The RQD in Action
The Regroupement québécois de la danse is working behind the scenes to ensure that no one is left behind in the government’s efforts to support the arts sector. Get the latest on the RQD’s actions on the field!
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Survey on the allocation of the new $60 million fund managed by Canadian Heritage
Last December, the Trudeau government announced the creation of the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund administered by Canadian Heritage.
The RQD is currently in contact with the federal government and several Canadian cultural service organizations to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of this fund among the various disciplines of the performing arts. The government plans to distribute this fund to organizations that provide programs and services to self-employed performing artists, who will then be required to distribute the funds to self-employed performers in need.
We are conducting this short survey today to anticipate how many applications might be expected from the dance community. Please take the time to respond by February 21.
Thursday, December 16, 2021
The RQD: Always active on public and political stages
True to its mission, the RQD continues month after month to defend the interests of Quebec’s professional dance community. The RQD team is on all fronts, whether that means promoting the sector’s recovery, helping implement public health restrictions, or undertaking preparations for the next provincial election. The following is a summary of the latest public, political and media initiatives carried out by your association.
- Meetings held with Canadian cultural services organizations (ASO) to ensure the realization of a Culture Summit. On December 6, 2021, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that the summit will take place on January 31 and February 1, 2022. The Executive Director of the RQD, Nadine Medawar, will attend.
- Meetings held with the Coalition La Culture, le coeur du Québec to formulate the cultural community’s demands ahead of the next provincial election. The shortage of human resources in culture has become a key message.
- Dance studio cleaning protocols were eased in response to the RQD’s repeated appeals to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC). CNESST guide update coming soon!
- Meeting held with the Canada Council for the Arts to discuss the state of affairs in the dance sector.
- Meeting with the CALQ to discuss possible measures to be put in place over the next five years to support the development of dance for young audiences. Several of our proposals struck a chord with the Canada Council, and these discussions will continue until 2023.
- Discussions and meetings were held with the cultural and media communities on working conditions in the dance sector. In the month of November alone, the RQD was mentioned in five different articles.
- Requests were made to the MCC for the use of rapid tests prior to rehearsals and performances so that all dance professionals can continue working. Unfortunately, public health authorities have not accommodated this request for the time being.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
The RQD, defending the interests of professional dance
The Regroupement québécois de la danse’s new Executive Director, Nadine Medawar, had a busy month of September. Taking a proactive approach in the field, she held numerous meetings to call attention to the needs and interests of the dance community in public and political spheres. Let’s review the RQD’s recent advocacy actions.
- Some 50 meetings were held with RQD members in an effort to understand their realities and needs during the pandemic.
- Discussions with Minister Roy’s office, at the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC), to address career-related issues for unvaccinated dancers and the complete reopening of performance venues starting on October 8.
- Two meetings were held with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) to discuss priorities for the recovery of the dance sector and assess the situation of dance professionals.
- A meeting was held with the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) to address issues specific to the discipline and emphasize the need for further support to dancers, operating support to organizations, and support for the promotion of dance with the general public.
- A meeting was held with the Conseil de culture de l’Estrie to establish ties and promote the importance of dance in the cultural ecosystem specific to the Estrie region.
- Meetings were held with the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène (GTFAS: Working group on performing arts attendance) and the Coalition La culture, le cœur du Québec to share the state of affairs in dance and look at how to continue advocating for the arts and culture in Quebec.
- Advocacy efforts undertaken with the federal government on behalf of dance artists who lost access to the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), with the objective of restoring their support.
Friday, September 3, 2021
Federal elections: The RQD and the Canadian Dance Assembly campaign for dance
The Regroupement québécois de la danse and the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) pooled their efforts to raise awareness of issues facing the dance sector among the main political parties running in the federal election. A dozen questions were sent to the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Bloc Québécois concerning the economic and social safety net for dance artists, inclusion and equity, regional development, and the mobility of artists in Canada. In doing so, the RQD is stepping up to continually defend the cause and development of the dance sector in Quebec.
Monday, August 16, 2021
Consultation on the vaccine passport
In preparation for the vaccine passport rollout, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) asked artistic and cultural associations and groups to submit opinions and recommendations specific to their respective sectors. The RQD consulted members and sent a summary document to the MCC on August 15, 2021. The document mainly included questions and concerns raised by professional artists and cultural workers as well as audiences, and also explained the notion of non-essential activities, the terms and conditions attached to the passport, and passport applications.
For further information on the vaccine passport, visit the section entitled Dernières nouvelles (in FR).
Friday, June 4, 2021
MCC-led consultation on touring outside Quebec and internationally
With the easing of health restrictions and the gradual resumption of travel, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) consulted with arts and cultural associations and groups to better understand the impact of the pandemic on touring outside Quebec and internationally. This initiative was put forward ahead of the implementation of the MCC’s strategy to develop external markets for Quebec-based cultural productions, with the intention of preparing for the future. Asked to comment on issues specific to the dance sector, the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) answered some 15 questions and issued recommendations. The RQD interviewed members, development agents, presenters and representatives of creation companies. If, for many, the next few years will be dedicated to reconquering markets or renewing ties, the RQD emphasized that public funding must be made available to restore pre-pandemic activity levels, with additional funding to support development in accordance with post-pandemic realities.
Friday, May 21, 2021
Recovery of the sector: Recommendations of the RQD and the CALQ
On May 21, the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) submitted a summary document to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec that included recommendations to counter the precarity among artists and the fragility of organizations in times of crisis, and promote the sector’s economic recovery. Developed through consensus-building efforts conducted by the RQD and dance organizations, this document is intended to inform and support CALQ decisions regarding the distribution of the government’s $6.5 million investment in the professional dance sector. Specifically, the RQD recommendations include support for dancer training, stronger creative residencies, the circulation of choreographic works, operating support and support for programming specifically to organizations, and the development of dance across Quebec.
Thursday, May 3, 2021
Progress report on the professional dance recovery plan
In the past two weeks, the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) has held consultations with the committee responsible for validating the draft of the professional dance recovery plan. To ensure broad representation across different practice sectors, generations and regions, close to 30 professionals were invited to comment on the working document. We thank them for their contribution.
Find out more (in FR)
Financing for dance: Open dialogue between the RQD and the CALQ
The Regroupement québécois de la danse and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) quickly entered into a dialogue after the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications announced an investment of $6.5 million in dance.
Find out more (in FR)
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Meeting at the CALQ
On April 1, the Co-president of the Regroupement québécois de la danse Jamie Wright took part in a meeting between the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and a delegation of dance organizations. Three issues were addressed: international touring, dance development within Quebec, and grants for artists. The meeting was part of cooperation and advocacy efforts initiated by dance organizations last fall.
Monday, March 8, 2021
Meeting between the GTFAS and the CALQ and SODEC
The Regroupement québécois de la danse took part in a meeting between the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène (GTFAS – working group on attendance in the performing arts) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC). This meeting allowed the RQD and La danse sur les routes du Québec to share issues in connection with the ticket office support measure and to continue the essential dialogue with the CALQ on issues of touring and the reopening of performance halls.
Thursday, March 4, 2021
A gradual reopening plan for the performing arts will be announced in the coming days.
The performing arts/touring committee, coordinated by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) and of which the RQD is a member, met on March 4. Minister Nathalie Roy informed the members about the imminent announcement of a gradual reopening plan with easing measures for the performing arts sector.
Find out more (in FR)
Friday, February 19, 2021
News from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications concerning the reopening of performance halls
The RQD was asked to discuss the reopening of performance halls after movie theaters were given the green light, and participated in two meetings with representatives of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) on February 19. Issues on the agenda included perspectives on reopening, decision-making parameters, opening schedules, and support measures.
Find out more (in FR)
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Reopening of performance halls: The GTFAS has requested a meeting with the MCC
Following the announcement of the upcoming reopening of Quebec’s movie theaters, the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène (GTFAS – working group on attendance in the performing arts) – including the RQD – signed a collective letter requesting an urgent meeting with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) aimed at agreeing on a date and conditions for the reopening of performance halls. The MCC responded quickly and a meeting is scheduled for February 19.
For further information, please read this article published in Le Devoir (in FR).
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Step-by-step reopening plan for the arts and culture
The Regroupement québécois de la danse received important details from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications on performance halls as well as cultural recreational and extracurricular activities in orange zones, and interregional travel.
Find out more (in FR)
Monday, February 1, 2021
The RQD files a brief on the amendment of the Status of the Artist Act (SAA).
The Regroupement québécois de la danse has studied issues specific to the dance community and issued a brief with recommendations to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) concerning the amendment of the Act respecting the professional status and conditions of engagement of performing, recording and film artists.
View the brief (in FR)
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
The RQD sets out recommendations to the MCC’s sectoral committee for the performing arts and touring
The RQD is among some 60 organizations on the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications’ sectoral workforce committee for the performing arts and touring that were invited to attend a one-hour meeting this afternoon to discuss the current health crisis, Quebec’s economic recovery, and issues specific to each disciplinary sector. The RQD’s Executive Director summarized the current situation in dance, citing artistic, technical, economic and legal issues in connection with digital productions, and she also reported on the reflections underway in regards to the systemic changes that are required to ensure the sustainable development of, and promote inclusion within, the dance sector.
Important information regarding professional artistic activities and law enforcement measures
Despite the lockdown and curfew in effect from January 9 to February 8, 2021, professional artistic activities may continue, in compliance with public health measures. During this period, police departments have stepped up checks to ensure proper enforcement of the measures and restrictions in place. It is therefore strongly recommended to plan professional activities outside of curfew hours (5 a.m. to 8 p.m.), taking into consideration the time needed to return home. Nevertheless, police officers may intervene outside of curfew hours. The RQD inquired about the procedure to follow in the event of a police intervention and validated the procedure with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC).
Find out more (in FR)
Tuesday, November 30, 2020
Pan-Canadian Consultations: The RQD on Cross Sectoral Recovery Roundtables (CSRR)
Last July, the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) invited arts service organizations, artists and cultural workers all across Canada to submit their candidacy to serve on Cross Sectoral Recovery Roundtables (CSRR). By creating these pan-Canadian bilingual roundtables using the former Canadian Conference of the Arts model, the CHRC hopes to bring together voices from across various artistic communities to share information, to report on the crisis, to find solutions to the problems raised by the pandemic, and to issue recommendations to government authorities and arts councils.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
The Regroupement québécois de la danse has been active on the political scene during this early fall period. The following is a summary of the strategic actions undertaken by the RQD since the month of October.
- The RQD has backed the Réseau d’enseignement de la danse (RED)’s efforts to support social dancing schools in a variety of ways. Joint arguments by both organizations emphasize that close to 80% of social dancing schools are cultural businesses (SME) and should have access to emergency measures for businesses offered by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, notably assistance in the form of loans.
- The RQD responded to a call issued by the Conseil québécois de ressources et transition pour danseurs (CQRTD) to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on the career of performing artists and establish measures to support these professionals. The RQD pledged to support the organization’s efforts in this regard.
- Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the RQD’s Executive Director met with representatives of the CAM and the CALQ to discuss issues specific to the dance sector and its disciplinary associations.
- Emails were exchanged with Canadian Heritage to obtain further information on the minister’s priorities and certain programs, including rental assistance. The Minister is actively working to amend and update the Broadcasting Act, while Mathieu Bouchard, Chief of Staff for Minister Guilbeault, said his teams are working on preparations for the recovery. The recovery will focus on recommendations issued during the October roundtables with various Canadian service organizations in the arts, including the RQD. Initial announcements are expected in conjunction with the upcoming economic update.
- The RQD has repeatedly approached the CALQ and the CNESST to advocate in favour of broadening CNESST coverage for dancers to include home-based training offered as part of online professional classes. The current protection for dancers without a contract relates to a law under which home-based training is not deemed safe, and no amendment is foreseeable in the short or medium term. As a consequence, the RQD is exploring other ways to offer a minimum safety net to dance professionals under these circumstances.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Support measure for touring and presenting shows
The RQD took part in two conference calls with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) to discuss the details of the new special measure for touring and presenting shows (in FR). Adding their voices to those of other disciplinary associations, the RQD and La danse sur les routes du Québec sent a joint letter to the MCC to advocate in favour of adapting the measure to the production and touring characteristics specific to dance, adding the quarantine to the eligibility criteria, and extending the deadline to submit applications. Their efforts have begun to pay off as the filing deadline has been extended from November 16 to November 20.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Meeting with the MCC concerning the red zone
Following the government’s red zone announcement on Monday, September 28, the Regroupement québécois de la danse took part, this morning, in a meeting with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, which was attended by Minister Nathalie Roy. Some 50 representatives of artistic and cultural communities joined the conference call for an update on the activities that were interrupted.
Find out more (in FR)
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Meeting between representatives of the dance community, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, public health, and the CNESST
On September 24, the RQD took part in a meeting held by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and attended by the Quebec Public Health authorities, as well as representatives of the CNESST and the dance community (RQD, RED, ADÉSAQ, UDA, La DSR, the Agora de la danse, Tangente, Les Grands ballets, Cas public, Destins croisés), in order to clarify the sanitary measures in force.
This meeting mainly allowed dance representatives to highlight the difficulties experienced by its members in the field and to identify problems related to communication, understanding or contradiction of health measures. The RQD requested the centralization of information in order to avoid the risk of transmitting erroneous or outdated information.
Monday, July 27, 2020
The RQD signs an open letter from the arts community to the government of Canada, calling for a guaranteed basic income.
The RQD joined the many organizations and more than 75,000 artists from coast to coast in forming a common front to request that the federal government establish a “universal and unconditional income support program guaranteeing a minimum income threshold for all people who need it.” The people behind the letter, Craig Berggold, Zainub Verjee and Clayton Windatt, see the crisis as a vector for change in favor of a stronger social safety net, one that offers financial security and meets the basic needs of individuals, allowing them to participate fully in society, regardless of their employment status.
To read the open letter and join the signatories, see the Form (in FR)
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Recommendations to the MCC for supporting presenters and festivals
After consulting specialized and multidisciplinary presenters, the RQD sent the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the CALQ a list of six recommendations for the support of presenters and festivals. Among them is a call to significantly increase operating support for dance presenters, to consolidate the dissemination of a diversity of choreographic writing across the province as a whole, and to provide substantial support for self-employed income losses. Minister Roy’s Chief of Staff, Sandy Boutin, said that she will study the recommendations.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Action for independent dance studios
The RQD sent a document to Canadian Heritage, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Service de la culture de la Ville de Montréal, detailing the urgent needs of independent dance studios, which are facing precarious circumstances. The document reports on the current situation and the vital role that studios play in the dance ecosystem, appeals for emergency assistance in the short and medium term, and calls for efforts to rethink financing for studios, which are essential to the practice of dance.
This RQD initiative came in support of a request from the initiative of Sarah Bild and Susanna Hood and the La Poêle studio, in collaboration with Studio Z / Compagnie Zeugma Danse, Studio Lucie Grégoire Danse, Studio Ed, Studio D-325, Espace Oriri and La Puerta Negra. In its communications with the various levels of government, the RQD emphasized that many of these studios could benefit from Canada Emergency Rent Assistance (CECRA), but that some building owners neglect to apply and fail to communicate with their tenants.
Tuesday, June 2
Reaction to the MCC’s economic recovery plan for the cultural sector
The economic recovery plan for the cultural sector announced yesterday by Minister Nathalie Roy opens some avenues of recovery for dance, while leaving a number of questions and concerns unanswered. The Regroupement québécois de la danse welcomes these initial measures, emphasizing that they must be backed by equivalent investments to ensure the survival and recovery of the dance sector, which has fallen on extremely precarious times made even worse by the pandemic. Support for independent artists, self-employed workers, and small structures is a leading priority.
Tuesday, May 12
Health and economic measures to support the recovery of the dance sector
The Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) convened the advisory committee for the recovery of the performing arts for a second teleconference on Tuesday, May 12. The two-hour meeting was held to present the collaborative approach between the MCC, the Direction de la Santé publique and the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), and review actions by associations and groups, specifically in regards to the health measures that must be implemented to ensure the sector’s recovery.
> Read our report (in FR)
Thursday, May 7
Exchange with the CALQ concerning support for specific programming
In response to concerns raised by dance professionals about the possible suspension of the support program for specific programming, the RQD received some clarifications from the CALQ. The program management table will be updated on the CALQ website in the coming days, which should address some of the community’s concerns. The RQD will hold a meeting with the CALQ prior to this update to gather all relevant information and improve communications with members. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, April 29
La danse sur les routes du Québec holds a videoconference with presenters
Following its participation in two meetings with multidisciplinary presenters, the RQD came to hear specialized dance presenters brought together by DSR. Discussion topics included the payment of artist fees, future programming, alternative online dissemination and creative residencies. The discussions highlighted how difficult it can be to reach a common ground, given the diversity of realities and business models. There are many concerns about the future, the key issue being to support the artists in the best possible way without compromising the sustainability of institutions. Multiple scenarios have been laid out in an effort to navigate the constraints imposed by physical distancing measures.
Videoconference with the Conseil des arts de Montréal
About fifteen organizations, among which the RQD, were brought together to share their analysis of the situation and propose restart and recovery strategies, and potential collaborations with the Conseil. With complete transparency, CAM Executive Director Nathalie Maillé laid out future perspectives. Since the CAM has already disbursed $16 million out of the $20 million received for the year 2020-2021 and suffered losses in rental income, and since no additional funds will be received, its scope for action will remain limited. The CAM is looking to reduce its administrative costs and offer its rental spaces, and it is currently exploring the legal technicalities required to meet its commitments until June 2021, specifically with the 80 organizations participating in the CAM en tournée program. What will determine its support for projects next year will be their feasibility in the context of the pandemic, and the CAM has said that it is prepared to support the sector in its negotiations with Montreal’s municipal government regarding the presentation of outdoor events.
Monday, April 27
Teleconference with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications
The RQD, like the 24 other organizations taking part in the teleconference, had three minutes to report on the health measures to implement in conjunction with the cultural sector’s recovery. Specifically, the RQD suggested the creation of a working group with the CNESST to establish clear guidelines for managing employees and freelancers in the various facets of their artistic practice, and it raised the issue of protecting dancers in the event of injuries sustained during online training. The eight-page document given to the authorities set out the current problems with CNESST coverage, along with issues specific to training and continuing professional development. Minister Roy assured us that subsequent meetings would follow, and the ministry appointed a respondent for the performing arts sector.
Thursday, April 24
Videoconference with Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Conseil québécois du théâtre invited the RQD to attend this webinar specifically geared toward theatre and touring professionals. The minister expressed his empathy for the artistic sector and ensured that it has his support, reminding the measures already put in place by the federal government. Regarding the $500 million released for sports and culture professionals who are not eligible for these measures, he stated that the distribution would be done in a “transparent and equitable” manner. He answered questions candidly, without suggesting what the future might hold, and said he was aware that major investments to save the arts remained insufficient, adding that he hoped the provinces would be able to improve the federal offer. Mr. Guilbeault reminded those in attendance that he was open to receiving any information that might be useful to the ministry’s work, and he reacted positively to a participant’s suggestion that the closure of performance halls presented an opportunity to carry out development projects, pledging to take up the matter with Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
Wednesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 30
Collaboration with the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts du spectacle (GTFAS – working group on attendance in the performing arts)
Current members of the GTFAS discussed a variety of topics, including the possibility of better coordinating some of their actions, a potential collaboration with the Groupe de soutien de/à la communauté culturelle québécoise (support group for the Quebec cultural community), the importance of prioritizing health measures in support of the sector’s recovery, the inequity that certain artistic disciplines could experience in the context of an uneven recovery, and surveys measuring the level of public trust concerning the reopening of performance halls. The premises of the study on audiences and non-audiences in the performing arts, commissioned by the GTFAS, were supposed to be published in April. They should be amended to reflect the reality of the pandemic.
Tuesday, April 22, and Monday, May 4
Meetings with the Groupe de soutien de/à la communauté culturelle québécoise (support group for the Quebec cultural community)
This Facebook group, with its 9,500 artists and cultural workers across all disciplines, launched an appeal to arts councils, cultural councils at the regional level, service organizations, coalitions, associations and other cultural community actors to create a “regroupement solidaire” or “solidarity-based group” whose objective would be to “work together and organize needs and actions” in an effort to “support, mobilize, structure and elevate the community by giving it a strong and unifying voice.” The RQD discussed potential collaborations with seven of its directors with the goal of submitting a proposal to about 10 of its counterparts. It then met one of the directors to gauge the reactions of the group on the health measures deemed necessary to resume their activities, and to discuss a guaranteed minimum income for the cultural sector workforce.
Monday, April 20
Teleconference at the invitation of the Ministère des finances
No fewer than seven ministers, including Éric Girard, Nathalie Roy and Pierre Fitzgibbon, took note of the initial reports, concerns and measures that the RQD and 10 other organizations put forward for the recovery of the cultural sector. The RQD held videoconferences on April 21 and 23 to report back to its members concerning the meeting. It submitted an eight-page document to government authorities and arts councils summarizing the challenges facing the dance sector, 16 proposals for measures and actions to support the dance sector through the crisis and the recovery period, along with initial suggestions for health measures to be implemented. No promises were made by the officials in attendance at the conference call, other than maintaining or increasing planned investments in culture in the provincial budget, which should be updated in June.
Friday, March 27
With no news from the CALQ since the March 16 telephone conference, and with no word from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications concerning specific support for the artistic and cultural sector beyond initial emergency measures, the RQD and its counterparts on the steering committee for the Coalition La culture, le cœur du Québec reminded Minister Nathalie Roy that continued communication and joint consultation are essential under the circumstances, and requesrted the rapid implementation of a weekly working committee. This emergency committee, which would virtually bring together representatives of the various groups and associations in the sector, would allow for discussions about the issues, countervailing measures, and a recovery plan.
The RQD continues to hold cooperation meetings with members of the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène (GTFAS – working group on attendance in the performing arts) to ensure an improved flow of information and coordinated actions by various associations and groups. More specifically, all are concerned with the proliferation of surveys and emphasize the need to identify data collection principles in order to measure the nature and scope of the impacts of the pandemic correctly, without forgetting individuals, such as touring agents, who don’t necessarily receive funding from arts councils. There are also concerns about loan measures or advances on grant installments, which, while addressing urgent cash flow issues, do nothing to resolve long-term financial problems. In this regard, it appears necessary, moving forward, to establish collective measures as soon as possible. Exchanges with various government authorities have led us to conclude that recovery measures are urgently required. It is therefore necessary to anticipate this recovery quickly and to evaluate, in particular, the time needed to organize the full resumption of activities.
The RQD is working hand in hand with La danse sur les routes du Québec and remains open to any proposed collaborations with dance organizations. Next Tuesday, its Board of Directors will hold a special meeting to discuss the RQD’s operational continuity plan and the specific actions to implement for the dance community.
On Thursday, March 26, the RQD participated in a special webinar hosted by the organization Business/Arts, where the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, spoke about the measures taken by the government of Canada to help the artistic sector and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. He addressed only about 10 of the 500 questions previously submitted by participants by email, providing no certainty about the future. The following topics were covered:
- Event calendar: The minister recommended to wait before planning any summer events, and continue to follow the public health guidelines for physical distancing.
- Grant equivalent to 10% of payroll: The minister wants to ensure that all NPOs in the sector will benefit from the grant. It bears mentioning that the day after the webinar, on March 27, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an increase in this percentage to 75%. Let’s hope that NPOs will see the benefits.
- Special funds to bring audiences back to performance halls: under evaluation.
- Special funds in support of Aboriginal arts: under evaluation.
Finally, the RQD is looking forward to participating in the first Canada Council for the Arts conference call, which will be held on the afternoon of Monday, March 30.
Friday, March 20
With the CALQ
Since Monday, March 16’s conference call, at which the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec announced the initial measures in its action plan, the RQD has been waiting for a new notice of meeting to find out about subsequent measures and the data collection tools that the CALQ is preparing.
Documentation of impacts
Starting next week, the RQD will work on the creation of data collection tools to measure the nature and scope of the impacts of COVID-19 on the dance sector, to draw the most accurate picture possible of the situation, and to be able to respond to the complementary information needs of the various governmental authorities. The RQD expects to work with its performing arts counterparts in an effort to standardize the collection method, and with a working group made up of RQD members. Please let us know if you wish to join this group.
You will receive the data collection tools from the RQD as soon as they are finalized, which we hope will be in the next two weeks. Given the rapidly evolving situation and the considerable likelihood that restrictions will continue beyond the announced timetables, we will look at making these tools dynamic so that the data you enter can be easily updated.
Of course, you can also fill out the surveys that have already been sent by various organizations. However, we remind you that government authorities have identified the RQD as the head of the professional dance network, and that it is vital that we be able to gather exhaustive data on our sector. Thank you for keeping the RQD among your priorities!
Regular meetings are held with members of the Groupe de travail sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène (GTFAS – working group on attendance in the performing arts) to share information and ideas and to promote cohesive action on the part of various associations and disciplinary groups.
This week, the RQD’S Executive Director attended a special meeting of the Board of Directors of Compétence Culture to discuss initial ideas on the tools to be developed and to come up with short-, medium- and long-term support measures for the arts and culture workforce. Next Monday, she will take part in a board meeting held by the Conseil de la formation continue Arts et culture de l’Île-de-Montréal.
On Thursday, upon the invitation of La danse sur les routes du Québec (DSR), the RQD met virtually with a number of specialized and multidisciplinary presenters to take stock of the various realities experienced, to share ideas and concerns, and to consider possible concerted actions. The RQD and the DSR are working closely together to build on and structure these exchanges.
Friday, March 13
Today, the RQD took part in a telephone meeting with several representatives of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC), the CALQ and SODEC.
In anticipation of the upcoming official announcements, Minister Nathalie Roy was keen to assure the arts and cultural communities of the Legault government’s full support. She emphasized the special attention paid to self-employed workers and invited the sector to document the losses in income caused by the pandemic as best they could. She pledged to lead a national campaign, once things return to normal, to promote the arts and to encourage the public to resume going to performance halls.
Listening, flexibility, agility and speed are the touchstones of the government action plan to:
- Implement measures to meet the financial needs of cultural companies and organizations.
- Document and measure impacts on organizations and individuals.
- Oversee support for vulnerable clients, including self-employed artists. The plan would guarantee the payment of artist fees for canceled shows.
- First solutions will flow through CALQ and SODEC programs.
- The MCC will work with other departments to establish compensation measures.
- Supplementary credits recently allocated to government corporations will not be affected.
- The CALQ will communicate with its clients in the coming days to gauge the impacts and will accelerate the payment of the expected sums.
The RQD is working in conjunction with its performing arts counterparts to ensure a better flow of information and more cohesive action. It will also work hand in hand with the CALQ to ensure that the best possible tool is used to document the different categories of impact across the dance sector.