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The members of the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) met on Friday, December 13, 2013, in Montreal. With the addition of two new members — the University and College Art Galleries Association (UCAGAC) and the Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA) —the Visual Arts Alliance now groups fourteen national arts service organizations in the visual and media arts, and in fine crafts. We welcome these two associations toward working for a better understanding and recognition of the arts in our society.
During this meeting, members of the Visual Arts Alliance had the pleasure to exchange with Sylvie Gilbert, Head of the Visual Arts Section at the Canada Council for the Arts. Ms. Gilbert informed us of issues at Council that are of interest to our membership, such as “Leading the Change Agenda”. The VAA members were able to express the concerns of the visual arts milieu around these issues, while offering their collaboration. It was the second meeting with Ms. Gilbert since her nomination last spring, and the VAA looks forward to an ongoing, mutually beneficial dialogue.
Also on the meeting agenda were discussions on a study we hope to initiate next spring on the art economy, in response to a series of meetings that took place in various cities on this topic in the last year and questions raised by Bellavance in a survey of recent research commissioned by the Alliance, and published in 2011. Since the Visual Arts Alliance wants to work toward a better recognition of the visual arts in the long term, we are also discussing an education campaign to raise the awareness of the visual arts in Canadian society.
This meeting also marked the end of the mandate of Maegen Black, Director of the Canadian Craft Federation as co-chair, who was warmly thanked for her involvement over the last year. Lise Leblanc, Director of the Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones, and Anne Bertrand, Director of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference, will share the responsibility for the coming year. The Alliance also wishes to thank Christian Bédard and the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec, for hosting the meeting in Montreal.
In closing, the members of the Visual Arts Alliance wish you a peaceful holiday season and a happy new year.