Québec’s Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, Christine St-Pierre, has returned home satisfied with her mission to New York City in support of some fifteen Québec agents and the artists they represent at the 52nd annual members conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). The conference brought together over 4,000 performing arts professionals from 50 American states and 29 countries. It was held in New York City from January 9 to 13, 2009.
Accompanied by Québec’s delegate general in New York, Robert Keating, and members of the delegation’s culture department, the minister met with representatives from the performing arts in the United States, including the director of the New York State Council on the Arts, Heather Hitchens; the program director of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Adam Bernstein; and various concert organizers with whom she discussed the challenges currently facing the sector and noted the interest for artistic productions from Québec.
The minister also met with Québec agents manning booths of the APAP conference exhibition. According to the news release, these discussions and her meeting with CINARS (Commerce international des arts de la scène) CEO Alain Paré reaffirmed to the minister the importance of funding for international tours from all levels of government.
“In New York City, I saw first hand the vital role that export assistance programs play in complementing funding for tours in the American market. Without government support, it would be extremely difficult for groups of artists to go on the tours with which they earn a living, while serving as excellent ambassadors for the brands of Québec and Canada. Our finest representatives have a vital role to play with our leading trading partners,” concluded the minister.
According to the press release, the Québec government will invest over $12 million in the 2008–2009 fiscal year in support of culture abroad.