continued presence of the arts and artists in Montreal. This is a collective responsibility. And there is every reason to hope: 37% of respondents said they would like to get more involved in the arts in Montreal.
Another notable accomplishment for the Conseil in 2019 was our association with Business / Arts for the launch of artsvest, a program that will help more than 70 small and mid-sized arts organizations find business sponsors and negotiate agreements, culminating in the matching of funds raised! Our goal was to reach a budget of $20 million for 2020. By the end of 2019, we were happy to learn that our target would be reached. This represents a major victory for the Montreal arts community, which would not have been possible without the involvement of our dedicated Board members and the outstanding work of the Conseil’s Executive Director, Nathalie Maillé, and her talented and committed team. Thank you for your energy that can move mountains. And let’s keep pulling together to make sure there is a stage in the future for Montreal’s multiple voices and many different forms of artistic expression.
— Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski
While we’ve been hard at work on our annual report for the past months, we’ve also been trying to cope with the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are all feeling the pain of Montreal’s arts community. Many have lost their livelihoods, some are very stressed or lonely, and sadly others have lost a loved one. This crisis reminds us of just how fragile human beings are, but also of how resilient and generous they can be. The Conseil’s team members know they must be available to support our artists and cultural workers and help them through these difficult times. So don’t lose hope!
As our Chairman mentioned above, the year 2019 got off to a strong start with the Plante administration awarding us a second budget increase. We were delighted with this concrete recognition of the valuable contribution the arts community and its artists make to Montreal society. This expression of support allowed us to make great strides towards the strategic priorities we had identified in collaboration with the city’s arts organizations and artist collectives.
Among the highlights of 2019, I am particularly proud of launching CultivART, a new internship and mentoring program for Indigenous artists, as well as two new residency programs for Indigenous artists and curators. We also raised the budget for one of our flagship programs, démART-Mtl, doubling the opportunities for culturally diverse artists to acquire work experience in artistic organizations. As well, two new residencies were created for culturally diverse artists: Je me vois à l’écran, for emerging Afro-descendent filmmakers, and Voi.e.s.x théâtrales, for culturally diverse playwrights. At the same time, we published a paper on systemic racism and discrimination in the arts. Knowing that arts and culture help shape collective identities, giving societies an outlet to tell their stories to the world, these accomplishments have allowed the Conseil to demonstrate the importance of cultural identity, expressed through artistic works, in portraying the true face of Montreal today.
I am also very proud that our artists and arts organizations have been able to gain visibility and increase their presence throughout the Montreal region, thanks to an agreement with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec as well as specific partnerships with the boroughs of Montréal-Nord, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent and Verdun.
Last but not least is the historic agreement we reached with Montreal’s eight largest arts institutions, who proposed that in 2020 we share their resources and expertise in order to create a stronger, more solidified arts ecosystem. Included in the agreement are: access to creation/broadcasting studios, hosting for arts company residencies, a flying digital-tech squad, conferences, tools to raise awareness about approaches and practices for decolonization, a guide for inclusive arts projects, and much more.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the diligent efforts of the Conseil’s fantastic team. Everyone worked tirelessly throughout this past year of development and change, and as always I am awed by their dedication and passion. I also want to thank our ever-present and deeply committed Board members, whose valuable advice we have relied on all year. Many thanks also to our evaluation committee members for readily sharing their precious time and expertise and for always being receptive and available.
— Nathalie Maillé
The Year In Numbers
INCREASE IN OUR BUDGET
The Plante administration made a big move in support of the arts, increasing our budget by $1,500,000 to bring it to $18,450,000. The City’s commitment has a direct impact on the development of Montreal’s professional artistic community.
PAID TO ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLECTIVES THROUGH VARIOUS SUPPORT PROGRAMS
ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLECTIVES SUPPORTED
ARTISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS USED THE MAISON DU CONSEIL’S STUDIOS
REHEARSAL AND CREATION HOURS IN THE MAISON DU CONSEIL
PARTNERS AND DONORS
ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLECTIVES RECEIVED SUPPORT FOR THE FIRST TIME
RECIPIENTS OF CREATION RESIDENCIES
4 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
DRIVE OUR CHOICES AND ACTIONS
FOCUS ON EQUITY AND REPRESENTATIVENESS
Investment of $578,000
FOR INDIGENOUS ARTS
Among our initiatives to advance the recognition and development of Indigenous artists:
invested in Indigenous arts, including:
Launch of CultivART,
Indigenous internship and mentoring program in arts organizations
Creation of two residencies
for Indigenous artists/curators
Among our initiatives supporting the participation of artists or audiences from under-represented groups:
invested in inclusive practices, including:
Close to $100,000 for a new program to support the adoption of inclusive practices and the development of initiatives that promote inclusion and equitable accessibility in the arts.
$16,500 to support relaxed performances for organizations taking part in the CAM Touring Program.
Hosted the forum on the Charter on cultural accessibility in partnership with Exeko.
Adopted a policy on equity and inclusion.
Submitted a briefing paper to the City on systemic racism and discrimination in the arts (in French only), describing the Conseil’s experience.
to support male/female parity in the arts community
Created the Jovette Marchessault Award
In response to recommendations made by the theatre community at the 2019 “Chantier féministe” event organized by ESPACE GO.
PARTNERS: Espace Go in collaboration with Théâtre de l’Affamée, Imago Theatre and Femmes pour l’équité en théâtre (F.E.T.)
$30,000 For levelling out in theatre organizations led by women and receiving operational grants under the General Funding Program; $6,000 each for five organizations.
for intergenerational equity, including:
$130,000 for internship programs
$34,000 (Artère, studio rentals…)
$1,871,149 set aside for culturally diverse artists, collectives and organizations
Representing a significant increase for the program (up from $137,676 in 2018).
Number of paid internships increased
(up to 21 from 12), for newly arrived or first-generation culturally diverse professional artists and cultural workers.
A second music evaluation committee established to better address the needs of culturally diverse artists and musicians.
Two new residencies created
To meet the specific core needs of certain artistic communities.
Writing and creation residency for professional theatrical writers from cultural communities or who are first- or second-generation immigrants. The French- and English-speaking theatre communities are working together to provide a mentorship continuum.
PARTNERS: Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD), the Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal (PWM) and Zone Homa (ZH Festival)
Je me vois à l’écran
Pilot project with Black on Black Films
New screenwriting residency-laboratory for emerging filmmakers from Afro-descendant communities in Montreal.
RECOGNIZE AND SUPPORT THE PRESENCE OF ARTISTS IN THE VARIOUS BOROUGHS AND PROMOTE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL DISSEMINATION
Budget increased by $705,000
More than $2,000,000 invested
New heights for the CAM Tour
increase for the Touring Program
performances, exhibitions and screenings
More than 60,000
attendees discovering home-grown works
years since the program was launched
organizations and collectives
More than 150
venues in the presentation networks Accès Culture (Réseaux des diffuseurs municipaux de Montréal) and ADICÎM (Association des diffuseurs culturels de l’Île de Montréal)
The CAM Touring Program joined forces with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal to enrich the cultural life of Montreal residents through the OSM in the Parks concert series. The Touring Program’s participation in this initiative serves to advance its objective of making all forms of art available throughout the Island of Montreal.
Stimulating Montreal artists’ residencies and local, national and international dissemination
The Conseil is committed to increasing and promoting the home-grown artistic events that punctuate the life of our city. It does this by helping Montreal artists participate in domestic and international economic, trade or cultural missions, and by forging stronger bonds between the arts community and the education sector.
$350,000 invested by the Conseil
24 residency programs
39 recipient artists
9 artistic disciplines
12 boroughs and 5 host countries
14 public and private partners from the cultural and educational communities
Among the residency pilot projects:
IMPACT Residency for Circus Arts
PARTNERS: The 7 Fingers, Cirque Éloize, La Cité des arts du cirque (TOHU) and En Piste inc.
Art and AI Residency: artistic research-creation residency in artificial intelligence
PARTNERS: National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Quartier des spectacles Partnership (PQDS), Element AI
A growing arts presence on the Island of Montreal. Agreements with boroughs to support artists throughout the Montreal region
$100,000 The Conseil teamed up with the boroughs of Montréal-Nord, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent and Verdun as part of the Entente de partenariat territorial en lien avec la collectivité de l’Île de Montréal (territorial partnership agreement with the Montreal community). This initiative helps support local artistic vitality and professional artists in the various boroughs.
PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and Culture Montréal
$35,000 For a round table organized by Les Voies culturelles des Faubourgs, an organization that is influential in promoting the vitality of the Borough of Ville-Marie.
PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT with the Borough of Ville-Marie
DESPINA RESIDENCY, research residency at the Brazilian art centre with Diagonale
TERRITORY: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Montreal/Brooklyn/Galerie Clark/ Art in General residency with the Centre d’art et de diffusion Clark
TERRITORIES: Brooklyn, New York
M&M curator exchange (Montreal-Mexico City) with OBORO-GOBORO
PARTNER: Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City
TERRITORIES: Borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mexico City (Mexico))
Residency of the Americas with Fonderie Darling
TERRITORIES: Brazil/Borough of Ville-Marie
Montreal-Havana exchange program with the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ)
PARTNER: Artista X Artista, Havana
TERRITORIES: Havana (Cuba)/Borough of Ville-Marie
Creation and Research Cross-Residency for Professional Puppeteers from Montreal (Canada) and Taiwan with Casteliers, Borough of Outremont, Lize Puppet Art Colony (Taiwan)
TERRITORIES: Borough of Outremont, Taiwan
International pilot projects
Pilot projet. Exploratory mission in visual arts as part of the fourteenth Dakar Biennale in Senegal in 2020
The goal is to enrich the various professional practices of four Afro-descendent visual artists from Montreal.
PARTNER: Centre d’art et de diffusion Clark.
Music creation residency in Kigali, Rwanda
Pilot project offering a Montreal-based musician a four-week international residency in Rwanda as part of the 7th edition of the festival (June 19 to July 20, 2020).
PARTNER: Festival Afropolitain Nomade
Pilot project with the Festival TransAmériques (FTA)
This pilot project offers tailored mentoring for artists developing compelling, innovative works with strong international potential. The goal is to raise the visibility and presence of Montreal artists on the international scene and promote intergenerational encounters.
PARTNER: Festival TransAmériques
To support a feasibility study for a Métropoles du monde @ Montréal inc. project
The goal is to foster and promote reciprocal cultural exchanges between Montreal and other major cities around the world.
PRIZES AND AWARDS RECOGNIZING TALENT AND REPRESENTING COMMUNITIES
$75,000 awarded to Grand Prix finalists and winners
$111,000 (an increase of almost $50,000) invested in prizes and awards
Prix Coup de coeur CAM-Syli d’OrFor the first time, the Conseil partnered with the Syli d’Or (people’s choice awards) to offer the CAM-Syli people’s choice award in support of Afro-descendent musicians.
IDENTIFY AND SUPPORT NEW PRACTICES AND R&D
APPROPRIATING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Continued and expanded the “Soirées Composite” in collaboration with the Chromatic festival.
Research/creation residency in artificial intelligence (Art&AI)
Pilot project of the Conseil with the National Film Board (NFB), the Quartier des spectacles Partnership and Element AI.
Partnership to stage an event on the discovery of cultural products with participants from Francophone Africa and Quebec
DEVELOP A CASE FOR SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS
Published the results of our survey, Les arts au coeur des citoyen.n.e.s, conducted in partnership with Léger. Launched during a debate, in partnership with Le Devoir.
INTERNAL WORK ORGANIZATION
Implemented a reflection process to find ways of reorganizing the Conseil’s internal work with a view to optimizing our operations and simplifying access to our services.
Offered training in Client management and Psychological abuse, Optimal communication and teamwork.
SERVE AS A CATALYST FOR MONTREAL’S PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS BY PROVIDING SUPPORT THAT EXTENDS FAR BEYOND REGULAR GRANT PROGRAMS
Invested in 2019
in grants under the fiscal sponsorship program
for cultural exchanges
ENCOURAGE PARTNERSHIPS AND AGREEMENTS WITH MAJOR INSTITUTIONS
$160,000 to develop 8 specific agreements with major Montreal institutions.
Up to 70 organizations participated in the national artsvest program
created by Business / Arts (training, coaching, matching and sponsorship opportunities).
THE CONSEIL, ALWAYS WORKING TO BRING TOGETHER ARTS AND PHILANTHROPY
invested in various initiatives to develop cultural philanthropy skills and practices within Montreal’s arts community.
Philanthropy Lunch&learn, crowdfunding match program, partnership with Conversations philanthropiques en culture.
Continued to offer our program of paid internships in cultural philanthropy.
Mécènes investis pour les arts (MIA) grants
Since 2013, the MIA grants have totalled $112,000, shared between 22 recipients.
350 pairings since the program was launched in 2011