Culture Outaouais jumps in the electoral campaign
After 40 years, the organization is still just as dynamic. Julie Martineau and Céline De Guise, respectively Executive Director and President of Culture Outaouais, have travelled the region, holding five Press Conferences in order to reveal their priorities in the areas of culture, in the context of the municipal elections.
Five conferences, and five remarkable settings for the regional cultural life, and it is at the Centre L’Imagier d’Aylmer that 17 proposals were put forth to “Meet together, the challenges of today and of tomorrow regarding cultural development”. Julie Martineau explains she wants to elicit a healthy debate and meet with future elected representatives, to invite them to invest in culture and its many benefits. Candidates Audrey Bureau, Véronique Boyer and Maude Marquis-Bissonnette, who are running for council in districts 1, 2 and 4, were present and on board.
“Culture, when integrated in the whole of the vision for municipalities, is a formidable asset and an important lever in the development of territories,” explains the President of Culture Outaouais, Céline De Guise. “We are here to remind everyone that culture is an essential element in the quality of life of citizens, and that municipalities have at their disposal several means of supporting and accruing this sector. For example, in Gatineau, the municipality has planned investments to support artist studios and has committed to the integration of architecture and arts for several years now, in order to facilitate its constituents’ access to art. Municipal elections are a great opportunity to underscore such best practices and to present further ways in which municipalities can act.”
The proposed Culture Outaouais platform is articulated around four themes: the support of creators and cultural institutions, the valuation of heritage, the recognition of Gatineau as a cultural hub and the necessity for close partnerships between all cultural actors.
A vibrant and communicative energy could be felt in the proposals put forth. The simplest of measures were shown to enhance without discrediting, the more complex initiatives. An example cited is the natural ease in the implementation of the promotion of regional literature in libraries, while ensuring that supportive municipal funding towards cultural organizations be founded on merit, as opposed to historical reality. On the other hand, something like remediation of the lack of cultural infrastructure on Outaouais territory, in order to attain the provincial median, or the implementation of the City of Gatineau cultural policies of 2003 to integrate the new realities present (living together, inclusion, numerical, cultural citizenship), is more complex and demands more energy and, most of all, more conviction.
Citing frequent good deeds by the municipalities, such as the policies surrounding the acquiring of works of arts, Julie Martineau reminded all present that the work must continue. She referenced financial measures, such as the Land tax credit for the renovation and restoration of buildings and sites of cultural or environmental interest, as a legitimate lever which proves that culture is certainly an economic asset that is much more represented in the Outaouais PIB than are the agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing sectors combined. She affirmed that one must therefore promote culture to great benefit.
Through this media outing, Culture Outaouais reaffirmed its expertise and the role it commands as a catalyst for positive action among the different cultural actors, thereby benefitting the whole sector.
The Outaouais cultural heritage is alive and well. There are many artists and the municipal and political cultural encouragement measures abound. Everything is there to propel Gatineau to the rank of cultural metropolis of the Outaouais region.
In closing, Edwige Horreaux, the Communications Officer, reminded those present that, during the electoral campaign, an e-letter would be regularly updated on the organization’s website, to showcase all discussion pertaining to culture.
Website : http://www.crco.org/