Anne Bertrand Bids Farewell to ARCA

Montreal, May 12, 2020 – ARCA director Anne Bertrand will step down on July 31, 2020, after having served the organization since 2012.


ARCA (the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference) is dedicated to the consolidation of a pan-Canadian network of artist-run centres and collectives. Key among her many accomplishments in eight years as director, Bertrand successfully positioned ARCA’s members with government partners such as the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage. As a result of this work, ARCA members have seen an overall 60% increase in operational funding from the Canada Council.

Bertrand has also been very active in artistic networks such as the annual meetings of the National Arts Service Organizations (NASO), the Canadian Arts Coalition and, especially, the Visual Arts Alliance, a national coalition of a dozen visual arts, media arts, and contemporary craft service organizations. She was elected Alliance co-chair on several occasions, a marker of her colleagues’ respect and an acknowledgment of her command of the unique challenges of working within the visual arts sector.

In her work toward network consolidation, Bertrand made investments in strategic support for the development of national conferences, building capacity in regions that would not otherwise host such events. Building on the success of the Flotilla conference, which took place in Charlottetown in September 2017, ARCA’s next conference, Lands to Travel Through, is to be hosted in Calgary in August 2021 (rescheduled from 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic). Bertrand’s support has contributed greatly to the increased visibility of artist-run centres in these regions.

Under her initiative, ARCA launched several new resources to better support its positioning and communicate with members. In addition to the monthly L’ARCA in the Loop newsletter, she oversaw the development of the first searchable, online directory of artist-run centres, building on an earlier print directory produced by the RCAAQ (Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec). Under her leadership, ARCA also released a variety of publications such as L’ARCA in Twelve BriefsThe Grey Guide to Artist-Run Publishing and Circulation, and the forthcoming Digital Literacy in Six Micro-Bites.

In response to a criterion of the Canada Council’s new funding model and with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, ARCA will soon launch (NOT) JUST ABOUT MONEY, a new tool for managing and accounting for in-kind income. Bertrand has been instrumental in addressing the socio-economic conditions of performance artists in Canada, resulting in significant updates to CARFAC’s fee schedule. She also recently facilitated the inclusion on ARCA’s board and membership of SPiLL, an artist-run centre dedicated to artistic creation and production in sign languages in Canada.

Before joining ARCA, Anne served as director of SKOL, a dynamic artist-run centre in Montreal. Post-ARCA, she intends to return to her artistic practice while offering her services as a consultant in the field. ARCA’s Board of Directors wishes Bertrand every success in her projects and thanks her warmly for the time and energy that she has devoted to the development of the association.

ARCA brings together the 9 Canadian associations of artist-run centers and affiliates, which include more than 180 artist-run centres and artists collectives in the visual and media arts, contemporary craft, and architecture.


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For more information:
Eddie Ayoub, Chair