The Regroupement québécois de la danse brings together and represents individuals and professional organizations working in dance with the objective of contributing to the advancement and renown of choreographic art and helping improve practice conditions in dance.
For almost 35 years, the RQD has developed the many facets of dance and has actively raised awareness of the conditions in which this demanding art is practised. Closely involved with the evolution of a discipline that has reached a turning point in its history, the RQD initiates and supports all projects promoting collective action and long-term initiatives, as the Master Plan for Professional Dance in Québec 2011-2021.
The RQD’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan (French only) covers five strategic directions: strengthening the association, professional and disciplinary advancement, consensus-building and mobilization, advocacy, promoting the discipline.
In 1983, Gaétan Patenaude, head of the Québec section of Dance in Canada Association (and later Executive Director of RQD for over 10 years) spearheaded a wide consultation among Québec performers, teachers and choreographers. The discussions confirmed that the Québec dance community was interested in developing an instrument for consultation, collective action and audience development. At the same time, the various levels of government were looking for ways to support a discipline that was evolving rapidly: creative individuals were forming companies, and several of them would become leading figures in Québec and Canadian dance, as well as internationally.
On October 4, 1984, the Regroupement des professionnels de la danse du Québec (RQD’s first name) was incorporated, and an interim board of directors was formed. The first General Assembly was held on February 9, 1985: executive positions were held by Jean-Pierre Perreault (Chairman), Michèle Morin (Vice-Chairman), Gaétan Patenaude (Secretary), Paul-André Fortier (Treasurer) and Daniel Soulières (Director). In founding the Regroupement, a community had given itself the means to realize its ambitions. The late Jean-Pierre Perreault opened the meeting with a statement that still resonates today: “Combining our energies will allow us to come of age as a community and exercise informed control over our destiny rather than just follow it.” These remarkably prescient words continue to guide RQD’s activities today.
In February 1994, RQD held the États généraux de la danse professionnelle au Québec. It was a memorable moment that would bring together the Regroupement québécois de la danse, performers, teachers, companies, and training, service and specialized presenter organizations under a new banner.
Under the direction of Françoise Bonnin, from 1996 to 2002, and then Lorraine Hébert since October 2003, RQD has managed to take play a national role as the voice of professional dance in Québec. RQD takes advantage of all forums to draw attention to the improvements needed in the living and practice conditions of dance professionals, and has become more and more active, initiating constructive projects such as the Grands Chantiers de la Danse. In April 2009, RQD held the Second États généraux, which resulted in the publication of the Master Plan for Professional Dance in Québec (Plan directeur de la danse professionnelle au Québec 2011-2021).
The diversity of RQD’s many projects and activities reflects the rapid and unprecedented development of the discipline over the last 30 years. This has required a sustained effort at fostering collective action and mobilizing the dance community’s many stakeholders around forward-looking and constructive projects.