The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Arts Council England sign a memorandum of understanding to foster cultural cooperation

    MONTREAL, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Yvan Gauthier, Chairman and CEO of
the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Chief Executive
of Arts Council England, Mr. Alan Davey, today signed in London a memorandum
of understanding to foster cultural cooperation between the two organizations.
    "This is the first time that the Conseil des arts et des lettres du
Québec has signed an agreement outside Canada with another arts council, from
which Québec artists, writers and organizations can benefit to pursue their
professional development and broaden their influence on the international
scene, said Yvan Gauthier. We are indeed proud that this initiative stems from
collaboration undertaken several years ago with public institutions in England
and confirmed this summer by the visit to London by Québec Minister of
Culture, Communications and the Status of Women Christine St-Pierre, who
announced the establishment of a Québec Studio in the English capital in
    Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England stated "I am
delighted to be agreeing this new Memorandum with CALQ. This marks the
beginning of a more formal relationship, and one that we hope will have strong
benefits for the cultural sectors in both England and Quebec. The agreement
recognises that we have much to gain from a more structured relationship with
each other, and also builds the long cultural history we already share".
    The Memorandum runs until 2010 and is likely to explore ways of
exchanging expertise between the two Arts Councils, and linking cultural
events in Québec and England.
    The signing of the memorandum of understanding reflects the Québec
government's desire to foster exchanges with flourishing cultural hubs the
world over. The English artistic and cultural scene is renowned for its
vitality, avant-gardism and diversity. For several years, it has accorded a
warm welcome to dancers, stage actors and musicians from Québec in particular.
The new Québec Studio in London, which the CALQ will manage, will further
bolster these ties. The Conseil also administers a program that offers an
artist residency to Québec architects at the British School at Rome.
    The Conseil plays a major role in enhancing the influence abroad of
Québec arts and literature. It supports the dissemination of artistic works in
over 40 countries, market exploration and development, and the hosting of
foreign performers. Moreover, it offers artists and writers travel grants and
numerous artist residencies abroad, thus making it one of the most active
government organizations in the world in this realm.

    Since 1994, CALQ has supported throughout Québec creation,
experimentation and production in the realms of the performing arts, the
visual arts, the media arts, architectural research, the arts and crafts, and
literature and broadened their influence in Québec, Canada and abroad. It also
supports the development of professional artists. Among its support programs,
the Conseil is offering a new province-wide program to support upcoming
artists and, in collaboration with its regional partners, additional financial
support to artists and arts organizations in most regions of Québec.

    Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing,
developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives.
As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of
artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to
digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together
and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes
life better. Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest (pnds stlg)1.3 billion of
public money from government and a further (pnds stlg)0.3 billion from the
National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible
across the country.
    Arts Council England published its first International Policy in 2005.
The policy provides a framework for supporting international collaboration and
exchange and builds on the Arts Council's international relationships.
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For further information:

For further information: Carl Allen Director, Public Relations, Conseil
des arts et des lettres du Québec, (514) 864-2928, or toll free,
1-800-608-3350,,; Sophie
Woodward, Communications Officer, Arts Council England, London, +44 (0) 20
7608 4149,,

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