Quebecers from all regions invited to debate: Is globalization threatening our culture?

    What is Quebec culture becoming in times of Internet and the planet?

    MONTREAL, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebecers from all regions are invited
to participate in an unprecedented forum on their culture. Following the
success of the meetings on February 2 and 3, with the participation of
850 citizens throughout Quebec, people in great numbers are expected at the
next debate on March 16 and 17. The theme will be What is Quebec culture
becoming in times of Internet and the planet? Held simultaneously in nine
cities, this second regional meeting will be followed by a national
rendez-vous in Montreal on April 27 and 28.
    In times of new digital technologies, iPods, cell phones and the
Internet - in brief, the global village - we ask ourselves: how does all this
influence Quebec culture and what are our future avenues? Is globalization
threatening our culture? These are some of the important questions that will
be debated this weekend at the Strategic Rendez-Vous on Culture, organized by
the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM).
    The population is also invited to debate these questions on the
interactive forum at INM's website ( Rendez-vous - Forum
interactif section).
    The objective of INM's Strategic Rendez-Vous on Culture is to allow
citizens, through dialogue with experts and practitioners, to suggest
strategic choices on crucial cultural issues to public decision-makers and
stakeholders from the various sectors in question. The co-presidents of the
committee are Gérard Bouchard, sociologist and historian, professor in the
Department of Humanities of Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and holder of
the Canada Research Chair on Comparative Dynamics and Collective Imaginaries,
and Céline Saint-Pierre, sociologist and President of the Board of Directors
of the Fernand Dumont Chair on Culture and past President of the Conseil
supérieur de l'éducation.
    "The Quebec cultural landscape has greatly diversified over the last
decades and this trend seems to be increasing, notably due to the Internet and
other recent means of communication that allow all individuals to build their
own universe of reference," states Mr. Bouchard. "The result is a great
diversification of cultural life with references, methods of production and
consumption that are, at times, very individualized. Do these changes reflect
an enrichment or a weakening of Quebec culture? In exchange for this
'individualized' culture, is there currently an emergence of new forms of a
culture shared by the majority of Quebecers?"
    "In the new communication space created by globalization, a threat or a
new horizon of expansion and affirmation of Quebec culture can be observed,"
continues Céline Saint-Pierre. "In this regard, are Quebecers waiting,
defensive and withdrawn? Or are they inventive, taking initiative and showing
leadership? New information and communication technologies, given their
potential and versatility, can contribute to making our culture more
accessible to a greater number of citizens."
    INM's Strategic Rendez-Vous on Culture includes the participation of some
one hundred prominent figures, such as author Dany Laferrière in Montreal, and
actress Marie Gignac in Québec City. The general public is invited to come and
discuss Quebec culture in their company. Together, the participants will
determine the strategies required to consolidate Quebec culture and ensure its
dissemination and development.
    "The purpose of the Rendez-Vous is to encourage citizens to reflect on
the state of Quebec culture and provide them with the opportunity to debate
its future," explains Michel Venne, Executive Director of the INM. "Choices,
approaches and concrete suggestions will be brought out and the INM is
committed to disseminating these on a large scale, particularly to

For further information:

For further information: Roch Bilodeau, 1-877-934-5999, extension 227,
(819) 347-7622; Source: Institut du Nouveau Monde

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