On June 1, Québec Premier François Legault, and Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy, presented an ambitious recovery plan for the cultural sector. The amount being invested to help the sector get through the current difficulties since the start of the COVID-19 crisis have been increased to almost $400 million. The plan aims to stimulate artistic creation, revive the production of Québec cultural content and allow the community to adapt to new ways of reaching out to the public.
To ensure a rapid and sustainable resumption of cultural activities, the government will invest nearly $290 million in 2020-2021, including $110 million in additional investments for the current fiscal year. This new sum will allow for innovative productions and will support cultural organizations and artists affected by the crisis and by the imposed measures of physical distancing. Creators will be able to innovate and develop original ways to get in touch with their audience, and the latter will once again be able to appreciate the Québec talent of which they are proud.
With this plan, the government is allocating a significant amount of money to support the various areas in the cultural milieu, such as theatre, cinéma, television, books, circus, dance, music, performing arts, festivals and events as well as fine crafts. The plan aims in particular to:
Support film and television production ($91.5 million)
Support businesses and cultural organizations in resuming their activities ($71.9 million)
Support innovation and creation in the performing arts (theater, dance, circus, music, etc.) ($50.9 million)
Improve the envelopes of the music sector for the realization of innovative projects ($33.5 million)
Give the cultural community the means to achieve its digital ambitions ($14 million)
Promote Québec culture and large-scale projects ($13 million)
Support artists and writers in their creation ($ 6.5 million)
Improve existing financial assistance to relaunch artistic and cultural festivals and events ($ 5.9 million)
Document the effects of the pandemic on the cultural environment and support real estate projects and smaller equipment acquisitions ($ 2.2 million).
From the start of the crisis, various emergency assistance measures were put in place by the Ministry of Culture and Communications, as well as by its state-owned companies, to enable cultural businesses and organizations to obtain quickly the necessary cash to meet their financial obligations. Thus, an additional $109 million in 2019-2020 had been made available to some 1,000 cultural organizations, as of the end of March. The sums invested in 2019-2020 and in 2020-2021 in order to revive the cultural environment therefore reach nearly $400 million.
The Minister also took the opportunity to announce the resumption of activities in the audiovisual production sector from June 8, taking into account specific measures issued by public health. All of the filming activities, including preproduction and postproduction activities, regardless of the type of production (variety, drama, film, documentary, etc.) will resume in the coming days.
The Minister indicated that the Department is continuing the work and discussions with the public health authorities of Québec, workplace safety authorities, and the cultural community with regard to the resumption of activities in the other sectors currently stopped. All the scenarios that have been submitted are under study. Broadcasting venues, such as concert halls, theatres or cinemas, could reopen before June 24 according to specific arrangements, in particular with a reduced number of spectators to ensure the safety of both artists and the public.