Connecting English-speaking Artists to the Arts

In 2004, the Quebec Arts Summit assembled more than 200 artists, government officials and community partners in Montreal. It was the first time that representatives of the entire English-speaking arts community had been brought together. They concluded that the creation of a network could help create conditions to empower English-speaking artists to live and work in Quebec.

As a result of the success of the initial arts summit, the following year saw the English Language Arts Network (ELAN) come to life with a group of English-speaking arts professionals representing various sectors of the arts. Kate Holbrook, Cultural Coordinator for Townshippers’ Association, represented the region on ELAN’s board and participated in many years of meetings. active advocacy and project planning.

At last, ELAN was able to secure funding for a regional project with Elsa Bolam (founder of Geordie Productions) heading the project ACCORD (Arts and Community Culture on the Road). This enabled many artists (including Townships artists, Ralph Steiner and Laura Teasdale) to tour through a network of regional arts organizations.

The 2015 follow-up to ACCORD was Arts Alive! Québec. With a new direction and funding, the project supported six arts festivals held in various communities across the province. Through ELAN, coordinators shared their experiences and plans with a communal communications strategy.

This August, Knowlton will again be one of six communities hosting Arts Alive! Québec. Made possible by the financial support of the Government of Canada, three days of creative activities are planned for communities to celebrate arts and culture. Townshippers’ is proud to once again be a part of this initiative by partnering in the Knowlton event launch at Star Café on August 26. [update: Friday, August 12, 5-7 p.m.] We are also excited to present a writing workshop for youth and adults with local author and columnist, Ross Murray on August 24.

Event details will be posted at as they become available. Inquiries about the Knowlton events can be direct to Kate Holbrook at [email protected], 450-242-4421.

Membership in ELAN is open to all and gives a chance for English artists in the Townships to connect with others all over the province. Examples of other projects developed in the past include artists-in-residence, mentorship, and language exchange. Joining ELAN will ensure your eligibility to take part in future projects as they happen as well as discounts on tickets in Montreal and a place to showcase your talent. Go to for details.

For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, catch our columns in the Brome County News, visit us on Twitter @Townshippers, Facebook, and our website Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717 (toll-free: 1-866-566-5717) or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421 (toll-free: 1-877-242-4421).

Published: About Townshippers column, Brome County News, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Photo Credit: courtesy Guy Rodgers

Photo Caption: Last summer, Knowlton was one of six regions to host weekend-long celebrations of Quebec arts and culture through Arts Alive! Québec.  This August, Knowlton will again host this mini-festival featuring hands-on creative fun for the whole family.