Members’ News – Early Winter 2012

AAARC (Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres)

AAARC is planning a face-to-face meeting  on 31 August in Calgary where members will be setting our priorities for the upcoming year. At this time the assembly might also be electing a new President and executive members.

Recently we received this year’s operational grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) and all AERCs and public galleries received approximately a 2% reduction. In addition there does not seem to be full transparency as at the end of the financial year the AFA sent all ARCS and Public galleries a cheque for about 15% as there was a surplus. This end of financial year cheques have happened for the past two years and are difficult to predict as we receive them often in the last one or two days of a financial year which makes budgetary projections and planning much more difficult and only occurs for centres with Operational support and not for centres with just project funding. AAARC is drafting a letter to both the Minister of Culture and the Board Chair of the AFA Board to seek clarity and why this money cannot be allocated at the beginning of the budget year.

SNAP has hired a new Executive Director – April Dean started this week after completing her MFA and NSCAD in April. Dean is the former Program Officer at Latitude 53 and will be a solid addition to both Edmonton and the Alberta cultural landscape.

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

– AARCA held our AGM on June 8th at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS, alongside the APAGA (Atlantic Provinces Art Galleries Association) Conference and AGM.

– Francois Dion of Canada Council joined us for the AARCA AGM and other festivities throughout the weekend. We were able to talk briefly regarding some questions about the Burgess Report, mainly the constructive criticism around Atlantic Canada needing more ARC’s dedicated to Acadian and First Nations cultures. I called Jim Logan about this to discuss strategies on helping this happen and to point out that La Conseil des Arts de la Baie is an example of a new centre that perhaps is already filling part of that void.

– NS has a new culture Minister, Mr. Leonard Preyra. I have written to to congratulate Mr. Preyra on behalf of AARCA on his new position and invited him to talk with a few ARC’s from NS regarding the very poor stats on NS Culture spending stated in the Burgess Report, and AARCA’s concerns of provincial funding lagging behind in comparison with Federal Funding, making it difficult for us to find increasing support. He responded and will be setting up a meeting with us within the next few weeks. We are currently trying to round up as many AARCA folks as possible for this meeting, hopefully all.

– AARCA has submitted an email to request regional support from ARCA to cover costs of translation for our new website and flyers to reach francophone audiences throughout our region and beyond…

– The Inventions Archives Library is now officially open and ready for use. Now members of any ARC who are visiting Halifax, can stop by AARCA Headquarters (at Eyelevel Gallery) and utilize our searchable data and archival materials on ARC’s Accross Canada and all Public Galleries in Atlantic Canada. This we are hoping will be a tool for further research and public knowledge of ARC’s.


The region presently  includes five members. The AGM will be held in Calgary through Indigeneity who have partnered with Truck for their inaugural project. Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective has moved into an exhibition space June 1st. Tribe inc. is going thru changes. Adrian Stimpson is still the chair. The director/curator of Urban Shaman Amber Dawn Bearrobe has left to further her education and curate independently. In the past, the Region’s AGMs have sometimes fallen thru because their group is so small and the distances great, and the organisations are small and operate with little funding. Otherwise they mostly confer over email. IPAC has partnered with PAVED Arts to organize workshops in conjunction with a festival in Prince Albert and the focus will be on media arts and two-spirited and queer content. The new director of Sâkêwêwak is Stephanie Acoose.

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

1.     Roadmap for Canada’s linguistic duality evaluation (Cultural Developement Fund, Music showcase program for Artists,…)             

As a member of the Forum of leaders in the francophone minority communities AGAVF participates in the discussion of the renewal of the Roadmap for Canada’s linguistic duality (2008-2013) that follows Action plan for Official languages (2003-2008).  The challenge still remains to convince other groups of the importance to invest in arts in culture in the final context at Heritage.  The position of the 8 francophone NASOs united in TONAC is to negotiate more cooperation framework agreements with agencies (CC, Telefilm Canada, etc.) instead of project funds.  They mandated FCCF to initiate discussion with CC.

2.     Table 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 Culture, Sport and Healthy living to 11 visual arts organizations (130 000$) we are asking a transfer of the arts organization to ARTSNB with adequate funding (300 000$).  In his response the Minister invited delegates of the VA sector to voice their position in the September consultation ahead.

3.     Table ON

With Ontario members AGAVF is pursuing 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.

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.  AGAVF is engaged in discussing with education institutions to integrate workshops in their professional plans for teachers in the next few years.

A 10 000$ grant from a parternership program in Québec gives five ARCs the possibility of offering training sessions with Quebecois practicioners in live art practices in five francophone communities:  Winnipeg, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa and Moncton before March 31st 2012.

AGAVFs AGM will be held October 11 at Or Gallery during the IBA conference.  39 delegates will attend conference and will stay at the Ramada.  Canada council finances AGAVF through Official language fund to organize with its AGM a networking and professional activity in a different cultural capital.  The Visual arts sector has approved the Vancouver project.

ARCCO (Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario)

New Reduction Policies for Operating Grant Recipients and Changes to Compass Program Deadlines- Ontario Arts Council

In July, the Ontario Arts Council issued a letter to all its operating clients: Reduction Policies for Operating Grant Recipients and Changes to Compass Program Deadlines. While many OAC operating clients were thrilled that their funding was preserved during the most recent round of grant results, OAC has now set extremely stringent assessment criteria which could negatively impact any organization with a global budget of $75,000 or under.

ARCCO is concerned that if smaller and more vulnerable organizations begin receiving cuts, they will begin traveling down a path that will be difficult to pull out of. Many organizations use the Compass program to hire consultants to guide themselves out of difficult situations. The announcement to cut Compass means the program will be more competitive and that the grants will be harder to obtain. Combined with Canada Council’s recent announcement to suspend the Flying Squad Program, this becomes a double threat for arts organizations in Ontario.

The Ontario Arts Council will be holding Arts Day at Queens Park, Toronto on November 20, 2012. The PASO Task Force, (of which ARCCO is cofounder) will be lending it’s support to this day.

Congratulations to the New Co- Chairs of the PASO Coalition

Jewell Goodwyn, Executive Director, ARCCO, co-founder and Chair of the PASO Coalition, for the last 5 years stepped down as Chair in July and extends her congratulations to colleagues Kristian Clarke, Executive Director, Carfac Ontario and Demetra Christakos, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Art Galleries the new Co-Chairs of the PASO Coalition.

ARCCO will be holding its Annual General Meeting Days at WARC Gallery, Toronto on November 21&22. ARCCO is pleased to be presenting its second Advocacy Award this year. This year’s Accolade will be announced in September 2012. During this time Consultant Jerry Smith First Stage, will be bringing an update based on two recent surveys carried out among the membership.  The first will offer some insights into the professional development and training interests (workshops, seminars, conferences) of those involved with ARCs, and the second, based on lengthy interviews with 30 ARCCO organizational members, will provide an extensive profile of the current membership base of ARCCO, summarizing details about the organizational, operating and programming strengths of ARCs in Ontario.

In addition, ARCCO will be announcing new programming and service initiatives that it will be offering to its members.

PAARC (Pacific Association of Artist-run Centres)

IBA conference is approaching. PAARC has grown its membership substantially, attracting alot of emerging arcs that have taken part in SWARM a number of years in a row. the conference coming up has inspired many to join including 221A in Chinatown which rents artists’ studios to support their group, Balcone (no space, but they take submissions and support a few artists over a year). Other sites for artists projects, Medianet in Victoria. Access to gaming funds for ARCs has been restored and the results have been positive. Stop BC Arts Cuts is going to merge with Arts Advocacy BC. There’s much press about cultural brain drain in Vancouver because of the high cost of living. Many artists are moving. municipal govt is trying to stem the flow, and there much advocacy has crossed over into protest of big development in Mt. Pleasant – gentrification is having an impact on parts of town where artists live. It was a bitter fight that didn’t end very well.

PARCA (Plains Association of Artist-Run Centres)

PLAINS had its first face meeting in a while, met in Regina at Neutral Ground. Seriously good group 🙂 AKA and Paved are doing well with Paved working on its equipment acquisition projects and AKA doing very well with outreach programming. Their new location is undergoing urban renewal and gentrification. Paved artistic director put forward a statement of strong support for non-commercial art activities. Sakewewak opened a new space in a ground level, highly visible space on Albert Street in Regina. New office furniture, and good neighbors. Neutral Ground is working with Anthony Kiendl as a consultant for developing strategies and long-term planning processes which includes fund-raising, marketing and sustainability towards possible building purchase. We are doing our 30th year anniversary exhibition in September : NG30, an archival exhibition. Istvan Kantor, MC. Looking forward to the CCA program for international projects and what will constitute the eligibility criteria since artist-driven activities have generally been left out of most touring and international programs but artists have been self-funding to go to Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, etc. We need to be included here, this time. The Sask Arts Board is holding a two-day long community consultation in Saskatoon in September as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards. Neutral Ground is running an ad for a culturally diverse curator again (CCA program) this year which is posted on our site. Please advise any of your contacts. John G. Hampton will be staying on as Aboriginal Curator at Large while he does his graduate work in Toronto.

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

The RCAAQ was invited to the FRAAP in France last May where the director spoke to sixty representatives of french artist-run centres. In depth discussion on artist fees and the challenges of paying them in artist-run centres and the challenges of getting museums to pay them as well. The presentation included a survey of the professional development activities of the RCAAQ and a presentation by Annie Gauthier of the Dictionnaire des compétences. (link)

Creation and development of a project for a Québec Pavillion supported by the RCAAQ at four biennials including Sao Paulo, Sydney, Istanbul and Venice with a first visit next September in Sao Paulo with the assistance of the Québec delegation in Sao Paulo. The aim of the project is to offer a selection of artists produced by arcs, members of the RCAAQ and that the pavillion be included in the either the biennial’s programming or off-biennial.

Fundraising for the production of the 8th edition of the Directory has begun with a request to ARCA to create a working group. First applications for funding will be submitted September 15th to CALQ and CCA. RCAAQ proposes that Daniel Roy coordinate the production of the directory.

Havana-Montreal exchange : a second call to send an artist to Havana will be sent out in September. The first edition of this exchance with artist Frédéric Lavoie last May was conclusive with some tweeking needed.

RCAAQ obtained a modest grant from the Montreal arts council to organise the first Montreal art book fair which was considered an excellent initiative by the committee. Additional funding was requested from the Fonds de développement de la métropole du ministère des Affaires municipales (Municipal affaires dept for development of Montreal) ; a response is expected in September.

Results of a survey on salaries and artist fees in ARCs members of the RCAAQ conducted last spring will be made public soon. There is an improvement concerning payment of artist fees since the 2005 survey the average fee for a solo exhibition is now 1,523$ in the 44 arcs that responded. Salaries however did not increase : 30 administrative directors receive on average a salary of $26,155 per year while 24 artistic directors receive $28,249 per year.

RCAAQ is involved in the present provincial electoral campaign via the M.A.L. (Mouvement pour les arts et les lettres) by asking leaders questions regarding increases in funding to CALQ and investing new funds in developing digital arts. MAL has demonstrated the need to index funding that would require an increase of 35 million dollars. The only party that has responded to the questions so far is Québec Solidaire though Coalition Avenir Québec has announced that they would increase funding to culture by 100 million$ for developing cultural activities in schools and international development.

In Montréal, artists and arcs located in the Mile End neighborhood are continuing their negociations with promoters who are now offering to relocate them on at least one floor of the building instead of evicting them altogether. In Septembe, Pied Carré, the organisation mandated to defend the artists and arcs, plan on submitting a long-term lease offer to its members for a vote at the next AGM. The proposal includes the price per square foot, relocation and timeline including reasonable notice, moving and relocating times, duration of the agreement, and total surface covered by the agreement, definition of artist, artisan and cultural worker, uses and status covered by the agreement and designation of organisation mandated to manage the space. In the meantime, status quo and monthly renewal of leases for everyone.

MARC (Manitoba artist-run centres association)

We have met once since the new representative has taken over. We have begun to construct a website and also discussing a public campaign.

Verrue is now called MARC and it has two new more members, ADNM (Artists with Disabilities Network of Manitoba  – formerly SPARK) and Send & Receive sound art festival.

Several major shows will be opening in September and many of the venues have linked openings.

Members in MARC (ex-Verrue) will be participating in Winnipeg’s 3rd annual Nuit Blanche.

La Maison des Artistes Visuels has a new director Eric Lesage.

This round of Manitoba Arts Council Project funding has seen the most applicants in many years and several members have not been awarded and several others have had only 20% funded. Winnipeg Arts Council has seen similar results in the spike in applicants without the means to properly fund a sufficient amount, as funding has not increased since 2007.

Winnipeg Arts Council held it’s annual Mayor’s Luncheon for Arts and Mayor Sam Katz was present.  The event honors contributions to the arts by artists and the community.