Québec’s Cultural Policy
From a North American perspective, Québec has been providing exceptional public support to its cultural sector for the past 50 years. The creation of the Ministère des Affaires culturelles in 1961, the precursor of the current Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, marked a first on the continent.
Québec has been constantly building on these foundations. As a result, its approaches have evolved considerably over the decades. The development and adoption of the Cultural Policy of Québec in 1992 was a significant milestone.
The policy’s key principles
, which continue to guide the Québec government in its cultural initiatives, are:
- The affirmation of cultural identity
- Support for creators and the arts
- Citizen access and participation in cultural life
The policy asserts both the French character of Québec culture and dialogue between the various cultures within Québec’s borders. It provides consistent support to artists and cultural organizations through agencies with well-defined roles.
The Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine can rely on some 13 organizations and Crown corporations to implement its initiatives to foster the process of affirming cultural expression and democratization as well as developing communications. They include public museums, cultural promoters and other specialized agencies such as the National Library and National Archives of Québec.
Of these, two organizations play a key role in supporting culture:
The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (Québec council for arts and letters), which fosters creation and experimentation by providing support to professional artists and non-profit cultural organizations.
- The Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (society for the development of cultural ventures), which supports sector companies in all regions of Québec through a range of financial tools, particularly to support Québec’s cultural presence in the rest of Canada and abroad.
Other government departments, primarily the Ministère des Relations internationales and its network of Québec government offices abroad, as well as the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation and the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes also support Québec culture both in Canada and internationally.