IMAGO: AN AMBITIOUS VISUAL ARTS PROJECT BECOMES A REALITY
Montreal, May 18, 2010 – It’s now official: during a radio broadcast organized by CIBL and the Société de développement Angus (SDA), Ms. Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications et Condition féminine, and Mr. Raymond Bachand, Finance Minister and Minister responsible for the region of Montreal, announced, in the presence of Mr. Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal, an investment of $4.1 million enabling Artexte, the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ) and VOX, Contemporary Image Centre, to carry out the IMAGO project in the building 2-22 Sainte-Catherine Street East, on the corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard. This investment completes already existing funding of $1.6 million which the three organizations have received from the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
These sums allocated for immobilization will enable the three organizations to acquire individual neighbouring premises on the two top floors of the 2-22 building, thus ensuring their secured presence in the city centre alongside the existing universities, museums and other cultural institutions. The three organizations now hope to receive confirmation of their adjustments allowing them to proceed with their new spaces and realize their new endeavours. The building that will accommodate IMAGO has a cultural vocation and is foreseen to be an open forum where artists, researchers, cultural workers and the general public can meet and experience the rich diversity of contemporary art practices, favouring dialogue among producers, mediators and visitors alike. Housed in a prestigious building in the centre of Montreal, IMAGO, along with its new neighbours CIBL, la Vitrine Culturelle and the SDA, will contribute to creating a key cultural destination in the city centre. Its visibility will consolidate and enhance local and international access to the dissemination, research, training and production activities offered by each organization. This major immobilization project will also be a driving force behind development for the three organizations, enabling them to realize new contemporary art projects, which in turn will enrich and diversify the programming on offer in the Quartier des spectacles.
Artexte has been awarded financial support to the amount $1 323 450 from the Ministère des Communication, de la Culture et de la Condition Féminine and $523 445 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund in order to acquire a 453 m2 space on the third floor of 2-22 where it can reconfigure its collection, reference services as well as its research residence. Moreover, a new multi-use room for conferences and workshops and a completely new exhibition space to showcase Artexte’s collection will complete the fitting out of the new premises. Developed and enriched over the past 30 years, Artexte’s unique collection touches upon all aspects of visual art from 1965 to the present day and documents print culture in the realm of contemporary art. It is also in this new environment favourable to the interpretation of print culture that Artexte will introduce its Dépôt numérique des écrits en arts visuels au Québec et au Canada, a freely accessible online platform which will bring together writings published by the various contemporary art editors in the country. The relocation to 2-22 will give Artexte the means to not only adapt its services to the current context of research and documentation but also enhance its cultural offerings.
The Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec has been awarded financial support to the amount of $682 875 from the Ministère des Communication, de la Culture et de la Condition Féminine and $270 090 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund in order to acquire a 234 m2 space on the third floor of the 2-22 building. By relocating to larger premises, the RCAAQ will be able to meet its objectives of injecting new life into its cultural program, allowing it to update its contemporary art publication activities and add a show room, bookstore and consultation room to its premises. The RCAAQ also envisages realizing an annual art book fair in Montreal, an international event highlighting Quebecois and Canadian publications as well as those from the broader French-speaking world. Following the organization of the congress of the international association ResArtis, which brings to Montreal many hundreds of artist-run centre directors from around the world, the RCAAQ intends to further develop similar international networking initiatives. Furthermore, the unique RCAAQ archives offer an incomparable insight into the cultural and political issues of the last thirty years, and these will be made available to researchers and the public, becoming a reference on the activities of artist-run centres. It should be noted that in 2011 the RCAAQ will celebrate its 25th anniversary and now operates under the new name Réseau Art Actuel, a network that offers its services to Quebec’s entire contemporary arts community.
VOX for its part will receive funding to the amount of $2 101 275 from the Ministère des Communication, de la Culture et de la Condition Féminine, as well as $831 065 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, enabling them to acquire a 720 m2 space on the fourth floor of the 2-22 building. This move will support their continual development leading up to their 25th anniversary next June, providing the necessary professional conditions and equipment to enhance the quality of their activities while improving the range of their cultural programming. The new exhibition space will comprise a main room and adjacent museum-standard soundproofed projection room to better serve artists’ needs. In addition, a new “laboratory” will complete this exhibition space devoted to new artistic practices, providing a platform for the presentation of emerging artists, experimental works, film programs and conferences. This immobilization project represents a fundamental boost to the centre, which as a result can consolidate and develop co-production projects with national and international institutions, support the international careers of Quebecois and Canadian artists while acting as a cooperative partner within the Quebec cultural milieu.
Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec
VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine