Members’ News – Mid Winter 2012

AAARC (Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres)

AAARCA has not met since the National Gathering so there is nothing new to report at this time.

AARCA (Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic)

– AARCA is in the process of finding a translator for our new wordpress website and information booklets/material to translate into french (thanks to regional development support from ARCA).
– Shortly after Institutions by Artists, 5 Nova Scotia AARCA members met with out NS Culture Minister Leonard Preyra to discuss NS’s low amount of support compared to the national average as stated in the Burgess Report. Mr. Preyra seems concerned and as he was recently appointed to his position, he is still in the process of damage control from the past decades of recklessness. The development of Arts Nova is underway, and a new partnership between the Canada Council and the NS Government has been made to support culturally diverse groups. This is to encourage more involvement with minority and groups that seem reluctant to use or have been under-serviced by government support in the past.
– Halifax Regional Municipality election was held in October, with the election of a few new councillors, but a majority of incumbent councillors. HRM’s long time mayor Peter Kelly did not run in this election, and new Mayor Mike Savage has made some election promises during his victory speech that included developing an HRM Arts Council. AARCA is meeting with HRM Councillor Jennifer Watts to see about organizing an ‘Arts Day in City Hall’ to open up a dialogue and understanding between HRM councillors and arts organizations.
– The next AARCA AGM will be in St. John, New Brunswick in June of 2013 alongside of the Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association AGM and conference. AARCA is interested in hosting a national conference in Atlantic Canada sometime in the next 3-5 years, and feel that both associations have the resources to support such a conference and that because there has not yet been one in this region, it would greatly benefit both AARCA and ARCA through diversifying exposure of both organizations and their members.

– Eastern Edge Gallery in St. John’s welcomes new Director Mary MacDonald while thanking outgoing Director Michelle Bush for 8 years of amazing dedication and service to their artist-run centre.


Currently all the members of the Aboriginal Region are continuing to create barrier breaking, innovative and essential programming. Programming, artist support, community, education and organizational development are our focus.

AGAVF (L’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones)

Roadmap for Canada’s linguistic duality renewal 2013-2018 (Cultural Development Fund, Music showcase program for Artists,…)        

Excluded from the Action plan for Official languages (2003-2008), arts and cultural industries obtained an investment of 19,5M for a five year period for two new programs in the for Canada’s linguistic duality (2008-2013) which served both Francophone outside Québec and Anglophones in Québec.   The position of the 8 francophone NASOs united in TONAC is to negotiate more cooperation framework agreements with federal and provincial agencies rather than project funding.  For visual arts milieu let’s mention the CC agreement develop with FCCF (and Quebec English language arts network – Elan) on public and market development which is now going through the red tape of the Roadmap for Canada’s linguistic duality renewal.

1.    Table en arts visuels du NB

In Cultural Policy Revision AGAVF and its members in NB are positioning visual arts organizations.  After a brief analysis or the allocated funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Culture to 11 visual arts organizations (130 000$) we are asking a transfer of the arts organization to ARTSNB with adequate funding (300 000$) minimum.  At the invitation of the Minister delegates of the VA sector voiced their position through participation in the September live consultations and through the website consultations via AGAVFs’ position paper developed with its members.

2.    Table en arts visuels en Ontario

With Ontario members AGAVF pursued the conversation with Ontario Arts Council (OAC) to maintain the 2 pilot programs now in place in the Franco-Ontarian Bureau at the present level (200 000$ annually) as Cultural Fund development (Roadmap) money withdraws, but little success to date as the budget for 2012-2013 was reduced to 150 000$.  But at ARCCO funders’ forum on November 22nd in Toronto, the head of the Franco-Ontarian Arts Bureau, Claudette Jaiko announced that the newly integrated visual programs (projects for artists and organizations) at the Bureau will remain including operating funding for ARCs however she added (in chorus with colleagues from the VA et MA sectors) that there was uncertainty created by the financial situation.

Projet de réseautage  2012-2013 – AGA et conférence nationale Institutions by Artists

AGAVFs AGM was held October 11 at Or Gallery to concur with IBA conference.  36 delegates attended conference thanks to Canada council finances AGAVF through Official language fund to organize with its AGM a networking and professional activity in a different cultural capital.  AGAVF membership was hoping for some time to visit and network Vancouver artistic milieu.

4.   Outiller les passeurs culturels en milieu scolaire

AGAVF has adapted for education milieu its initiative Let’s talk art a workshop on the importance and role of contemporary art designed initially for colleagues in provincial cultural organizations by art historian, Marie-France Beaudoin.  AGAVF is engaged in discussing with education institutions to integrate workshops in their professional plans for teachers in the next few years.

5.    Professionnalisation en art action – partenariat VIVA Art Action +AGAVF

A 10 000$ grant from a parternership program in Québec gives five ARCs the possibility of offering a training sessions with a Quebecois experts in live art practices in five francophone communities:  Winnipeg, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa and Moncton before March 31st 2013.

6.    Opération BLITZ – 1er décembre au CAC – pilote NB 2012

L’Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du NB (AAAPNB) and AGAVF held a pilot project to address the success rate of Acadian artists to VA sector of CC aiming at the December 1st program.  Serge Murphy, artist and curator met with 13 artists to comment on their project and chose 5 with whom he will pursue until the due date.  AGAVF would like to hold this initiative in other regions and AAAPNB in other disciplines.

ARCCO (Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario)

ARCCO Achievement Award Presentation and Reception

ARCCO was pleased to once again recognize outstanding excellence in the artist-run centre community in Ontario by presenting its second annual ARCCO Achievement Award to Danielle Yvette Tremblay, directrice générale of La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury, Ontario on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.
This years’ Achievement Award in Advocacy recognizes Danielle for her ongoing commitment and significant contribution to the well-being of artists and arts organizations in Ontario.
ARCCO’s second annual Achievement Award Presentation and Reception was generously hosted by Women’s Art Resource Centre (WARC Gallery) in Toronto.

Jewell Goodwyn, ARCCO Executive Director, presenting ARCCO’s second Achievement Award in Advocacy to this year’s accolade, Danielle Yvette Tremblay Photo credit: Morris Lum

Danielle Tremblay has been instrumental in encouraging the growth of Franco-Ontarian visual artist, culture which now includes three centres whose operating language is French. On a national level, she is a founding member of L’AGAVF, an association of French-speaking arts organizations outside of Québec. Mme. Tremblay is held in high esteem by the various funding agencies for her reasoned, practical commitment to ensuring that artists have a voice and that that voice is heard. As a former president of ARCCO, Mme. Tremblay has been and remains a staunch defender of artists and the artist-run community.  -Paul Walty, ARCCO Past President and Artist

ARCCO would also like to thank its roster of presenters for the evening:

Paul Walty, Artist and ARCCO Past-President
Lise LeBlanc, directrice générale, L’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF)
Lise Beaudry, Director, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
Marc Audette, Artist, Curator, Glendon gallery
Gary Hall, Executive Director, Gallery TPW, Master of Ceremonies

And its sponsors and partners:

Linda Abrahams, Director, WARC Gallery
Cinnamon Girls Café and Catering
Steam Whistle Brewing Company

Please visit this link for an article about Danielle and ARCCO’s Achievement Award Presentation and Reception:

ARCCO Annual General Meeting Day

ARCCO held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 22, 2012, also hosted by WARC Gallery in Toronto. ARCCO was pleased to have member representation from across the province attending the day of meetings and presentations, including delegates from Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Windsor, as well as within Toronto.

New Service to ARCCO Members – Halpenny Insurance Program

Halpenny Insurance Brokers have been providing commercial and personal insurance services since 1912. This particular commercial property and liability insurance program was specifically created for non-profit arts organizations and had originally been delivered by Community Arts Ontario (CAO). CAO recently announced that it would be closing its doors, and ARCCO agreed to deliver this valuable service. ARCCO is pleased to be able to continue offering this important service to the community, and officially assumed the program on November 22, 2012.

ARCCO Funders Forum

ARCCO would like to thank all of its presenters who were part of its Annual General Meeting day, and in particular, the presenters during ARCCO’s Funders Forum:

Ontario Arts Council

Carolyn Vesely, Visual Arts Officer
Lisa Wöhrle, Associate Visual Arts & Crafts Officer
Mark Haslam, Media Arts Officer
Claudette Jaiko, Franco-Ontarian Arts Officer

Canada Council for the Arts

François Dion, Program Officer, Visual Arts Section
Jim Logan, Program Officer, Visual Arts Section
It was an informative discussion with our provincial and national funders. It was particularly useful to have Anne Bertrand, Director of ARCA joining in the discussion with Canada Council. Her knowledge and insight was a valuable contribution to the rigorous discussion.

Protecting the Public’s Investment in Ontario Arts

Over the next few weeks ARCCO, with the members of the PASO Coalition, National Art Service Organizations and a consortium of representatives and stakeholders in the Ontario art community will be speaking with local MPPs to protect the public’s investment in the Ontario Arts Council.

Ontario’s artists and arts organizations want to thank all MPPs for the province’s ongoing support through the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). Ontario’s extraordinary arts infrastructure is the direct result of 50 years of public funding. …support for Ontario’s arts and culture industries is one of the most important investments that any government can make. Research shows that 81% of Ontarians agree that the government should spend public dollars to support the arts.1

Today, it is more crucial than ever that Ontario recognizes the important contribution of arts and culture investments to the economic and social well-being of the province. We hope that we can count on your support for continued funding of the arts through the Ontario Arts Council.

1. The Arts and the Quality of Life: The Attitudes of Ontarians. Prepared by Environics Research Group for the Ontario Arts Council, March 2010

MARC (Manitoba Artist Run Centres)

The fall season for MARC was busy with festivals, offsite programming and fundraisers. The Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrated its 100th anniversary; the Plug In ICA has launched three of its four installments of the exhibit “My Winnipeg” as it has officially returned from France. The University of Manitoba Fine Arts Gallery 111 has been renamed Art Lab with its new director Mary Reid at the new Fine Arts building. MACA (Manitoba Arts and Cultural Alliance) successfully held its inaugural Day at the Ledge where all three party caucuses were presented with an outline of the contributions as well as needs of Winnipeg’s Arts and Cultural community. Several call for submissions have been launched, Art City, CCCP (Central Canadian Centre for Performance), RAW:Gallery of Architecture and Design, Video Pool – all info can be found on the respective websites. MARC has hired a designer to help redesign the logo and website to coincide with new direction of the organization. Members from MARC have met with MLA’s, MP’s and city councilors addressing issues of gentrication and visual arts funding, both pressing issues for Winnipeg. Overall 2013 will be an active year for MARC and all members look forward to continuing to work on the needs and advocating of the visual arts community in Winnipeg, and anticipate reaching out to groups outside of Winnipeg to encourage participation.

PAARC (Pacific Association of Artist-run Centres)

Institutions by Artists: The Convention was a very successful 3 day conference: our total attendence included 410 weekend and day pass-holders, 58 presenters from 17 countries, and with the inclusion of 36 community and student volunteers, media pass-holders, funders, commissioned artists, and representatives of Canadian artist run centres resulted in 564 registered participants.

Associated activities included the commissioning of new works of art by PAARC, Or Gallery and Malaspina Printmakers; commissioning and publication of new critical writing in Institutions by Artists Volume I, including the translation and publication of select critical writing from English to French and French to English. Vancouver artist run centres produced a wide range of exhibitions, events, screenings and other activities, creating a city-wide festival of artist run culture through the conference week.

Located at the conference venue, Fillip’s Print Centre presented a series of free, parallel public events that investigated the material culture produced by the institutional practices of artists. The Print Centre featured talks, launches, and screenings by conference presenters and attendees, and included a temporary book store hosted by Motto Books (Berlin).

Institutions by Artists set a number of objectives and goals that were successfully met:

  • Focus on an international event to place artist run culture in a global context by convening a world congress of artists, curators, critics, and academics to deliberate, explore, and advance the common interests of artist-run centres, collectives, and cultures
  • Create a catalyst for new as well as divergent assessments and perspectives on such phenomena today
  • Evaluate and activate the performance and promise of contemporary artist-run centres and initiatives
  • Use experimental formats, performative frameworks, and participatory vehicles designed to challenge and generate new thinking about artist-run initiatives globally, examining their many dimensions whether urban or rural, fixed or mobile, and local or regional
  • Inspired by the many artists wrestling creatively with building, using, shaping, and deploying institutions by artists, to explore economies of exchange and knowledge; institutional time and space; as well as intimate and professional networks, among other critical interrogations

The event was both a challenge to and recognition of historical and contemporary models of artists’ self-organization, and generated an extraordinary amount of discussion and debate amongst conference participants, the many watching via Livestream, artists, students and critics blogging, attendees of the free public programs and writers generating texts for arts periodicals.

The ideas generated were distributed via:

  • Livestream broadcast, which reached over 4000 hours of viewership from around the world between October 12 and 25
  • Professionally shot and edited video documentation of each session and debate, released on between October 24 and December 15
  • Twitter commentary viewable on during the conference
  • Published research in the form of an Artist run Centre bibliography has been distributed via ArcPost. As of November 11, the bibliography has been downloaded by 425 viewers.
  • The print anthology Institutions by Artists: Volume One presents a collection of texts addressing artist-run culture and initiatives around the globe. Newly commissioned essays include AA Bronson’s “Transfiguration of the Bureaucrat;” Vincent Bonin’s “Malaise dans le réseau: sur l’absence de la critique institutionnelle au Canada”; and Peta Rake’s “Inclusivity, Difference, and Isolation: Artist-Run Spaces in Brisbane,” as well as a conversation with Ola Khalidi and Diala Khasawnih of Makan, Amman, Jordan. At present, 11 texts from the anthology are published on By January, 2013, new commissioned articles by Christopher Regimbal, Tania Bruguera, Dana Claxton & Tania Willard, Matt Post & Chris Fitzpatrick, and Philip Monk will be available on
  • Between July and October, Facebook received 4,212 post views, with 41 posting feedback.
  • Between January and November, ArcPost received 16,587 visits from 8,316 unique visitors, 36,967 page views and 27,241 unique page views:
  • By special arrangement with the SFU Library, a complete archive of all texts, video documentation, social media engagement, photographs and other documents will be archived in SFU’s Summit online research program, making the entirety of the project available to the general public into perpetuity.

The project has built the capacity of PAARC in significant ways:

  • expansion of potential partnerships and collaborations with other cultural institutions
  • diversity of funding sources
  • improved connection to artist-initiated practices around the world
  • enhanced relationship to post-secondary arts programs
  • recognized contribution to research and scholarship about contemporary art

and not least, an example of the potential of artists’ self-organization in economically and socially challenging times

PARCA (Plains Association of Artist-Run Centres)

Artist-run centres in Saskatchewan are busy negotiating projects and partnerships with numerous arts organizations and individuals in Canada and internationally, preparing to submit their applications to the Sask Arts Board’s new multi-year funding cycle. After a community consultation, there are very few changes to the program, due January 15. We are concerned about the arts council, however, as there have been no increases to it from the provincial government for several years mimicking an austerity strategy in times of prosperity in the province. Those of us receiving human resources support from Sask Culture, continue to benefit from a provincial health plan which includes dental and out of province/country travel insurance and options for a retirement savings plan, but, we are determined to advocate for improvements to the shortfalls in human resources that reflect the level of professionalism of our personnel and the work load. We are also anxious for news about international projects funding as we have several partnerships that need support at this time. We are also working with independent curators in the network and are determined to provide support for their practice.

RCAAQ (Le Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec)

A five-year long performance

It was a busy fall at the RCAAQ beginning with the selection of a performance artist whose work would be in play for the next five years as per an unprecedented request by the 2-22 partners (RCAAQ, Vox and Artexte) for the « 1% project » integrating art into the architecture of the new building. The committee selected artist Thierry Marceau who will receive $118,000 to produce an ephemeral, yet durational piece. The artist will provide documentation of the piece and produce a publication that will remain in the Artexte collection. He is scheduled to begin in December of 2012.

Provincial Elections

August was busy with an electoral campaign as Premier Charest who was highly challenged by the spring student protests called an election for September 4th. The RCAAQ took part in this election along with the Mouvement pour les arts et les lettres (MAL) by raising a number of questions that were put to the leaders of the different parties. With the exception of the Québec Liberal party, every party expressed cultural commitments especially with regards to the budget of the Québec arts council (CA LQ). The Parti Québécois that won the election had even promised to increase CALQ’s budget by 13$ million for a total budget of 100$ million yearly and invest an additional 5$ million into international touring. However, its status as a minority government and the bleak economic situation has forced the governement to postpone its promise. The MAL has since engaged in a media campaign to ensure that the promises be kept and announced in the recent budget. It is only on December 6th that we will know what exact amounts will be destined to the MCCCF (Dept. of Culture), if any, as Minister Makka Koto made alarming statements to that effect.

Artist studios

The situation of artist studios has greatly improved in Montréal. Allied Properties, the new owners of a building in the Mile-End neighborhood occupied by many artists and ARCs and Pied Carré, their representative came to an agreement last September. Allied Properties has agreed to set aside 200 000 sq. ft. for a period of thirty years for artist studios and cultural groups. The provincial government announced on November 27  that it would invest 18$ million, including $5,650,000, available immediately, to allow artists to move into the new spaces and cover additional expenses. This type of cultural investment by a provincial governement is without precedent.

General Assembly

RCAAQ held its fall AGM last November 2nd attended by some sixty or so members. The discussion focused on how to improve communications as the association sets out to produce the next edition of the Directory of Artist-Run Centres. The Director of CALQ, Réjean Perron presented the new application form for the provincial multi-year operating program in visual and media arts (which is now question-based) for the February 1st deadline.

Two Artist-run centres merger

Things are shaking up in Chicoutimi as two centres, Séquence and Espace virtuel, are in the process of merging as a way to combine and share administrative resources without giving up their respective, distinct spaces. This plan will soon be submitted to their respective assemblies for approval. Sébastien Harvey, director of Espace Virtuel has been named the Interim director of Séquence. Sébastien Harvey is also the president of the RCAAQ.