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It gives us great pleasure to submit to you the final report on our research and analysis.
A brief reminder of our mandate:
The Department of Culture of the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council commissioned Sophocle Marketing International, within the framework of initiative 3 of the LEAD project, to carry out a study of the private sector’s new operating procedures in the domain of cultural work in Quebec. In this context, and in relation to initiative 2 of LEAD, Sophocle Marketing International will provide international data for the website’s Magazine and Diary and encourage creators and artists in our communities to network and establish international partnerships.
Part 1: Finding out about the key emerging practices of up-and-coming partnerships in Quebec; Part 2: Identifying models that are likely to transfer internationally; Part 3: Determining the cultural work sectors that are most likely to implement the new models.
As stated, our report focuses on the key mandate. Time constraints prevented us from going further. However, when we present it in Lille we will be able to go into much greater detail with the competent authorities. In our progress report of 7 November last, we sketched out the matrix of the final report centred on the following question, which we answer succinctly.
Does private funding have a future in Quebec? Yes, a great future. What examples can you give showing the pitfalls and the achievements? There are a number. In our opinion the final report will aim to answer the main questions. We will endeavour to separate the wheat from the chaff in Quebec, thereby showing indirectly the chances of success for this type of funding in France. To achieve this, a basic infrastructure and a good team are needed.
The final report will be concise and concentrate therefore on the operating procedures that may be of interest to the Regional Council and cultural organisations in the region. We will look at which of an organisation’s functions is the most suitable for receiving private funding and the type of function: creative, production, distribution or management. The distribution function is definitely the most suitable for private funding. What proportion of the funding is public and what proportion private? The public must be and must remain the main sponsor of creative artists.
Therefore, we shall look more closely at the importance of culture, national customs and the way cultural sponsorship works. Because Foundations run funding campaigns, they do not have a good reputation in France. We will look at hindrance and success factors and establish a profile of a company that is both successful and that retains its artistic edge. A kind of grid for analysing potential, which must be understood in its cultural context.
We will return to this when we answer these questions. Since we wrote our progress report, we have met the key players in private funding, studied experiments and consulted various public documents. We now offer you a summary, the most relevant possible, of the operating procedures of private funding in Quebec. They seem more like a process that has been going on for a number of years than new models.
Private funding generally has a bad press in Quebec, as if it is providing a stopgap solution after withdrawal of State funding of the arts. Although a new counter trend favours increasing budgets for the creative arts and artists. A businessman very involved in cultural milieus states quite firmly that business people are not interested in art and culture. Therefore, the responsibility to help fund the arts, which the State envisages transferring gradually to private enterprise, is not in vogue with the main interested parties.
In spite of all this, private funding is already current practice in Quebec. And has been for some time. Only 26% of the cost of a tour comes from the government and only to balance the budget from the contracts won. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) receives only 30% of its budget from the government. Private funding is increasing. Even more so in the regions. Without it, cultural organisations would not develop. A forced changeover, perhaps?
“The various government decrees strongly encourage artistic organisations to increase the share of private funding in their revenue. At the beginning of the decade, a survey by the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec (Quebec Arts and Literature Council) showed that in Quebec, in the performing arts sector, public aid is still four times greater than private aid (44 million compared with 11 million dollars). The latter is progressing much faster however, having seen an increase of over 29% between 1966 and 2000, while government subsidies only rose by 8.6%.”
Concerning models in use throughout the world, one can state without fear of being too far off the mark that Quebec has retained traces and customs of both founding peoples of Canada: France and England. Therefore, an approach fed from both European and American sources is gradually becoming established. We are probably closer to the English Canada (Foundations, Canada Council for the Arts Endowment Fund, which fluctuates depending on its shares on the stock market), to the United Kingdom rather than France. We stand astride France and the United States, and in contrast to Toronto, we have few people with great wealth.
According to one firm of consultants, public-private partnership is particularly effective in building, renting and management areas. There are legal problems in setting up real partnerships. The Quebec government, which announced its intention to expand this kind of partnership, is looking for candidates to build a conservatoire and the new MSO concert hall. Recently, engineers put a spanner in the works by refusing to pay the cost of their bids in response to a government invitation to tender. Because it was not cost-effective.
In this report we show the various private, public-private and public funding initiatives to give an idea of the range of practices that exist. We then highlight the key points in understanding how Quebec is organised and developing in this field. Lastly, we offer suggestions for disseminating the contents of this report not just to the LEAD network but also to the Nord-Pas de Calais cultural community.
Let us end this introduction by saying that the new Quebec government is tending more towards improving individuals’ income and the social network of artists and creators than supporting the funding of association or property infrastructures.