Rendezvous of Culture with the Social Economy
Social Economy Month 2021 ended on a high note for the First Nations Social Economy Regional Table (FNSERT) with the Rendezvous of Culture with the Social Economy, which was held on November 30, 2021 in a hybrid format.
Organized in partnership with the le Pôle d’économie sociale de la Capitale-Nationale (Pôle CN), the Rendezvous brought together some twenty leaders of Indigenous cultural organizations at the Hôtel-Musée Premieres Nations (Wendake), as well as some sixty participants online.
The cultural sector is a genuine pillar of the social economy for the First Nations and for all communities in Quebec. Yet, cultural organizations face many challenges in terms of funding, workforce retention and management of material resources. The Rendezvous of Culture with the Social Economy invites players in the social economy and culture to reflect on these issues as well as on avenues for collective solutions.
Social economy and culture in an Indigenous context
Hosted by Karine Awashish, social economy consultant for the FNQLEDC, the event aimed to discuss the challenges encountered by Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural organizations. At the opening of the meeting, Karine Awashish also stressed the importance of the work carried out by representatives of Indigenous cultural organizations who work to promote and disseminate arts and culture, while ensuring the management and sustainability of their respective organizations.
Cultural vitality, a benefit to our communities
The first part was presented by Mr. Bernard Gilbert, cultural manager, writer and vice-president of Pôles Magnétiques – Art et Culture. In particular, participants were able to learn more about the concept of cultural vitality. Mr. Gilbert stressed the importance of making room for the practice of amateur arts and creating a strong connection with professional practice. He also emphasized the contribution of the social economy to cultural vitality, as it is a mode of development supported by citizens.
At the heart of support in cultural development
The second presentation was provided by Mr. Éric Lord, general manager of the Regroupement des conseils régionaux de la culture du Québec. The conseils régionaux de la culture (CRCs, regional councils of culture) bring together people and organizations that contribute to the artistic and cultural vitality of their region. Their role is to coordinate, represent, support, advise, inform, promote, develop training and defend the interests of artists and cultural organizations. They are also privileged representatives of the Government of Quebec for development on their territory.
The CRCs provide support for the career development of artists. They also offer specialized training for the environment, in order to respond to specific issues to contribute to the professionalization of cultural and artistic circles.
Currently, there is no CRC for the First Nations. According to Mr. Lord, the creation of such a CRC would be a possibility to be evaluated by the community.
The regional cultural hub of the Eastern Townships
The third and final presentation of the morning was provided by Ms. Marianne Mondon, coordinator of the Pôle culturel régional de l’Estrie, Conseil de la culture de l’Estrie. The Pôle’s mission is to explore the organizational changes necessary for the growth and influence of cultural organizations by relying on increased networking and partnerships between cultural players. It is aimed at organizations and professional artists in the Estrie region. It supports the establishment of a new model that responds to the fragility of the current ecosystem.
Cultural organizations are indeed faced with many challenges such as labour shortages, high staff turnover rates and difficulties related to retaining resources with wages that are not competitive with other sectors, to name a few. The identification, development and sharing of human resources constitute the Pôle’s first area of intervention. The second is focused on financial resources and the third is focused on the sharing of physical resources.
In closing, we can say that this event was a genuine success. The presentations made it possible to learn more about the services offered to artists and cultural organizations throughout Quebec. A reflection has been initiated on how to strengthen the ecosystem of First Nations arts and culture.
About the First Nations Social Economy Regional Table (FNSERT)
The FNSERT is a regional concertation structure coordinated by the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Economic Development Commission (FNQLEDC). It was created in 2016 to promote the social economy as a model of socio-economic development for Indigenous communities in Quebec. It brings together social economy partners and enterprises with the common goal of promoting and developing collective and social entrepreneurship (social economy) among the First Nations of Quebec. The FNSERT is part of a national network composed of the Chantier de l’économie sociale and the regional social economy poles.
To discover speakers’ biographies, visit the event page on this website.
Further information on the social economy, we invite you to visit our social economy section and to consult our tools on this subject.