On October 19 and 20, 2014, I represented the CNMN at the meeting of the National Arts Service Organizations (NASOs) in Ottawa. The meeting was short but incredibly impactful. I had the opportunity to hear Simon Brault, the new Director and CEO of the Canada Council, speak about his vision for the future of the Council. You can read his speech here: http://canadacouncil.ca/council/blog/2014/10/remarks-of-simon-brault
In short, he knows the council is in need of more money and he’s going to try and get it. He’s less interested in consultation than his predecessor and more interested in action. This will hopefully lead to some substantial changes to the Council over the next few years.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the other NASOs in the music discipline along with Aimé Dontigny, Head of the music section. A question was posed to Mr. Dontigny: what can our members do to support the music section? He had three main points that he felt could support the entire music milieu:
- Stop being at each other’s throat! This is tongue-in-cheek, but the message is meaningful. All genres/styles of music struggle with funding, outreach, audience engagement, etc. From orchestras to experimental soloists, we all are trying to create a stronger musical culture for our citizens and we should remember we are all in this together.
- Habits of Canadians have changed for specialized music: no one creates a golden bridge to connect to a larger audience. How can we make sure that when somebody is looking for music on the Internet their first discovery is Canadian specialized music? And, how can Canadians playing specialized music continue to innovate how they get the music to the citizens?
- We have to make public engagement important not by changing our output but through engaging with the larger society that hosts us as artists. What we do needs to be all intrinsically linked to our larger society.
Pretty simple, right?
It was a great couple of days and helped me form a sense of our place in the larger cultural ecology of our country.
There was a lot of research presented to the constituents and you can get it all here:
Kyle Brenders – CNMN President