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New CALQ program for the First Nations arts

The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) is pleased to announce the launch of a new program geared towards First Nations artists and organizations and tailored to the specific realities of their creative, production and distribution models. The announcement was made today by Anne-Marie Jean, CEO of the CALQ in conjunction with the First Peoples Festival.

Entitled RecognitionThis link will open in a new window, the new program stems from close collaboration by CALQ and the First Nations arts community. Drawing on the values of dialogue, listening and respect, the program took shape following consultations with a broad array of practitioners from the First Nations artistic and cultural communities, including individuals from the First Nations and the Inuit. The process was enhanced by their experience and knowledge of the issues facing First Nations artists, writers and organizations.

" This program marks the fulfilment of a promise, namely our pledge to provide adequate support for First Nations people and their energy, daring, talent, imagination and hard work.

We hope it will serve to turn dreams into reality and build bridges, in addition to promoting and fostering artists and works that reflect the richness and importance of First Nations cultures."

– Anne-Marie Jean

CEO of the CALQ

" For many moons, I have followed the path of music and creation. Along the way, I have often stopped to help young First Nations artists who dream of music.

I am proud to have played a role in developing this program, which meets a need that I have witnessed on many occasions. I am pleased with the program's openness and I hope that many First Nations artists will tap into this tool to express their talent and vision."

– Florent Vollant, musician

Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec

Recognition program spokesperson

Open, inclusive and flexible

Recognition is divided into five components, two of which are geared towards organizations This link will open in a new windowand three towards established or up-and-coming artists This link will open in a new window. Open to customary, traditional and contemporary forms, the program aims to support a wide variety of activities, including creation, reappropriation, transmission, sponsorship, guidance, circulation and distribution both inside and outside Québec. In launching this new program, the CALQ is also seeking to support initiatives undertaken by First Nations artistic organizations with a view to developing and consolidating their organizational capacities.

The program's innovative aspects include access to microgrants, which have a simplified application process. In addition, a portion of the application may be submitted in writing or orally (via video recordings). First-time grants will be awarded to First Nations artists identified by third parties.

Most financial aid requests may be submitted at any time during the year. All applications will be evaluated by juries primarily made up of recognized First Nations artists, Elders, creators, professionals or cultural managers who are representative of the First Nations artistic community.

Mélanie Lumsden, who recently joined CALQ's Direction du soutien aux artistes, aux communautés et à l’action régionale, will be primarily dedicated to the Recognition program. A member of the Inuvialuit nation, Ms. Lumsden has several years of experience as a project manager in the First Nations cultural community, having worked for DestiNATIONS: Carrefour International des Arts et Cultures des Peuples autochtones, as well as for Mikana and Exeko. We are delighted to welcome her to the CALQ team This link will open in a new window.

Reappropriation, reconstruction and development

Recognition is designed to support the First Nations arts community's reappropriation, reconstruction and development efforts. In launching the program, the CALQ is reaffirming its desire to:

  • Contribute to the knowledge, recognition and promotion of First Nations artists and arts.
  • Foster the reappropriation, transmission and development of traditional First Nations knowledge, languages and arts.
  • Facilitate the early career and professional development of First Nations artists by supporting their first professional experiences and providing them with sponsorship and guidance.
  • Encourage the respect of First Nations protocols.

Learn more

About the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ)

With a view to encouraging equitable and sustainable artistic development throughout Québec, the Conseil supports creation, experimentation and production in the domains of the arts and literature and promotes their diffusion and influence in Québec, across Canada and abroad.

Members of the advisory committee who participated in the development of Recognition

  • Ginette Kakakos Aubin, Malécite, artiste peintre
  • Ludovic Boney, Huron-Wendat, artiste sculpteur
  • Hannah Claus, Kanienkehaka (Mohawk), artiste en arts visuels
  • Christian Coocoo, Atikamekw, coordonnateur des Services culturels au Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw
  • André Dudemaine, Innu, réalisateur, animateur culturel et administrateur de l'organisme Terres en Vues
  • Robert Fréchette, photographe et responsable des publications pour l’Institut culturel Avataq
  • Louis Gagnon, conservateur, directeur du département de muséologie de l'Institut culturel Avataq
  • Pierre Gladu, agent d'artistes
  • Dave Jenniss, Malécite, directeur artistique associé aux Productions Ondinnok
  • Nicole O’Bomsawin, Abénaki, anthropologue, muséologue, militante écologiste, conteuse, fondatrice du groupe de danse Mikwobait, ex-directrice du Musée des Abénakis
  • Kevin Papatie, Anicinapek, vidéaste
  • Sylvie Paré, Métisse, Huronne-Wendat, ex-conservatrice des arts autochtones au Musée canadien des civilisations, artiste, agente culturelle au Jardin des Premières Nations du Jardin botanique de Montréal, membre du comité ART-CULTURE du réseau pour la stratégie de la communauté autochtone de Montréal
  • Marie-Josée Parent, Mi'kmaq et Acadienne, ex-directrice générale de DestiNATIONS, conférencière, commissaire d'expositions
  • Sarah Pashagumskum, Cri, directrice de l'Institut culturel cri Aanischaaukamikw, à Oujé-Bougoumou
  • Stephen Puskas, Inuit, artiste et journaliste
  • Guy Sioui Durand, Huron-Wendat, théoricien, critique d’art, commissaire indépendant et enseignant
  • Yves Sioui Durand, Huron-Wendat, artiste en théâtre et littérature, fondateur des Productions Ondinnok inc
  • Nadine St-Louis, entrepreneure, directrice générale et fondatrice des Productions Feux Sacrés
  • Marjolaine Tshernish, Innue, directrice générale à l'Institut Tshakapesh
  • Florent Vollant, Innu, musicien et porte-parole du programme



Caroline Tremblay

Conseillère en communication et à la promotion des arts et des lettres

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Phone: (800) 608-3350 (toll-free)

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