A Renewed Board at arca

December 2, 2009

Montréal (Québec) Canada

arca - Bulletin

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The nine members of arca, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference, met in Montreal on November 23-24, 2009 for two days of Board meetings, the Annual General Meeting, and informal discussions. Below are some of the topics that were on the table, and some issues that were addressed.

A Renewed Board

After a mandate of two years, Bastien Gilbert stepped down as President, and Todd Janes, representative of the Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres and Director of Latitude 53 in Edmonton, has been elected as the new President. Jewell Goodwyn, Executive Director of ARCCO, is now Vice-President; Bastien Gilbert, Executive Director of RCAAQ, is Secretary; and Lise Leblanc, Executive Director of AGAVF, is Treasurer. Other Officers on the Board are Lori Blondeau, Executive Director of Tribe Inc., representing PARCA; Mic hel Boutin, Director of Indigenous Peoples Artist Collective, representing the Aboriginal Region; Eryn Foster, past Director of Eyelevel, representing AARCA; J.J. Kegan McFadden, Director-Curator of Platform, representing VERRUE; and Jonathan Middleton, Director-Curator of the Or Gallery, representing PAARC.

We would like to extend our warmest thanks for the work these dedicated people have accomplished, as well as acknowledge their commitment to the future of this organization. We also want to thank three people who, during the past year, have left their seat to another representative: Jennifer Pickering, Director of Alternator, who represented PAARC for one year; Laura Margita, Executive Director of Paved Arts, who represented PARCA for two years, and Michelle Bush, Director of Eastern Edge, who represented AARCA since 2005, and who was also our President in 2007.

As any artist-run organization, arca relies and thrives on the collective energy and expertise of a group of people working towards the same goals. It is a continuous team effort, and everyone’s contribution must be fully recognized.

Survey on employment standards

One of these goals is to improve the employment standards within our network. As you already know, this fall we have been collecting data on employment, together with our colleagues of the Independent Media Arts Alliance. At the national level, we have received responses from 44% of centres that are members of a regional association forming the arca membership. At the regional level, the rate of response varies from 32% to 87%. Although the 44% response rate at the national level is satisfactory and provides us with a fair representation, we would like to do even better. We are therefore accept ing responses up to December 11, so if you haven’t filled in this survey yet, please follow this link and help us be as accurate as possible: http://www.imaa.ca/ext/ess_en.html.

We value your privacy, and we assure you that all responses are kept confidential and are used for statistical purposes only. This survey will allow us to determine regional and national averages in order to make a case for more financial resources for artist-run centres, so that they are able to appropriately compensate staff for the highly skilled work that they do. It will also enable us to develop resources to help guide organizations when determining appropriate wages for various staff positions. We will begin analysis of the collected data after December 11, and we hope to publish the results in the spring. As there is currently no data of this sort at the national level, these statistics will prove invaluable for our advocacy initiatives with funders, government agencies and human resources or ganizations.

Assistance to Artist-Run Centres and the Canada Council for the Arts

During our meeting in Montreal, our Board also met with Doug Sigurdson, Head of Visual Arts at the Canada Council, to discuss various topics concerning artist-run centres. One of these issues was the Advisory Committee for Artist-Run Centres that met this fall and that will reconvene in December. As this is an initiative of the Council, and as the work is not yet concluded, we will wait for the Council to elaborate further. We are, however, confident that this exercise has been undertaken with transparency and with a genuine desire to make the program as adequate as possible.

Canadian Arts Coalition

During our meeting, arca’s Board also discussed the renewed Canadian Arts Coalition, and we wholeheartedly agreed to support it. We need a coalition of this sort to increase the visibility and support for the Arts in this country, as well as to ensure that Arts and Culture remain on the agenda of the next federal election, as was the case during the last election. You too can become a member of this Coalition and support its objectives. For more information, please visit www.canadianartscoalition.ca.

Upcoming National/International Conference

Lastly, we would like to encourage you to “save the dates” for a major event that RCAAQ is organizing in Montreal and Quebec City on October 5-10, 2010. This conference will assemble the members of the international network of artist residencies Res Artis and the Canadian network of artist-run centres, under the theme Working on Another Level in the Americas. This will be an exceptional networking event that you do not want to miss, with participants from all over the world, as well as a showcase of the specificity of Canadian artist-run culture. Registration will be open in April 2010. For more information, please visit www.rcaaq.org.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have comments or if there are concerns you would like us to address. On behalf of the Board of arca, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference, I wish you a pleasant end of the fall season, and renewed energy for the upcoming winter!

Daniel Roy

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