Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, took part in a cultural mission to New York from January 8 to 10. She was very pleased with the success of her mission and returned with a renewed belief that assistance programs in support of performing art exports are essential.
The purpose of the mission was to provide support to the 15 Québec agents and the artists they represent at the 52nd annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), which brought together more than 4,000 performing arts professionals from all 50 US states and 29 different countries. The event was held in New York City from January 9 to 13.
Accompanied by Québec’s Delegate General in New York, Robert Keating, and by members of Québec Government Office in New York’s cultural department, Ms. St-Pierre met with representatives of the US performing arts sector, including Heather Hitchens, executive director of the New York State Council on the Arts, and Adam Bernstein, deputy program director of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. The Minister discussed the various challenges facing the sector and welcomed entertainment programmers’ interest in productions by Québec artists.
Ms. St-Pierre met with the Québec agents at the APAP conference exhibition booths. According to the Minister, these discussions and her meeting with Alain Paré, CEO of the International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS) reconfirmed how important it is for all levels of government to contribute financially to international tours.
“In New York, I saw concrete evidence of how vitally important assistance programs are in ensuring adequate financing of tours in the US market. Without government support, it would be very difficult for performing arts groups to undertake international tours, which not only provide their members with an opportunity to earn a living, but also strengthen their role as brilliant ambassadors who enhance Québec’s and Canada’s brand image. They are our finest representatives, and they play a key role alongside our most important trade partners,” said Ms. St-Pierre.
The Government of Québec has earmarked over $12 million to support Québec culture on the international stage in 2008-2009.
Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition feminine (in French)