Quebec, Montreal announce $30 million to support local artists

Originally promised in 2019, Quebec and the City of Montreal announced Monday $30 million to support artists and their workshops.

With rents on the rise in central neighbourhoods, artists are being pushed out of some spaces. The funding will help those spaces, including Le Chat des Artistes, a hive of art studios on Parthenais Street.

“Our goal really is to renovate those spaces, those studios, and create long-term agreements between the landlords and the artists and artists' union,” said Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante. “It is really to support those studios to stay in those neighbourhoods where we know the prices are always going higher and higher. “

Plante said artistic groups like Moment Factory or Cirque du Soleil don't just happen on their own, they have to start somewhere.

The community that artists create bring value to the city's core, said Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy.

“To have better workshop for artists, a new program, $25 million from Quebec [is] an outstanding amount of money, because the last time the government gave money it was 2012 and it was $5 million. It shows how our artists are important and need a good place to work,” she said.

A collective called RAAV, or Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Quebec, said it welcomes this windfall.

“I think it's going to really really help many artists,” said Moridja Kitenge Banza of RAAV.

The program will give financial incentives to landlords who rent to artists.

“This is good news for us. The ministry, the city is thinking of the best way to help the artists,” said Banza.

The group is holding a webinar next week all about artist access to affordable workshops.

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