Only Quebec music to be played in government buildings, minister announces

Minister of Culture Nathalie Roy announced Sunday that all government departments and crown corporations will broadcast Quebec music only. SOURCE: Nathalie Roy/ Twitter

Only Quebec music will be allowed to be played in all government buildings and phone lines.

"The days of royalty-free elevator music are over," said Culture Minister Nathalie Roy at a news conference Sunday.

Having discovered that there was "no practice that encouraged the sharing of Quebec music in the State", Roy announced this measure which will take effect immediately in all government department establishments and Crown corporations.

"I was personally on hold on the phone line at the Ministry of Culture and was shocked to hear an American singer singing a little song in English," said Roy.

La musique de nos artistes, on en est fiers. J'annonce donc que notre gouvernement va inciter les ministères et sociétés d'État à diffuser de la musique et des chansons québécoises dans leurs édifices.

De plus, nous investissons 1,1M$ dans le projet Écoute mon album de @ADISQ_. pic.twitter.com/oEOWrzK4Bt

— Nathalie Roy (@NathalieRoyCAQ) June 20, 2021

However, it is not known if English-speaking Quebec artists or Indigenous artists will also benefit from this measure or if it will also apply to Crown corporations like the SAQ.

An email sent to the Ministry of Culture was still unanswered in the early afternoon.

The Minister was accompanied for this announcement by the Director General of the Association quebecoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video (ADISQ), Solange Drouin.

"Allow me to hope that this is just the beginning and that other people in the private sector will follow suit," said Drouin. "Our music is beautiful, let's hear it."

An initiative was also launched at the news conference aimed at promoting local music produced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ecoute mon album campaign will consist of the production and broadcast of 80 television and web capsules featuring Quebec artists.

Interviews and musical excerpts "in a live show format" will fill these short episodes.

Such a measure is mentioned in the Economic Recovery Plan for the cultural sector launched by the government earlier this spring.

An additional $1.115 million will be granted to ADISQ for this project. Quebec's largest broadcasters, including ICI Tele, TVA and Noovo, will participate in the initiative.

"The goal of the project is to introduce the general public to dozens of Quebec albums that were released during the pandemic and that are about to come to life on stage," said Drouin.

She added that she has received support from "the entire music community" for the Ecoute mon album campaign, including the Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Quebec, the Union des artistes and SOCAN.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 20, 2021.