CORONAVIRUS (COVID19) – After five weeks of containment


The past few weeks have no resemblance to what we used to know. Since the beginning of the crisis, ArtExpert moved swiftly to help arts organizations and their managers.


ADVICE #1 : Get access rapidly to emergency funding
LISTEN TO THE NEWS – Each day, new initiatives are announced by Departments and Arts Councils

ADVICE #2 : Enjoy Teleworking
BUT… PRESERVE GOOD TEAM SPIRIT ; respect containment and hygiene measures ; when teleworking, keep contact ; relax and stay cool ; be grateful to your employees everydayEsprit_d'équipe_ZEN_ArtExpert_COVID19

    1. Focus on the present because nobody knows how long your workplace will be closed and cultural activities suspended
    2. Be ready to cancel your activities, but wait for the governments’ decisions on containment to proceed to a cancellation of the next season
    3. If your monthly revenue decline by more than 30 %, consider asking for business support (75 % of salaries) to maintain the expertise in your organization
    4. Otherwise, consider asking your employees to take advantage of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    5. Ask your ticket buyers if they would prefer to be reimbursed or to donate the value of their ticket to your organisation.

ADVICE #3 : Stay connected
TO A LARGE NETWORK PROVIDING SOLUTIONS – Use available tools as for virtual meeting applications, Podcast and Web conferences ; subscribe to alerts from your sector’s associations and support groups

ADVICE #4 : Performing Arts on the Web
A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – Consider moving your activities on audio or video digital platforms

ADVICE #5 : Prepare yourself for the economic rebound
GET READY –  For after the containment and beyond.

USEFUL LINKS for Arts Managers 

CANADA – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
INFO Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients
Canada COUNCIL – $60M in advance funding to help stabilize backbone of arts sector as it faces COVID-19 crisis
Canada COUNCIL – Important information related to COVID-19
BDC – New Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program to help ease access to credit for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19
MONTREAL – COVID-19: Support measures for Montréal businesses
MONTREAL – Collaborative art-industry-knowledge initiatives in digital creativity
CAM – COVID-19: Acceleration of Grant Payment
CALQ – Emergency Assistance
QUÉBEC – Government Assistance Programs COVID-19
QUÉBEC – Temporary Aid for Workers Program
TORONTO – Economic Support & Recovery for Businesses
TORONTO Arts Council & Arts Foundation
Soutien à la communauté culturelle québécoise
Art Connexion – Comité culturel AECS HÉC Montréal
Mentorat culturel – Cultural Mentorship

100 times thank you

ArtExpert was presenting its 100th study this week. We take this opportunity to thank all those who have collaborated over time on any of the works of feasibility studies, cultural diagnosis, action plan, Cultural infrastructure, business plans or regional cultural portraits.

60 consultants and collaborators over the past 15 years

Philippe Baillargeon, Louis Baillargeon, Ginette Bergeron, Lorraine Berthiaume, Patrick Berger et Benoit Panaccio, Denis Bertrand, Janine Boileau, Martin Bonneau, Maude Bouchard, Jeanne Boucharlat, Chantal Bourdeau, Mario Bourdon, Hélène Brown, Hugo Charron, Marcel Choquette, Jacques Cleary, Pierre Corriveau, Nathalie Courville, Francine D’Entremont, Marc Drouin, Robert Gagné, Stéphane Gagné et Jessica Morin, Benoit Gignac, Jenny Ginder et Janis Barlow, Alejandro Jiménez, Dominique Jobin, Jean Jolicoeur et Jean-François Dion, Nancy Juneau, Natalie Kaiser, Harold Kacou, Élaine Lafond, Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, Lucie Leclerc et Simon Bastien, Stéphane Leclerc, Alice Legrand, Véronique Marino, Nicole Martin, David Moss, Paula McKeown, Mélanie Nadeau, Élise Noel de Tilly, Marie-Josée Ouellet, Jérôme Payette, Isabelle Picard, Érica Pomerance, Bruce Porter, Micheline Poulin, Marc Pronovost, Paule Renaud et René Rivard, Line Richer, Barbara Richman, Kryselle Ringuette, Laurence Robitaille, Stéphanie Rose, Guillaume Sirois, Isabelle Saint-Louis, Math Sendbuehler, Cathy Smalley, Caroline Target, Anne-Marie Tougas, Claude Trudel, Simon Van Vliet, Stéphane Vigneault, Érik Villeneuve, Michel Zins et Renée Dubé.


Susan Annis, Marie Amiot, Hélène Godin et Philippe Meunier, Fortner Anderson, Véronic Beaulé et Réal Couture, Chantal Beaulieu, Jules Ostiguy et Éric Santana, Valérie Beaulieu, David Lavoie et Charles Morisset, Danielle Bilodeau, Suzanne Chabot, Hélène Poirier, Isabelle Menier et Diane Saint-Jacques, Linda Boileau, Sandy Boutin, Dinu Bumbaru et Carole Deniger, Régine Cadet, France Cadieux, Katherine Carleton, Réjean Charbonneau et Feu Robert Cadotte, Cécile Chevrier, Michel Comeau, Amélie Cordeau, André Courchesne, Éric Dionne, Jean François Gagnon et Christine Mitton, Marie-Hélène Drolet, Daniel Cloutier, Marie Daveluy, Christianne Gagnon et Sylvie Gamache, André Dudemaine et Odile Joannette, Marie-Claire Dumas, Carl Bernier-Genest, Mathieu Latour et Marianne Groulx, Kamal El-Batal, Paul Finley et Carmen Simmons, Donna Giles, Sharon Godwin et Jean Marshall, Manuela Goya, Stéphane Hardi, Rochelle Hum, Shannon Peet, Colleen Kennedy, Anissa Kherrati, D.Kimm, France-Isabelle Langlois et Danielle Sauvage, Paul Langlois, Margot Bourgeois et Jean-Robert Choquet, Étienne Langlois, Stella Leney et Sylvain Bélanger, Lise Gionet, Louis-Dominique Lavigne et Feu Jean-Guy Leduc, Laurent Legault et Francine Elhadad, Marc Lemay, Michel Lemay et Luc Rathé, André L’Heureux, Linda Vandal, Christine Lagadec, Suzanne Payette, Sébastien Bissonnette, Louise Guillemette-Labory, Oksana Stelmazuk, Sylvie Laurin, Thierry Renaud-Belinga et Josée Généreux, Marilou Loncol-Daigneault, Francine Lord, Pierre MacDuff, Doreen McCarthy, Janet Miller-Pitt et Eleanor Dawson, Marc Monette et Sylvie Lemieux, Danielle Mimeault, Martine Mimeault, Jean-Claude Tremblay, Jean-Guy Marceau et Hervé Pilon, Didier-Kazadi Muamba, Noel Neveu, Jean-Jacques Lachapelle, Lyne Olivier et Louise-Hélène Lefebvre, Nicolas Rochette, Annie Roy et Pierre Allard, Rokhaya Sarr, Luc Savard, Denis Sirois, Andrée Tremblay, Alexandra Paquette, Christine Fillion, Olivier Toutiras et Marie-Pascale Richard, Robert Trempe et Lucie Leclerc, France Trépanier, Jessie Short, Nadia Myre, Nadine Saint-Louis, Hélène Turp, Carine Valleau, Lorraine Vaillancourt et Robert Thuot, Gabriel Zamfir, Jocelyne Alain et Claire McCaughey.




Cultural Policy – When Australia Leads the Way

By Krzysztof SzkurlatowskiArtExpert partner and guest blogger Pierre-François Sempéré is a political analyst, and is a graduate of Sciences Po Aix’s political science program and of HEC Montréal’s cultural management program.


Questioning identity is fundamental to understanding cultural policy in the 21st century. From Montreal to Sydney, via Paris, we are faced with the question of what culture can do in an increasingly globalized world. The instantaneous and open sharing of ideas takes precedence over closed borders and long-term thinking. However, the question of belonging has never been as important as it is today. Currently, a popular notion is that of co-existence. When faced with the cult of material progress that defines today’s world, defining a cultural policy around what makes sense, and what brings us together, means charting unknown territory.


Globalisation; by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski

Identity and Democratization

The question of identity must be considered through the lens of cultural democratization. The two are intimately tied together. The slow elaboration of a sense of belonging cannot be accomplished fully unless culture is equally shared. These ideas aren’t novel – they constitute two of the three pillars of Quebec’s 1992 Cultural Policy. But the world has certainly changed since 1992.

If policy must extract itself from today’s context in order to better predict what is to come, it must still deal with reality. This means understanding that Quebec’s demographics have evolved into a pluralist society (11% of the population are considered visible minorities), and recognizing that these constituents are not fully participating in cultural life (particularly in traditional artistic disciplines).

How can we build a strong “cultural dialogue”, as mentioned in the 1992 policy, if artistic and cultural mediation does not allow us to bring together diverse populations?

photo Ryan McGuire




Cultural participation of minorities; photo Ryan McGuire


In “Enquête sur les pratiques culturelles au Québec”, Rosaire Garon proposes a few hypotheses to explain this failure: Are cultural programming in the mother tongues of these communities lacking? Do the content and form of expression go against the value systems of these groups? Perhaps both. However, these questions are intrinsic to a larger reflection on Quebec’s intercultural model. Indeed, developing a cultural policy that offers cultural programming in different languages does not resolve the issue of the lack of real cultural exchange and dialogue. This would only accentuate the passive cultural coexistence of different communities. In other words, to think that theatre is a western artform is not only wrong – forgetting luminaries such as Kateb Yacine, Sony Labou Tansi, Yukio Mishima, and others – but it also means forgetting that culture is universal, and the themes that are brought up transcend borders and reflect the hopes and dreams of all mankind.

Moreover, dealing with reality implies recognizing that the marginalized cultures of First Nations peoples are a fundamental pillar of Quebec’s culture. How can we include First Nations cultural practices? How can we reconcile the preservation of identity with interculturalism?

A lens to look at what is done in Australia

Karen Horton Australia Postage Stamp- Aboriginal Art c. 1948Conforming to a sponsor model borrowed from England, Australia long considered culture to be the purview of the State. In essence, culture remained safely away from the three governmental pillars – the federal, territorial and departmental levels of state. Slowly, Australia turned to a hybrid model, as the recognition of Aboriginal culture as a foundational element of Australian culture gradually grew. This was further expanded as Australian demographics also changed. As Jack Collins remarks in “The changing face of Australian migration”, there are more migrants from India and China today than from the United Kingdom. These two trends naturally brought the Australian authorities to consider questions of national identity through a cultural lens.


Karen Horton Australia Postage Stamp- Aboriginal Art c. 1948

In the foreword to “Creative Australia”, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard declares: “Creative Australia (…) affirms the centrality of the arts to our national identity, social cohesion, and economic success”. From this declaration flows the rest of Australia’s policy which solemnly establishes the “recognition, respect and celebration” of Aboriginal cultures as a priority and central element of Australian identity. The second priority established is to support the diversity of the Australian people: : “all citizens (…) have a right to shape our cultural identity and its expression”. Not only does Australia define itself through Aboriginal culture, but also through the diversity of the cultures that it welcomes through immigration.

This is the ideal of cultural democracy – the affirmation of equality and equity of all cultures. Even if this ideal is but partially achieved in reality, the will to succeed is certainly there. Concretely, this policy will support Aboriginal arts and culture through increased financing of programs to develop visual arts and to protect Aboriginal languages, as well as through artistic education beginning in elementary school. In essence, this is cultural programming oriented not only through offers, but to demand.

A transversal vision: Education/Culture

Artistic and cultural education is the most appropriate response to the question of identity and democratization. How can we fight against the loss of meaning if not by engaging individuals in arts and culture and by investing collectively in society? Through arts and culture education, a system of common values and understanding are forged. This means creating a transversal vision of Education/Culture. For this to happen, everyone must participate. In Australia’s Curriculum, the mandatory education of Aboriginal Arts is present through the end of High School. Just as all innovation is the product of pre-existing innovation, renewal cannot happen without being inspired by the ideas of our neighbours.

Surely, Quebec, and Canada as a whole, can learn from the Australian model.

Thanks to Natalie Kaiser for her inspiring contribution on this article.