An Ambitious Course

Master Plan for Dance in Québec By Philip Szporer

In a policy document spanning 134 pages, Le Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) has launched its Master Plan for Professional Dance in Québec 2011-2021. The document is the result of two years of preparation following the second États généraux de la danse in April 2009. The ten-year implementation plans are key to the development and professionalization of dance in Québec, and to bolstering an increased level of public recognition of the Québec dance community.

RQD President Marc Boivin introduced the document to a packed house, held June 2nd during the Festival TransAmériques at the festival’s central meeting place, the Quartier Général, saying, “The Master Plan also reflects a new-found awareness and desire for change. It takes a broad, generous and critical look at what we are: a community with a profound love of dance in all its forms, expressions and possibilities for the future.”

Founded in 1984, the RQD’s mandate is to represent and defend the interests of dance professionals in Québec. The first footprints of this report date back to an event held in 1994, at which the provincial dance service and advocacy organization began planning a vast research and consultation process called the “Grands Chantiers de la danse”.

Lorraine Hébert, executive director of the RQD, spearheaded the creation of the Master Plan, alongside artistic consultant Pascale Daigle, of Daigle Saire. “We went about examining the issue of how to organize the discipline, taking into account every aspect of the chain, from training through to artistic mediation, creation, production, conservation, and local, national and international dissemination,” stated Hébert.

To prepare the document, meetings and consultations were held with over seventy people from all areas of the practice. Over 250 community stakeholders from across Québec were consulted (via workshops, round tables, worksite committees, research initiatives, studies). From 2006 to 2010, eighty to ninety people participated each year in the workshops of the annual meeting of RQD members. Over 4000 hours of volunteer work went into the Grands Chantiers project.

As written in the Master Plan, there are five major ambitions broken down into a series of objectives aimed at ensuring the sustainable growth of professional dance in Québec.
Professional dance in Québec must: 1) have the means to excel; 2) become a strong, healthy, occupational sector; 3) develop a national and international reputation for innovation; 4) reach out to audiences; and 5) become an integral part of Québec’s social and cultural fabric.

The blueprint document is an inspiring reflection of the vital nature of the community, and reflective of the priorities within the dance sector. The Master Plan definitively illustrates that dance is an art of research and creation that requires substantial investment. At the launch, dancers, choreographers, managers and administrators in the field rose en masse in a rousing display of solidarity to applaud the initiative and salute the hard work done by the RQD and its associates. The question remains: who will respond to the publication of this plan and how?

Go to www.quebecdanse.org to download a copy of the 134-page document, in English or French.

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