Cultural development agreements
Quebec's Cultural Policy of 1992 (available online in French only) created partnership agreements with local and regional municipal authorities, which is an important lever in cultural development. In addition, cultural development agreements (CDAs) provide an opportunity for the Ministere de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) as well as municipalities and regional county municipalities (RCMs) to coordinate their culture-based actions in these areas in partnership as well as in a reciprocal manner to benefit citizens, with the main goal being sustainable development. lt includes structuring and innovative actions that can be used to change the way things are done from one area to the next and that fosters exclusive and complementary initiatives.
The main objectives of CDAs are to develop cultural vitality, increase public participation in cultural development in communities, reinforce local identity and the feeling of belonging, and reinforce economic, social and democratic dynamism.
Furthermore, each CDA includes objectives development based on the needs of the municipality or RCM. For example, the objectives of the 2012-2015 agreement with the Ville de Quebec were to improve access to and awareness of the arts, culture and heritage, strengthen professional foundations, encourage heritage research and showcasing, restore and renovate heritage buildings and stimulate the cultural showcase of Quebec city. In comparison, the objectives of the 2012-2015 agreement with the Ville de Montreal were to showcase Montreal's natural and historic boroughs, develop new audiences and ways to access culture for everyone, notably through cultural mediation, consolidate the network of libraries and confer with Forum des equipements culturels partners.
CDAs are negotiated through a reference framework, Pour un partenariat durable avec le milieu municipal (available online in French only), which was jointly developed by the MCC and municipal unions (the Federation quebecoise des municipalites and the Union des municipalites du Quebec). This framework puts citizens at the heart of cultural action. lt is a seamless planning tool that is more tailored to municipalities' cultural intervention based on their jurisdiction. Before a CDA is concluded, the partner must adopt a cultural policy and action plan that sets cultural intervention priorities. Establishing an increasing number of agreements has therefore been the driving force behind for several cultural policies.
In CDAs, the MCC strongly encourages its municipal partners to have public or private third-party partners assist with funding and implementing CDAs to strengthen the complementarity and convergence of actions.
There are several promising projects and programs stem from CDAs. For example, the 2012-2015 agreement with the Ville de Quebec led to the realization of various cultural projects, notably as part of the Programme de soutien aux projets des organismes culturels professionnels (available online in French only) and the Premiere Ovation measure, which is meant to support the emergence of up-and-coming artists in music and theatre. Through the agreement with the Ville de Montreal, cultural projects were developed notably through the Acces culture network (available online in French only) and the program, which supports the particular initiatives of cultural and professional environments that would like to make arts and culture more accessible for citizens.
Since 2011, 17 new CDAs have been concluded, making a total of 112 agreements on May 31, 2016 that reach over 75% of Quebec's population. The results expected through CDAs are the development of cultural vitality, increased citizen participation in the cultural development of communities, strengthened local identity and feeling of belonging, as well as strengthened economic, social and democratic dynamism.