Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Québec’s Government Office in Barcelona at a reception held during his official visit to Spain. The event was attended by a number of political figures from Catalonia and Québec, including Yvon Vallières, Speaker of the National Assembly, who headed a delegation of Québec lawmakers.
Mr. Arcand painted a glowing portrait of Québec-Catalonia cooperation. Since 1996, the Joint Québec-Catalonia Cooperation Committee has provided funding for approximately 100 projects in the areas of culture, economics, health care, education, research, science, technology, public safety and immigration. The Committee is next scheduled to meet in Québec City in February 2010.
In an attempt to build on these successful cooperation initiatives, Mr. Arcand announced four new projects in the culture and education sectors, including a new architecture and design scholarship in the amount of $5,000 enabling a student to attend the Montreal/Barcelona summer school on creativity management next summer. The 2009 summer school—the culmination of a partnership between HEC Montreal and the University of Barcelona—provided a multidisciplinary forum for 60 individuals from Québec and Catalonia to analyze the creative process and various managerial approaches.
Mr. Arcand also announced the signing of an agreement between Québec’s National Institute of Image and Sound (INIS) and Catalonia’s School for Advanced Cinema and Audiovisual Studies (ESCAC). The initiative will make it possible to carry out the “Crossed Portraits” project, in which two students from Québec and two from Catalonia will cross the Atlantic to paint the portrait of a little-known person or reality in the host region. In concrete terms, this initiative will also lead to the production of two video portraits that will be shown at national and international film festivals.
In addition, the Government of Québec will support the 2010 edition of the Baie Saint Paul painting festival, entitled Rêves d'automne, Festival of Lanscape in Painting. Spotlighting Catalonia, the festival’s international component (Colours on the World) aims to build a cultural bridge between the painters from Québec and Catalonia taking part in the festival.
Mr. Arcand also confirmed to representatives of the Catalan Government that the Québec-World Office for Youth (OQMJ) will be overseeing a variety of youth mobility initiatives, thereby opening up a new area of bilateral cooperation. The OQMJ seeks to promote foreign internships for young Quebecers.
Québec Government Office in Barcelona