In the spirit of sharing knowledge, representatives of the nine regions are encouraged to produce regular reports on recent events, challenges, and projects that are of interest for the entire network of artist-run centres.
Not directly related to artist-run culture but significant nevertheless for the arts community is the announcement that “Members of Calgary’s three visual arts institutions – Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary (MOCA), the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art (IMCA) have supported special Board resolutions at their respective Annual General Meetings in December to consolidate operations into a new arts society to be called Contemporary Calgary“. It appears, according to Edmonton based Todd Janes, Director of Latitude 53 and president of ARCA, that Calgary is still looking to establish a credible, world class, public contemporary art institution. As this development unfolds, artist-run centres in Calgary have been providing free, consistently available and solid International contemporary art programming to the community.
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In the past few months AARCA has seen significant change to its executive, with the planned departure of longtime directors John Murchie and Michael McCormack. New executive members include Amanda Fauteux (Struts) and sophia bartholomew (Connexion).
The recent conference East of There has had a significant role in increasing the level of energy and enthusiasm at ARCs within the region, and has resulted in a marked increase in communication between ARCs.
AARCA members have struck two committees related to the presence of artists and ARCs within the region; these being the Advocacy Committee and the Critical Writing Committee. Both committees are active, and strategy sessions have been scheduled for late October after the operational grant deadlines.
More recently, the Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau Brunswick AAAPNB has just recently announced that the New Brunswick government has approved an budget increase to the arts in the order of 2,879,000 $ to implement the province’s revised cultural policy.
In Nova Scotia the Visual Arts News magazine continues with plans to evolve coverage to include the entire Atlantic.
In New Brunswick the provincial anglophone arts advocacy organisation ARTSLinkNB is undertaking some structural changes, such as the application of membership fees, as a first step in increasing its presence within the province. I have volunteered to join the board of directors in order that artist-run culture is represented within the organisation.
In Newfoundland, Mary MacDonald (Eastern Edge) is working with representatives from the Rooms provincial art gallery to improve communication between art organisations within the province.
Mary has also hosted a meeting with Terry French the Minister of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture for the province, to better acquaint him with the work of Artist-run Centres.
In PEI, the project-based ARC ‘this town is small’ is applying for operational funding from Council, although they are aware of the poor nature of the fiscal environment. John Edward Cushnie
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ABO (The Aboriginal Region)
Nothing to report at this time
L’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF) is pursuing its work advocating for the visual arts within the French Canadian cultural network as follows:
1) Participating in concertation mechanisms put in place around the L’Entente de collaboration en faveur du développement des arts et de la culture de la francophonie canadienne with signatories including the Canada Council for the Arts and Heritage Canada, an agreement renewed for 5 years in September 2013, and
2) Participating in negotiations of initiatives supported by the new Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.
On that basis, intergovernmental agreements (federal-provincial) negotiated in the Roadmap 2008-2013 were carried over into the new Fonds d’action culturelle et communautaire (FAAC). In Ontario, this will preserve new programs in the crafts and the visual and media arts offered through the Bureau des arts franco-ontariens of the Ontario Arts Council.
The parliamentary reshuffling and subsequent prorogation have postponed by one year the implementation of a new FAAC with the budget being distributed over four years instead of five. Same scenario for the new Stratégie d’accès aux marchés pour les artistes des communautés de langue officielle en situation minoritaire managed by The Canada Council for the Arts. The strategy to be delivered by the sections could begin before the end of 2013-2014.
AGAVF is also working on advocating for the franco-canadian visual arts within the Québec visual arts sector. After Vancouver, the next networking and professional development meeting of AGAVF will be held in Montréal at the end of February 2014. AGAVF is also working on initiatives that aim to consolidate its membership and develop the milieu with projects such as L’art visuel s’écrit and Comment parler d’art contemporain en milieu scolaire. AGAVF is currently completing a new strategic plan for 2014-2019. Lise Leblanc
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MARCc (The Manitoba Artist-run Centres Coalition)
With the recent hiring of Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte as Services and Outreach Development Coordinator, PAARC produced an advocacy campaign titled “Don’t Prorogue the Arts” in lieu of the Annual Arts Day on the Hill, a day dedicated to advocating for the arts at the federal level, organized by the Canadian Coalition for the Arts, and cancelled this year due the prorogation of parliament. The PAARC campaign is disseminated on ArcPost.
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PARCA (Plains Artist-Run Centres Association)
With the departures of Biliana Velkova (Paved) and Dagmara Genda(AKA), PARCA has had significant changes to the composition of our group members. Both organizations welcome new Executive Directors, bios below.
Additionally, Neutral Ground is pleased to announce that following his relocation to Toronto, John G. Hampton has been retained as an Associate Curator for the organization. And, PARCA welcomes Tribe Director, Lori Blondeau, back to Saskatoon.
New Executive Director at AKA Artist-Run
Tarin Hughes was born in Charlottetown, PEI and has lived in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and now, Saskatchewan. Hughes received her Honours B.A. in Art History from the University of Waterloo and as a student began her work in the community as Director/Curator of the University of Waterloo’s Artery Gallery, a student gallery initiated by artist and Professor Emeritus, Art Green. In the past she has worked as an Educator and Community Curator at the KW|AG (Kitchener, ON), Gallery Manager at the UWAG (Waterloo, ON), Curator/Community Programmer at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts (Canning, NS) and Education Coordinator at the Kamloops Art Gallery (Kamloops, BC).
PAVED Arts has just emerged from a successful transition, following the resignation of Executive Director Biliana Velkova as of August 22, 2013. Of seventeen applicants, six were short-listed for interviews and ultimately the position of Executive Director was offered to Alex Rogalski. Alex is returning to Saskatchewan from Toronto, where he has been active as a film programmer for both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. In addition, he is the founder of the One Take Super 8 Event which originated in Saskatchewan but has developed chapters across North America. Alex holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina in Film and Video Production and his Masters of Arts from York University in Communication and Culture. Brenda Cleniuk
Working toward a web TV
RCAAQ members are currently responding to a massive survey (56 pages) prepared by consultant Gilles Prince, hired to establish the feasibility of developing a web TV. The survey also aims to measure the potential impact of a web TV and to better understand the needs of Québec-based artist-run centres in the area of digital dissemination. Results will be shared by next December. As part of this project, filmmaker Jean-Marc E. Roy has been hired to produce a series of pilot episodes featuring the activities of artist-run centres located in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region.
Financial support for artist-run centres in Québec
A committee put in place by members of the RCAAQ to examine the financial situation of artist-run centres has recently engaged in a process aiming to increase in funding from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec to ARCs. This operation was launched in response to results obtained in a survey circulated last year and that collected information on salaries and artists’ fees paid in artist-run centres. The RCAAQ is looking at a 2 year timeline to carry out this operation that will include a follow up survey to examine the financial needs of artist-run centres and the stagnation of funding afforded to a network that everyone agrees is dynamic and relevant.
Toward an agreement between the RCAAQ and RAAV
Once again, the RCAAQ has accepted to take part in discussions, with the support of a mediator from the ministère de la Culture et des Communications, that could lead to an agreement. Discussions between the two main visual arts associations of Québec have never been easy. Maybe under the presidency of Yann Pocreau, recently nominated by the RCAAQ board of directors, will there be developments on that front. Some twenty meetings between the two associations have been scheduled in the Ministère’s agenda. Bastien Gilbert
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