> November 23, 2016
 #digicancon Consultation

While we wait for details about Canada Council for the Arts upcoming Arts in the Digital Era Summit taking place in Montreal next spring, ARCA has welcomed the opportunity to respond to online and in person Canadian Heritage consultations on Canadian Content in a Digital World. An ad hoc group of arts service organizations in Quebec, including ARCA, is advocating for more equitable policies supporting Canadian, Québécois and Indigenous artistic production and dissemination in the digital era as per the recently crafted collective statement published Saturday November 19, 2016 in Le Devoir. > Read the letter in english.

The signatories argue in favour of Internet regulation needed to defend artists from international trade agreements, the almost oligarchic power of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the imbalance between commercialism and artistic practices. ARCA commends the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Melanie Joly, for taking the pulse of the community on Canadian cultural policy after years of inaction. ARCA certainly appreciates, not without some skepticism, her desire for artists/cultural workers to derive a living from their work.

Artist-run culture has long embodied the ethos of digital culture with its ideals of horizontal, participatory decision making and adaptability to emerging modes of cultural production and dissemination, consistent with the fragmented and fluid nature of digital culture. In the flurry of consultations of the past two years, ARCA has consistently advocated for increases to core funding in support of our organizational system and its messy democratic processes. Despite this, in a video released on November 14, Canada Council announced a 225% increase to project funding vs 55% to core funding.

Read ARCA’s brief submitted to the Canada Council’s consultation last June focused on the impact of digital technologies on staff in artist-run centres left to manage the production and dissemination of material gallery based artistic production along with nurturing the post-studio, dialogic and participatory digital cultural practices.

Add your ideas to those already posted by Canadians
here before November 26, 2016.

Anne Bertrand
Director, ARCA
> what's new in our network?
Farewell to Librairie Formats 
In 2015-2016, Formats last year of operating, the bookstore had the same attendance as in previous years as well as a slight increase in institutional sales. Its transactional website was also just redone but staff was reduced to three dedicated part-time workers who managed a stock of some 8,000 works. In spite of all efforts, the bookstore already in its 5th year of operations was still running a deficit that the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ) could no longer support. In 2015-2016, Formats hosted 13 book launches, took part in 4 art book fairs, and organized 5 curated events. The Formats website will continue to promote artist-run publications.  Thank you, Formats!

Economic Barriers to Linguistic Duality
ARCA and its members have reached a funding road block at Heritage Canada’s assistance for translation program. Applications from ARCA and from its members in consecutive years and for different events and projects are perceived as coming from the same organization disqualifying new applications from the membership. Since 2012, ARCA together with its members, have received a total of $17,500 for the production of online resources and simultaneous interpretation at national conferences (IBA, Artists at the Center) representing less than half the cost of these services. In the wake of Canadian Heritage’s “Cross-Canada official languages consultations 2016” toward the development of a new multi-year action plan for official languages in Canada, organizations that operate nation-wide in both official languages, and organizations that operate in fragile, francophone minority communities, require support for translation if they are to reach audiences outside of their immediate communities.

Flotilla : Update
As the next gathering approaches (Sept. 21-24, 2017), Atlantis will announce hotel rates and a general structure of the event next month so people can book well in advance. Registration will begin in late January. Sign up to their mailing list to receive updates.

Common Field Convening Miami 2016

In a small meeting on the future of the Convening attended by Tarin Hughes of PARCA and Jonathan Middleton of PAARC, both Common Field and ARCA expressed the desire to formalize their respective attendance at large gatherings. Common Field is an association representing some 500 artist-run and artist focused organizations in the US. It is considered the closest counterparts to ARCA.

Featured calls for Proposals


> 35th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul
The 2017 edition, Pasts in the Present, Inventing Tomorrow, will look at the question of history.  Take part in this unique, summertime, month-long production and dissemination opportunity in scenic Baie-St-Paul, Quebec. Application deadline December 16
that 11:59.
more info


> Sâkêwêwak’s The Next 150: Visions of Canada's Future
Call for submissions deadline:
December 23, 2016.
more info
> selection from the e-artexte digital repository
     human ressources 101
> best HR practices in ARCs

Volunteers & Interns
Recent discussions with members of the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ) working on a survey on wages and work conditions resulted in a better understanding of the difference between interns and volunteers. Seems basic?

Both volunteers and interns do unpaid work out of a desire to bring added value to the mandate and community of their organization.

Interns, however, forego pay in exchange for professional advancement that should be measured in terms of visibility, training, networking, mentorship, autonomy, and support of personal projects.


CultureCulture circulated a survey last year looking at the experiences of unpaid interns in Canadian arts organizations and measuring their advancement. With the findings of the study, they’ll endeavour to create a more mutually-beneficial mentorship model that helps arts organizations benefit from an intern’s energy and expertise without taking advantage or weighing down a tight budget. The full study will be released by January 2017, but until then, they’re offering a preliminary look at their findings about the proper care and feeding of your intern:
  1. Visibility. Is their name and work visible? Can they cultivate diverse relationships within your network?
  2. Mentorship. Do you know about the intern’s own practice? Have you offered them advice? Could it dovetail with your mandate?
  3. Guidance. Have you set aside time for training and regular check-ins?
  4. Agency. Are they a key component of a project they can see through from start to finish?
  5. Pertinent work. The majority of interns surveyed regularly did menial work unrelated to their mandate. While this is a necessity for all workers, an intern may be taking a day off from their paid job to spend with you. In this light, busywork hinders low-income workers and makes class a barrier to participation in the arts.
Organizations who were mindful of these 5 factors developed more fulfilling relationships with their interns, who were then more likely to find paid work. Capacity-wise, juggling these factors is difficult in when managing an intern day to day, but this investment makes succession planning easier and your organization’s community more robust and self-sustaining on the long-term.
> studies, stats, letters, etc.
ARCA supports PAARC’s and Pacific IMAA’s sectoral response against the ratification of the TPP
In a substantial written statement, Jem Noble, the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC) secretary and program coordinator at Cineworks brings forward arguments that clearly demonstrate the nefarious terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) accord. I’m reminded of a view expressed by the New Zealand Trade Chief that “excellence, the standard promoted in the accord, does not lead to a fairer society”. Support for the accord has since been pulled by the United States of America, essentially killing the bill.

The Directory of artist-run centres and collectives

To keep the information up-to-date, please send ARCA your press releases by adding us to your contact list. If you wish to make other changes, or think your organization should be added to The Directory, please write to :

The Directory is an online database of artist-run centres and collectives (ARCs) across Canada. It allows artists, curators, administrators, and the general public to search artist-run centres using a variety of filters including association, location, type, discipline, and submission deadlines. Searchable and frequently updated, The Directory provides basic information, including a location map, and links to individual websites and social media for easy access to each centre’s full scope of activities.

© 2016, Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference / Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés.

Contact :
Anne Bertrand
Director / Directrice
C.P. 125, Succ. C
Montréal (Québec) H2L 4J7
+1 514.730.6129

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ARCA is a member of / ARCA est membre de :

Visual Arts Alliance 
Canadian Arts Coalition 
Cultural Human Resources Council 


Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its support. / La Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés reconnaît l'appui financier du Conseil des arts du Canada. 


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