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Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 106 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (0845)  

[Translation]

[English]

     Welcome. Today we're beginning a new study and ending a study, all in the same day. Today it's new beginnings. Right now, we're starting our study on gender parity on the boards and at senior leadership levels of Canadian artistic and cultural organizations.
    We are beginning with three witnesses. We have Ms. Loewen from Opera.ca, Ms. Badzak from the Ottawa Art Gallery, and Ms. Burns and Ms. Collins from the National Arts Centre.

[Translation]

    We will begin with Ms. Loewen.

[English]

    Opera.ca is the national association for opera in Canada, representing 14 professional producing companies from coast to coast, as well as affiliates, businesses, and individuals. We appreciate the opportunity to speak to this committee on the issue of gender parity and applaud this committee for studying this important issue.
    Gender parity is an issue the opera sector takes as seriously as the government, and we have enacted several initiatives to effect change in this area that are aligned with many of our recommendations. I'm going to read our recommendations first, and then I'm going to tell you a bit about what they mean and how Opera.ca is responding to them.
    Our first recommendation is that the Department of Canadian Heritage commission gender and diversity analysis research to better understand the scope and the depth of the problem, and share these findings. In the opera sector, collectively, we have not yet achieved gender parity among senior leaders and boards. In opera, I should say, general directors are the top leadership, and not often the artistic directors. Current parity figures for general directors is at 43%. Because we're a small sector, that equates to six women. With the exception of one, these women all lead the smallest organizations. Gender parity on opera company boards in Canada is, on average, 46%, or 90 out of 200 positions.
    These figures are improvements in the past three years, as the opera sector has undergone many recent leadership transitions that have improved our parity. Three out of eight senior leadership appointments in the past three years have gone to women. We have also gathered data on parity in the sector that reaches beyond senior leadership and the board, to areas such as conductors and stage directors, where there is much work to be done in achieving parity. This is very important because this committee is studying the administrative and the governance side of things and we're also looking at the artistic leadership.
    Future research will include parity statistics in all leadership positions of an opera company, to fully understand the depth of the problem. Research is essential, not only for understanding the problem, but as a key step in establishing a baseline so we can measure improvements over time, and to establish explicit gender parity outcomes or expectations.
    Our second recommendation is to work with sector organizations and national arts service organizations in establishing realistic and achievable targets and timelines for achieving gender parity, if adopting a quota model or Norwegian approach. As a membership association representing the opera sector, we are focused on change in gender parity and are in the process of not only declaring change initiatives, but also establishing targets and timelines for the sector that can be agreed upon by member companies. We're doing this because we understand the importance of having action plans, targets, and timelines behind declarations of change.
    However, as a membership-based association, we focus on incentivizing change as we lack levers for mandating it, but understand that the Department of Canadian Heritage, as a funder, might choose a quota approach. This recommendation requests that if a quota model is being considered, the Department of Canadian Heritage work with sector organizations in establishing realistic, achievable targets, given the fact that organizations have differing board length terms and employment contracts.
    Our third recommendation is to provide funding for human resource programs that address perceived barriers to female leadership advancement, with a focus on mentorship and second-in-charge positions. The recent controversy over top jobs in arts and culture in Canada going to non-Canadians—and there was an article just in the past few months in The Globe and Mail about this—is exacerbated by the fact that these appointments have mostly gone to non-Canadian white men. One widespread rationale for this is the perception that there is a lack of qualified Canadians for these senior positions and, by extension, a lack of qualified women. Some hypothesize that the talent pool in Canada is too small, and others lament the lack of second-in-charge positions. That's a career path issue leading to these leadership positions. There is also evidence growing around gender bias with respect to what a leader looks like, which is predominantly male. That was an article in The New York Times in March.
    In her recent “Canadian Performing Arts Leadership Audit”, part of a final major research paper for her MBA studies, consultant Jeanne LeSage noted that survey responses to suggestions for the sector to select, develop, and train the next generation of leaders include high scores for mentoring and second-in-charge positions.
     Targeting both the perception that a leader is male and the lack of mentorship in second-in-charge positions, Opera.ca is developing a women's networking and job-shadowing program. It matches female leaders in the field with female protégées, who gain experience at a leader's side in a second-in-command capacity. Through this program, we also hope to reinforce and normalize the perception of women as leaders. This is just one kind of investment in human resources that we think could generate meaningful change in gender parity.
    I have one last recommendation, which is to partner with service organizations in providing professional development and support for board governance-training in subjects like gender bias, inclusive practices, equity diversity, and accessibility training.
    Despite our intentions and our efforts, we recognize that associations don't make hiring decisions—boards of directors do. Unconscious biases may exist in hiring practices. In the opera sector, boards themselves have not achieved parity. To incentivize change and address implicit and unconscious bias in hiring practices, our organization is introducing a new governance series in equity and inclusion for opera board members. This series will focus on the concept of corporate responsibility, or CR, a broadened definition of corporate governance that includes accountability to a range of stakeholders including employees, volunteers, government, and community. It will specifically study how gender and diversity on boards contribute to greater CR. This program is an example of how an investment in board training could help achieve gender parity.
    As a last note, I would say that this investment could be combined with the recent announcement of training in the creation of harassment-free workplaces in the arts and culture sector.
    Thank you.

  (0850)  

    Thank you very much.
    We will now go to Ms. Badzak from the Ottawa Art Gallery.
    Good morning. I'm so pleased to be presenting to you today. I am the Director and CEO of the Ottawa Art Gallery, and I suppose my voice is representative of the many municipal and regional art galleries across Canada. Some of you may have heard that we opened our doors to a new gallery this past weekend to huge success.
    Many people, including the media, were positively surprised at the dominance of women in our project. I and our professional team, primarily made up of women, to our P3 private partners led by females, to key members of the building project team, pulled off an incredibly complex $100-million project. We apparently blasted through some biases of who and what it takes to get the job done.
    As our organization embraces the time of transition and growth, it is timely to reflect on this transitional culture of gender parity as it relates to leadership, to what barriers might still exist in the sector, and to its impact on the decent work movement within the arts. We are certainly encouraged by the recent announcements made by Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Cultural Human Resources Council to support training and funding eligibility as it relates to a respectful and harassment-free work environments. This is a crucial step in working towards a new environment of arts leadership for the better.
    According to a recent Canadian art magazine study based on the Canada Council for the Arts' recipient list of core funding, directors and curators in Canadian visual arts galleries are made up of 70% women and 30% men. This is seemingly good news, until you start to review important positions in the most powerful institutions across Canada, and North America as a whole. It's then that you see a complete reversal, with very few women in top positions and the women earning 20% less than their male counterparts. There is, unfortunately, what appears to be a glass ceiling in major institutions. There are, however, some notable exceptions, past and present, particularly in Quebec.
    Steps need to be taken at the highest levels of organizations across Canada to nominate more females for executive positions. Executive search firms need to expand and put forward more female prospects, and those making hiring decisions on the CEOs of galleries and museums need to consciously check biases and recognize that expertise can be gained within Canada and in female form.
    Many HR research reports I have read suggest that males come out stronger in articulating vision and exemplifying confidence and experience, thus resulting in a perception of a stronger candidate. This is a bias that our sector perpetuates. From my own experience in hiring practices, I have seen female candidates who are well equipped to lead. In interviews, they generally adopt a different style. They may assert their experience while acknowledging risk, attributing credit to others where credit is due, and acknowledging areas for improvement.
    These qualities must no longer be attributed to weakness or a lack of confidence but rather to strength and the ability to honestly communicate the full picture of activities and realities. Vision is not about bolstering egos or using fancy lingo to steamroll an organization through unsustainable plans. Vision is about recognizing the unique set of circumstances that affect an organization and collectively driving an organization forward.
    Across Canada, the arts sector has benefited from exemplary female leaders who have made positive changes in their organizations. Examples of these changes include rescuing galleries and museums in crisis, greatly increasing organizational capacity, building new and expanded facilities, raising major funds, and massively expanding audiences. This leadership style often promotes qualities such as shared and compassionate leadership and mentoring, an ability to embrace change and to pivot an organization to be more responsive, and a talent for providing sound fiscal management.
    In 2017, the Canada Council for the Arts updated its policies and required that funding applicants commit to reflecting the diversity of their geographic community and region in organizational and artistic policies and programs. Now they've asked that we see diversity on staff and, most importantly, on the board of directors.

  (0855)  

     At the municipal and regional level in this country, the arts sector is dominated by female leaders who have risen from the ranks and have built strong ties to their community and an authentic style of leadership that often strives for sustainable excellence.
    Women are leading the charge in ensuring that arts organizations establish, and maintain meaningful connections that are now being officially encouraged by our funders and our governments, and which have implicitly encouraged for decades, as not-for-profit arts organizations, a sense of accountability to their mission and communities. Yet, often, this commitment to diversity was not recognized, supported, or worse, at times, undermined by those in the leadership circle. That is a most unfortunate situation.
    This authentic style of leadership, that has been recognized by national labour organizations within their decent work indicators, is becoming more and more prominent. In fact, our own organization was recognized by our work in the decent work movement through the Ontario not-for-profit network in their promising practice study.
    Several of our practices were called out, including fair income and gender parity of wages; a platform for shared decision-making and ownership of planning and budgeting; flexible work environments that respect constraints around child, spousal and parental care; less contractual and more full-time permanent positions, mentorships, and opportunities for advancement; and wellness days replacing sick days.
    Certainly, we know there are areas for improvement, including better health and benefit plans, as well as harassment policies that include a review of poor behaviour and practices.
    In closing, I would like to echo other organizations' call, such as that of my colleague and the Canadian Arts Coalition, for you to consider the following recommendations: again, to instruct the Department of Canadian Heritage to conduct a literature review on gender parity in the arts, with attention to directors and board of directors, because the sector needs a comprehensive picture of the problem; work with the arts sector to encourage corporate headhunting firms to ensure that all executive searches include candidates who are not only female but also indigenous, disabled, queer, trans, and people of colour; encourage the Canada Council for the Arts to look to best practices, and to collect data regarding priority groups, as we really do need some comprehensive data; provide funding for human resource programs that address perceived barriers to female advancement; and provide mentorship opportunities.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you.
    Ms. Burns and Ms. Collins from the National Arts Centre, please.

[Translation]

    Good morning, members of the committee.

[English]

    Thank you for inviting me to speak to this distinguished committee today about gender parity in arts organizations at the board and artistic leadership level. Debbie Collins has kindly offered to accompany me today in case members have questions on which they wish to drill down into our organization on the human rights agenda and parity issues.
    We would like to thank each and every parliamentarian here today for their kind support of our National Arts Centre.
    The NAC is always pleased to speak to members of Parliament about opportunities and issues facing the arts in Canada. While we're located just down from Parliament Hill, the NAC is a national organization that acts as a catalyst for performance, creation, and learning.
    Every day we collaborate with artists and arts organizations across Canada, and strive to make a difference in communities from coast to coast to coast. Our increased national role has been spearheaded by our president and CEO.

  (0900)  

[Translation]

    Peter Herrndorf will leave his position next month. Recognized as a leader and a visionary, he has promoted performing arts across the country.

[English]

    He has also been a leader in another area, gender diversity. With the full support of the NAC board of trustees, our senior management team, of which 11 out of 21 members are women, has ensured that gender parity has been achieved.
    The senior management team includes Ms. Jayne Watson, the CEO of the NAC Foundation, our private fundraising arm.
    As for our artistic leadership team, five members out of seven, or roughly 71%, are women. They include Cathy Levy of Montreal, Executive Producer of NAC Dance; Brigitte Haentjens, also from Montreal, who leads our French theatre department; Jillian Keiley, from St. John's, Newfoundland, who leads English theatre; her fellow Newfoundlander, Heather Moore, who is the Artistic Producer of our National Creation Fund; and finally, Heather Gibson, a Manitoban by way of Halifax, who heads our NAC Presents Canadian music series.
    In addition, three of our associate artistic directors are women.

[Translation]

    Those women, those leaders, are part of the NAC's administrative and creative direction teams. They help us tell Canada's stories and enhance female voices across the country. They inspire leaders and future leaders in arts and they set the example for arts organizations here and elsewhere.

[English]

     In addition, in recent years the NAC has maintained very good overall representation of women in its workforce. According to the last employment equity status report prepared by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in January 2016, women are well represented in all occupational groups at the NAC, and nearly half of all positions are held by women. That's above the industry average. In that regard, our performance contributes to better representation of women throughout the industry.
    Unfortunately, when we look at the numbers of women as artistic directors in Canada overall, we still have a long way to go. At one point last year, we were surprised to learn that Jillian Keiley, Director of our English theatre, was the only female artistic director among the largest non-profit theatres in Canada as a result of a number of shifts that have occurred in recent years. Since then, thankfully, we have seen the appointment of a number of brilliant female artistic directors. They include Ashlie Corcoran at the Arts Club in Vancouver and Eda Holmes at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal. Still, among larger theatres, artistic directors remain predominantly male.
    In the orchestral world, music directors are predominantly men. However, the numbers increase at the executive director level. Of the 10 major orchestras in Canada, 60% of the executive directors are women.

[Translation]

    In the dance community, we see many women choreographers heading companies, which they have sometimes founded themselves. However, when we look at ballet organizations, we see that women in high-level positions—such as Karen Kain of the National Ballet of Canada, and Emily Molnar, at Ballet BC—are fairly rare.

[English]

     In the recorded music industry, there's significant representation of women at the executive director and artistic director levels in major non-profit music festivals, but in commercial festivals, there are very few women at the top. To have more women, more of them need opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and experience in supporting roles. However, most organizations can't afford to invest in employees at that level, and funds for apprenticeships are limited. To help increase the number of women artistic directors, more training opportunities need to be created.
    In theatre, we are encouraged that more training opportunities are becoming available. In Montreal, that training includes the new artistic director program at the National Theatre School, the HEC international arts management master's program, and there's the Queen's University master's in arts leadership program. There's another one coming in the west that I'm not yet allowed to share with anyone, and that's very good news.
    Let us switch gears now and talk about boards of directors. Achieving gender parity at the board level is critical, particularly in large institutions such as performing arts centres, festivals, orchestras, and our museums. The good news is that many arts organizations in Canada are trying to address gender parity on their boards. The Professional Association of Canadian Theatre's pledge initiative has challenged arts organizations to address gender inequality, including their boards.
     There's a similar movement in the Canadian music industry. As you may be aware, the group Across the Board, led by music industry leaders Keely Kemp and Joanne Setterington, is working with a number of boards on gender parity in the hopes of creating a healthier industry for everyone. That advocacy group's target is 50% women on the boards of directors of organizations by the year 2020.
    We believe that the federal government is doing an excellent job of addressing gender parity on boards of arts and cultural organizations through its open application, Governor in Council appointments process. Through that process, in partnership with the federal government, the National Arts Centre has been able to recruit a remarkably talented representational board that has gender parity. It includes five female trustees besides the chair: our Vice-Chair Susan Glass of Winnipeg; Gail O'Brien from Calgary, who chairs our capital planning committee—as you know we've gone through a big building campaign; Kim Bozak from Toronto, a marketing expert, chairs that committee; and Tracee Smith, by definition a financial expert from Toronto. The terrific men on our board include Don Walcot of Montreal, who chairs audit and finance; Enrico Scichilone, un avocat, chairs our governance, nominating, and ethics committee, as well as our human resources committee. As well, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau, and Ottawa mayor Jim Watson are in their ex officio roles as members of the board.
    Here, ladies and gentlemen, is perhaps a helpful twist. In addition, many institutions at the government level have it right in their bylaws to add advisers or outside board members to their committees, much like they do in the private sector. These members have a vote at the committee level and, as you know, the recommendations of a committee are strong endorsements for a board. Our outside board members also include a number of brilliant women, including Toby Greenbaum, formerly of Public Works; Susan Cartwright, who led the public service—both of whom are from Ottawa; Elizabeth Roscoe from Chelsea; and Louise Sicuro, an outstanding cultural leader in Quebec.
    Finally, Madam Chair, the NAC CEO and artistic leadership and senior management teams are in frequent touch with our colleagues from across the country, and they have sometimes assisted with questions on governance matters when we are asked. Throughout Canada, arts organizations are working to improve the representation of women at the board and artistic director level. We applaud the federal government for paying attention to this issue, and we are happy to help this important cause in every possible way.
    To close, our experience at the NAC has been that a culture that values diversity is key to achieving gender parity within an organization. How do create such a culture? Well, it starts at the top. When a strong leadership chases diversity at the top—that is, at senior management, the board, and artistic leadership levels—it infuses the rest of the organization. The result is a more balanced, inclusive organization that truly reflects our society.

  (0910)  

[Translation]

    Thank you very much. I will gladly answer your questions.

[English]

     Thank you for all of the presentations.
    We are now going to begin with the member of Parliament who started this study, whom I really have to thank her for that.
     Ms. Dzerowicz, for seven minutes.
     Thank you so much, Madam Chair, and thank you all for your excellent presentations today.
    I'm the member of Parliament for the riding called Davenport. It's in downtown west Toronto. There are lots of artists and creators there who inspire me all the time. I hold meetings with them; I call them art strategy round tables. This issue came up at the last session, and I thought it would be good for us to study it, to figure out how we can finally get to the other side, so I want to thank you all for being here.
    Why is gender equity so important in the cultural and artistic sector? Why is it important for us to have that?
    There are a number of reasons why you might want to achieve gender parity. There is a really strong argument for parity for parity's sake. We can't ignore the fact that 50% of our population is composed of women, and yet, they do not represent positions at organizations that reflect that percentage.
    There are, as Alexandra pointed out, many benefits and outcomes that people talk about, the effects that more women in positions of power might have, especially when it comes to being on boards and in senior leadership positions. People believe that women make different decisions, that having more women on boards and in senior positions could lead to improved corporate performance or corporate responsibility.
    The problem with trying to define exactly why or what kind of outcomes you might have for increasing gender parity in positions of power is that 10 years down the road, you end up with a program that may or may not achieve those outcomes, and the criticism then falls on the parity initiative.
    You really have to be careful. Women didn't create these problems. But, of course, the parity initiative is going to be the one that will be blamed, right, if these outcomes are not achieved. It's great to have these ideas and expectations of outcomes but, at the same time, the strongest argument is the demographic one.
    I'm going to flesh out some of the recommendations that were put forward. To me, they were excellent. Two of you mentioned the need for baseline data and further study to make sure that we have a very clear picture of the state of gender equity across the sector.
    I hope you can flesh that out a little more. When I think about artistic and cultural organizations, I'm going right across the gamut. It's not only performance art; it's not only visual art. I'm thinking of the publishing sector, music, film, and all of that. It's very diverse. Are we just looking at the issue at the board level and senior leadership level, because I use the term “artistic director”. That's specific to performing arts organizations, but what should that senior leadership layer also include as you study this recommendation?
    I'm not quite sure what you're asking there.
    Well, if we're doing a study, who should it include as senior leadership? Artistic director isn't necessarily a term that's used in the film industry, so how can we make sure that we actually capture that leadership end?
    Okay, I see.
    Certainly you should include artistic directors, and then you have managing directors in arts organizations. You often have those two going hand-in-hand. Within the art gallery world, it's usually a director. It could be a director/curator position or director/CEO situation. If you want to capture that senior management level, you're going to have to go there. Often, within the smaller organizations, at least within the visual arts, your curator is your top position. You'd have to be grabbing all of those positions to get some deep data around this.

  (0915)  

     Thank you.
    One of the other recommendations was to have more training for boards to really make sure that we train them about unconscious bias. My understanding is that those types of board training sessions already exist quite extensively at universities. Are you saying that the recommendation is to modify those, or that something additional needs to be created in addition to what already exists at the large universities around board training?
    I would think, Madam Chair, that additional training needs to be done. If you look at comparators in the private sector, it was not fashionable even a decade ago to have any director training whatsoever. Now it would be very hard to get a board position in the private sector if you hadn't gone through the ICD training or one of the other groups that does this across the country. I certainly feel there is room for that in the public sector and always in arts organizations.
    Largely, they're volunteer positions. Probably 99% of them are, including ours at the National Arts Centre board. I think you really need to take that into account. These are not positions that people are seeking to make a living from. In that sense, you're going to get a large variety of people who really do need to be focused and trained for those positions.
    We're at 40 seconds.
    I have just one last question. If you're looking sort of globally, which country does this well from a gender equity perspective in the cultural and arts sector? Who does it well in terms of a model country that we can look at?
    If you can just say the name, then we'll move down the line.
    Australia.
    Thank you so much.
    We are now at Mr. Van Loan, please.
    Thank you very much.
    I just have a couple of very short questions, firstly, for the National Arts Centre. By my notes, 17 out of 28 members on your board are female. That would be 60%, meaning that 40% are male. Has that gender imbalance caused problems for your performance, in your opinion?
    If I heard you properly, Mr. Van Loan, we don't have 17 members on the board. That's the artistic director level, I think, that you were referring to.
    You have 28 members on the board.
    I'm sorry; I can't hear the number.
    My notes say that you have 28 board members.
    No, I'm sorry, that is incorrect.
    It includes emeritus directors, admittedly.
    It's possibly the directors.
    It includes the emeritus directors.
    Oh, we don't have emeritus directors. I'm sorry, I'd have to drill down on that. I apologize, but that's incorrect information.
    Okay, what's your assessment of your board parity?
    Did you say board parity?
    Yes. How many female and how many male on your board?
    Well, we have achieved parity.
    What are the numbers?
    Five out of seven members are female. Then we have the ex officio members as well.
    That's an imbalance. Five are female and two are male.
    Does that lack of parity affect your performance?
    There are actually four male because we have the two mayors, ex officio, who do attend board meetings, and they do have a vote. It's five to four, like the Supreme Court.
    All right.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the Ottawa Art Gallery, my notes say that you have 17 board members. Is that right? Ten are female, so that's 59%. Again, it's a 60-40 split. Do you think that imbalance has affected your performance?
    I think it's allowed us to achieve the success that we have achieved.
    For Opera.ca, my notes say you have 11 board members: three female, eight male. That's 29% female and 71% male. Do you think that imbalance has affected the performance of Opera.ca?
    We recognize that we have work to do within our own board, so yes.
    Has it affected your performance? Do you think you've been a worse organization for it?
    I think there's definitely room for improvement, which parity could bring to our board, to be really representative.
    Okay, thank you.

  (0920)  

    I think you did those numbers just to throw me off.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    We'll go over the names if you want.
    I have treasurers, executive directors, and emeritus directors on that list.
    No, I'm just kidding. Thank you.
    Mr. Shields.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    The renovations to the NAC building are fantastic. Well done. They have highlighted it, and I think the people who attend will appreciate what you've done. I do. They are very well done.
    You're very kind. Thank you.
    It's too bad more Canadians can't get to Ottawa to see that fine facility.
    A couple of mentions were made of HR. You talked about headhunters. Having had some experience with head hunters, I don't trust them because they bring their own agenda. When you talk about using headhunters in HR, I think that's where a board's got a huge role to play in what it wants to do. If you're in the business with headhunters, would you like to respond to HR and headhunters as far as your board directions for gender parity are concerned?
     Certainly in terms of the government, our pattern is set, Madam Chair.
    We, of course, go through the process of the open application. Then, if you could take a hundred applications or just distill them down to perhaps 25 who have the credentials to be brought forward to a committee, which then distills that with a recommendation to the minister.... Our process is set by the federal government. It seems to be working well.
    To address the private institutions, I would have to defer to my colleagues.
    I would say that in the visual arts institutions, they certainly do use headhunting firms quite a lot, and then those recommendations are typically brought to hiring committee made up of board members.
    Is your board very strong in the sense of giving direction to the headhunter on whom they should bring to you?
    Again, I'm not speaking specifically of my institution, but from what I've witnessed across Canada from the late hirings that have occurred recently, you're seeing those recommendations typically coming from headhunting firms to hiring committees and to a board. To be honest, I think to the point that Christina made, you're often now seeing international candidates brought forward.
    I guess that goes to my point of what you're saying, that if you have headhunters who are bringing those they believe are the best, unless you've got a very strong board, you are hamstrung by a group and whom they're bringing to you.
    I'd have to agree.
    You've mentioned HR, so this is a function of HR. It's been mentioned by two of you. You talk about board development. This is a critical piece, because if you don't get that board development with the strength and vision of what they want, you are then subject to what somebody else brings.
    I agree with what you're saying. I think that the point of leverage for that is in the policies and the processes that you're able to regulate through the board of directors. With headhunting firms and search firms, it's all about how you regulate that, what the equal and reciprocal discussion is that you might be having around parity for profit corporations, and how that might affect the work that headhunting firms do.
    I think that the real point of leverage here is with the board.
    Absolutely.
    Madam Chair, could I add one comment?
    We do not use headhunters, Mr. Shields, in our leadership or management at all. I have a tendency to agree with you, having gone through a couple of searches in the private sector on the boards that I sit on. I'm happy to say that our latest search for our CEO did not use a headhunting firm.
    Thank you very much.

[Translation]

    We now give the floor to Mr. Nantel.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I want to thank everyone. These presentations have been very eloquent, as I think the cultural community is—in any case, we would like to think so—progressive in nature to begin with, and probably more so than other sectors.
    Ms. Burns, you talked about the fact that change should come from the top. Of course, both you and your board of trustees are perfect examples of that. However, I sometimes wonder whether we have an issue with middle management in society when it comes to achieving parity.
    We can have organizations like yours that promote parity in concrete terms, from top to bottom, but we have a problem. Could we do something to generate interest in those positions among candidates likely to be interested in occupying them?
    For example, I am thinking of the testimony of a volunteer from the Musée de la femme in Longueuil, who once organized an activity for women in order to encourage them to participate in the boards of directors of businesses she was familiar with and to apply.
    Entrepreneur Alexandre Taillefer took the time to make a presentation to encourage women to apply for these positions. Would that kind of an initiative be an example of what we could accomplish? In my opinion, you have some good examples to tap into and show. However, natural candidates do not seem to be common.

  (0925)  

[English]

    If I take the question as to what we could do at the middle management level, Madam Chair, I think that we do extremely well at encouraging all of our employees and our workforce to apply for all positions in senior management. Of course, you know the board level. We are GIC appointments, and we go through a rather rigorous process. I've been there some time now in different positions on the board, as have some of the members. I think we are doing all that we can at the moment, and we continue to look at it. It is something of great importance to us, so I thank you for your kind comments on the Arts Centre.
     I won't comment on the new works, but the NAC is much more welcoming than it has ever been, and it's become a living space where we can actually enjoy culture.

[Translation]

    Ms. Badzak, you said how proud you were—and justifiably so—of the parity within your organization. In concrete terms, how did you achieve that?

[English]

    I will say that the sector is dominated by females, and I just hire the best people, so it's a result of the nature of the environment and the excellent candidates who came forward.

[Translation]

    While we are here, and we have people who are so interested in culture, I would like to give notice of a motion.
    I have brought 12 copies of the text. I would ask the clerk and the staff to come get them.
    You will see that it is very relevant. It concerns the sale of a Chagall painting by the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa. I think this is something that highlights our committee's importance. We would not want politics to interfere in the policies of national museums, but a committee like ours can do it, and so I would like to put forward a motion.
    The QMI Agency and The Globe and Mail having noted the appropriateness of the minister's intervention in accordance with some aspects of the legislation, the motion requests that we hear from the museum's management and the individual in charge of policies.
    The motion reads as follows:
That the Committee invite the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, Françoise Lyon, the Director of the National Gallery, Marc Mayer, the Chairperson of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, Sharilyn J. Ingram, and the Department of Canadian Heritage, within 45 days, to explain decisions concerning Marc Chagall's La tour Eiffel and Jacques-Louis David's Saint Jerome Hears the Trumpet of the Last Judgment and to account to the Committee for these decisions' cost to the public.
    I had never heard of those paintings, and now everyone knows about them. This story is interesting to people. I think our committee can shed some light on this situation.
    When we move this kind of a motion, the meeting has to be interrupted, unless we announce it well in advance. I think that you are the best positioned and the best audience to understand how relevant this is.
     I apologize. We can postpone the vote if you like, but I wanted to put forward the motion.
     My time is certainly up.
    Thank you for the presentation.
    As you know, Mr. Nantel, you have 48 hours to propose your motion, so we will put it aside and will vote later.
    Thank you very much.

  (0930)  

    We will give the floor to Ms. Dhillon, who has seven minutes.

[English]

    Good morning to all of our witnesses. Thank you for coming in today.
    My questions will be general and directed at all of you, because I want everyone to have a chance to answer.
    The first one is a comment that you all have vast experience. I think, Ms. Burns, you have 18 years of experience. Over the years, have you noticed any trends in gender parity and the role of females in the arts?
    As I mentioned, we've definitely seen the visual arts sector dominated by females, but when it comes to the most important institutions of our country, those with the largest budgets, we're not seeing a rise from the municipal level up to the larger regional and national institutions. We're not seeing a feeding group of directors across the country moving into those positions. In fact, what we're seeing is candidates who are often coming from outside of Canada to fill those positions.
    We strive very, very hard with artistic direction to achieve parity, and we believe that we have done so in all of our programming. Our awareness of this is top of mind at the NAC. Five of eight artistic directors and three associate directors are women. All programming departments are fully aware of gender parity issues, and, without exception, they tend to strive for greater parity when it's needed.
    Thank you.
    Ms. Loewen?
     As my colleague, Alexandra, has pointed out, in opera there's a similar trend. I reported that our parity figures for senior leadership among opera companies is actually quite good. I think the number was 43%, so we're approaching parity.
    However, as I mentioned, those positions are all women who are leading the smallest organizations in Canada in opera, and this is also a trend that we're seeing trickle down. We see that trend with the next generation of incoming opera companies. We have a robust network of indie, or independent, opera companies in Toronto. They are also largely run by women, so again, we're seeing that trend being reflected among the small organizations. As we count the numbers, they might look good, but when we're actually talking about the larger organizations and the positions that actually hold power and influence, we're not seeing parity reflected in those figures.
    Can you please explain to us why you think such roadblocks exist in 2018?
    Anyone can answer.
    I think there are perceptions and misconceptions that need to be addressed about what a leader looks like and what kinds of experience you need to run a larger organization, and how we're really addressing the pipeline. One of the comments you made was that it's a common theme. I often hear the comment from people who are conducting searches that not enough women applied, but that's just a myth or narrative. I would say that that's something that really needs to be examined as well. When when we're talking about research, that's some really interesting data. I'd like to really validate that comment because I hear it a lot. Let's study that. Let's actually see how many women apply for these senior jobs, so that we're actually dealing with facts and not sound bites that we say over and over again.
    When we talk about achieving gender parity, let's be really clear that this is the low-hanging fruit in our discussions about increasing diversity in our organizations. We talk about wanting to be reflective of the diversity of the population of Canada. One of the easiest ways of doing that is to be reflective of the gender balance in Canada, and if we can figure that out for gender parity, that's the first step. It's very much the same conversation. As we talk about diversity, we're also talking about gender parity. This should not be easy, but it's the route forward.

  (0935)  

    Also, Madam Chair, it's in the messaging.
    Here, I'd like to take a moment to tell you about a project that our orchestral department did called Life Reflected. We engaged three composers from across Canada who were female, with one male—I won't go through the names now, but they are very well known in that world—to create a large production. The story was about four famous Canadian women, Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro, and Amanda Todd, the young woman who took her life. We created wonderful orchestral pieces around this and made an evening of it. We toured that across Canada to great acclaim. It was the creation of our senior management team in the orchestral arena.
    We are trying to do all of that in our theatre departments and everywhere else, so I think that message is going out across Canada, Mr. Shields. Even though the building is here, we do take that messaging out and I think this was a very strong message on the position of women in the arts.
    How much time do we have?

[Translation]

    You have one minute left.

[English]

    Would you like to add anything, Ms. Badzak? Do you agree with Ms. Loewen that it's just sound bites when people say that not enough women apply to high positions or positions of authority?
    I would definitely agree. That is an area of research that we should look at. Certainly, as I sit on CAMDO, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, that's not the message we hear across Canada. That's not what my colleagues are saying at the conferences we hold, but certainly, it is a conversation that we should continue to have.
     Who do you think is putting out such information?
    I don't mean to blame all the headhunters of the world, but I think that's part of it. I think what we're often hearing from organizations is that they just can't encourage enough female candidates. Anecdotally, I don't believe that's true. Again, that's qualitative information. I think we do need some quantitative data.
    Perfect. Thank you so much.
    Thank you very much.
    That was a great way to begin this study.
    Thank you very much for all of your assistance.
    Do we have time for an additional three minutes of questions, Madam Chair?
    It would be to the Conservatives next and then to us. That would bring us right to the 45-minute mark, which would have us starting the next panel late. If there is an interest in doing a two-minute round, we could go to—
    Let's go to the next panel.
    That would be my preference at this point just because we have two people joining us via video conference whom we have to get linked in as well, which causes some delays.
    Thank you very much.
    We'll just suspend for a few minutes.

    


    

  (0945)  

     Why don't we get started again?
    This is our final panel for our cultural hub study. We have two sets of witnesses joining us by video conference. We have Jack Hayden and Frank Nickel from Rosebud School of the Arts. We also have Johann Zietsman from Arts Commons. Here in the room with us we have Christina Franc from the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.

[Translation]

    We are also hearing from Martin Théberge and Marie-Christine Morin, from the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française.

[English]

    Why don't we start with the people who are joining us by video conference, just to make sure that we have the link?
    Could we please start with the Rosebud School of the Arts?
    I'd also like to thank you for the opportunity to be involved in these discussions.
    At Rosebud School of the Arts, we are unique and the questions that you ask are interesting, because I think they mean different things to different people. When we talk about a definition of a cultural hub, as an example, we are more than the hub. We're the also the spokes in the wheel. Our theatre and school are the reasons the community continues to exist. We're about an hour outside of Calgary in a hamlet with a population of about 100 people. Everyone in the hamlet is connected to the School of the Arts or to the theatre component, whether they be bed and breakfasts, RV camping sites, or all of those different things. Of course, the original intention of our group was the educational component, so our school for the students is why the theatre is there, and it raises funds so we can offer the educational opportunities to those people.
    It's a transformational community. We completely change the lives of our students, and we also offer patrons an opportunity to enjoy culture and the arts in a rural setting in some really interesting historic sites like our opera house and whatnot.
    We've been asked what role government can play. I think one of the important things we want to emphasize today—and I'm sure that you all have the notes and the background information—is that we are unique. Because we are unique, we're a little different from than a lot of cultural hubs, which sometimes can be identified as a pinpoint in an urban centre and could be subsidized up to around 60% to 70%. The funding we receive because we're in a rural community with a rural municipality is approximately two per cent of our budget. We spend a disproportionate amount of time raising funds to carry on. I think we do pretty well, because we've been there for 40 years offering education, professional theatre, and exposing our students to what's available there.
    The dirty word of course is always money. This is one of the things that we talk about because we don't think the arts and exposure to culture is an urban thing. We think it's a Canadian thing. Our belief is that it needs to be made available to the students in rural as well as urban Canada, and it's very important that it be easily accessed.
    I'm going to move along so I don't use up too much time.
    The greatest obstacles of course are the funding, which I mentioned, but it's also hard to attract corporate sponsorship because we are not very visible. This is a very tiny community off the beaten path. I mentioned that we don't have the same type of funding opportunities, and we have to do our marketing to a broader audience. We have 30,000-plus people come to Rosebud Theatre in the small community, as I mentioned, but we have to draw from a large area to bring those people from the larger centres. There has to be a commitment to go there, because there are no transportation options other than people arranging it themselves. We've been very fortunate to have some wonderful patrons who have helped us.
    The benefits of course are bringing the organizations together. We have a community now that is more than just a hub, as I said. The reason it is there is arts and culture. It brings a diverse group of people together and allows our students to see professionals at work. We draw professionals from all across the country for our productions, and it's a very rich experience.
    Without going too much further into it, I look forward to any questions there may be.
    Frank is one of our experts.
    Thank you very much again for the opportunity to speak today.

  (0950)  

     Thank you very much.
    We will now go to your tablemate Mr. Zietsman.
     Thank you, Madam Chair, and my thanks to members of the committee for this opportunity.
     I'd like to mention that I have the honour of serving on the board of Rosebud, so you should underline everything that you just heard, plus more. I'd like to add as much pizzazz as I can to their presentation. It truly is a remarkable organization that deserves all the support it can get.
    Some of you may or may not know Arts Commons by that name. It used to be the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts. At another time, it was called the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. For four or five years, it has been called Arts Commons. I'll speak a little bit more about that in a minute.
    This facility was opened in downtown Calgary in 1985. It was three theatres for three resident companies, which really was a typical first generation performing arts centre, or, as we labelled it in our industry, a “palace” for the arts. It was somewhat exclusive, somewhat removed—or maybe a lot exclusive.
    Since then, we've opened our doors. We now have seven resident companies. We have six formal performance spaces, two educational or community spaces, as well as visual and media art galleries. We have a theatre café, rehearsal and community spaces. We're now what I would call a typical generation-five gathering space.
    In our industry, we track the development of these spaces and the different roles they play over time in communities, in the country, and in North America.
    The heart of Calgary's creative district is exactly where Arts Commons is positioned. It's a five-minute walk from a number of cultural amenities. If you're familiar with the Walk Score company, which tracks walkability, Arts Commons' walk score is 97 out of 100. It is actually called a walker's paradise, which means it is close to the city hall, the central library, the Glenbow Museum, the Telus Convention Centre, the National Music Centre, the Vertigo Theatre, the Lunchbox Theatre, Theatre Junction Grand, the Olympic Plaza, the Plaza Theatre, and the Stephen Avenue Walk.
    In an average year, we host about 1,500 events, and more than 200 community user-groups now use our facility on a regular basis, in addition to the six resident companies and our own resident company. We serve about 600,000 people every year. According to Deloitte, which did an economic impact study a couple of years ago, our annual economic impact is $87 million.
    We're very proud of the fact that we reach more than 43,000 students with curriculum-connected programming, and we engage more than 1,400 artists annually. These are performing artists, visual artists, media artists, and others. And we employ about 234 FTEs. Our community invests about 23,000 volunteer hours, annually.
    Based on all that I've just said, I think you'll agree that we are truly a cultural hub in a cultural or creative district. Our mission is to bring the arts to life, to be an inclusive and inspirational gathering place for all. Hence the word “commons”. This includes new Canadians, for which we have specific programs to welcome them into our city and our country.
    Due to a city population that has doubled since the opening in 1985, the ever-expanding diversity in Calgary, and the increasing demand for diverse cultural gathering spaces and opportunities, we need to expand Arts Commons. This is a delightful dilemma to have. We need to revitalize Calgary's downtown urban cultural district. For that purpose, over the past two years, we have been working with all levels of government on an Arts Commons transformation and capital expansion project, or ACT. It will provide much-needed additional access, inclusion, financial sustainability, and a flexible multi-use gathering space for current and future audiences and users of all descriptions.
    Some of the things that I think would help the development of new cultural hubs, and the sustaining of current cultural hubs such as Arts Commons, are streamlining, fast-tracking, and aligning various government application and funding programs; lowering the access threshold, especially for emerging and community arts organizations and individuals; and increasing predictable sustainability through multi-year funding for projects and the operation and maintenance of spaces.

  (0955)  

     Another recommendation we might submit is to develop a national certification for cultural spaces, cultural programs, and people who invest in such programs, such as developers, architects, designers, etc., and to identify them as such, in order to create incentives, a common language, criteria that we all understand, and a shared vision.
    Another thing that will certainly help is to make it easier, through less red tape, to develop and implement new, innovative, and creative ideas, which are risky by design. This can be done through city planning, development, codes, permitting, funding, and so on, and making the process more seamless.
    I have two more recommendations, if I may.
    One is to try to remove a lot of the risk for emerging artists or for diverse and indigenous communities to launch micro-businesses in the arts and cultural field. The risk of doing that is huge for individuals and emerging groups. If the risk could be removed or lessened, through some government means, by some subsidy system, from something like a creative risk fund, it would certainly help this creative innovation to happen without undue risk to folks who don't do it for the money.
    The final recommendation is to fund and finance developers of cultural spaces. My board chair is a very successful developer in Calgary. His heart is in the right place, but I think it will be very hard for him to develop a less-than-profitable cultural space without some incentive. I know he would do it with some incentive, for the common good. I think the investing in Canada plan is a good program, but provincial relationships and priorities are not always predictable. Such anchor institutions—which might take place with the proper incentives and motivation—have the economic potential to leverage their assets and revenue to promote local sector development and private artists, and to increase the social impact. Ultimately, this is what this is all about.
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.
    Now we're going to our witnesses that we have here in the room.
    Could we hear from Ms. Franc, from the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, please?
    Today, in representing the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, I am representing 800 fairs, exhibitions, and agricultural societies across Canada, from the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto right down to the one-day Havelock Fair in Quebec. Together, in total, we see about 35 million visitors each year.
    Fairs are living reflections of the life and times around them. They hold deep cultural, traditional, and emotional connections to the people of their local area and embody a sense of community.
     In fact, there are several examples of fairs that are older than Canada itself. There's the Hants County Exhibition in Nova Scotia, which is 252 years old. We also have the Williamstown Fair in Ontario, which is 206 years old, and the Lachute Fair in Quebec, which is 193 years old.
    I highlight this point, because in a nation so young it can sometimes be hard to identify what is truly Canadian. We identify ourselves with our Tim Hortons, our diversity, our manners, and our hockey, but that just scratches the surface of our culture.
    Fairs are institutions that have grown with their communities over decades of progress and development. I would therefore argue that fairs are one of the first cultural hubs to exist in Canada and one of the best reflections of Canadian culture. Our culture is shared in our collective history, but also in our evolving stories and values. In a short time in even the smallest rural community, we make a significant impact. Our fairs showcase local arts and entertainment, we educate the population on all sorts of topics, and we are also one of the few social gathering places that reflect the diversity of Canadians through the visitors, the food selections, and even the activities we bring to the table.
    For example, this year the CNE has developed a unique program entitled “The Silk Road to the CNE” that will celebrate the cultures of the ancient trading route established by Marco Polo. They will feature the world's largest indoor lantern festival, showcasing characters from fables and children's stories from these countries. They will also have cultural cuisine, performing artists, and an Asian night market, as well as hosting a three-day business forum emphasizing global trade, with a particular emphasis on exporting to China.
    In Winnipeg, the Red River Exhibition has made significant strides in engaging newcomers by specifically inviting them to the event and allowing them to picnic on site so that they feel welcome.
    Several of you may have fairs in your own constituencies, so I am confident you understand what I am referring to when I speak to the vibrancy of these events. If you don't, I strongly encourage you to visit a fair this summer, because one of the best representations of our events is to experience them first-hand.
    Our struggle, however, is that we are not often recognized as a cultural hub, so my main recommendation today is that the Department of Canadian Heritage actively recognize fairs and exhibitions as cultural hubs.
    Arts equals culture, but culture does not exclusively equal arts. Culture is tradition, arts, and heritage—fundamentally, a broad and true representation of society. Cultural hubs are both permanent and temporary locations that reflect society. Fairs, therefore, are the perfect example.
    In terms of how the government can help cultural hubs, I've been listening over the past few weeks to other witnesses, and I strongly agree with many of their points, including the ever-popular need for operational funding, the need to educate boards and volunteers, and the need for more flexibility in the language when it comes to granting and funding opportunities.
    To that third example, there is funding specific to festivals. However, many of my members do not qualify because of the language used or the restrictions in place. Another great example is the Canada 150 funding. Several of my members applied for funding and didn't receive any, due in large part to the fact that they were considered an agricultural fair rather than a cultural event. As I have explained, we are much more than that one-dimensional agricultural fair.
    My final recommendation is that the government help fairs and exhibitions by assisting us with collecting data about our events. This applies to cultural hubs as well. We were fortunate enough to have a funded study completed in 2008, but that information is now considered significantly outdated. A new study would help us defend our influence and impact. The 2008 study showed, for example, that 89% of fair visitors agree that fairs are a major social gathering for the community, 94% agree that events like these are important to Canadian traditions, and 88% agree that these events enhance the quality of life for people in the regions. These numbers have been extremely useful to us, but I'm confident they've increased, as too have the numbers of volunteers who have been engaged and our economic impact.
    Overall, I commend the committee for taking on this study, as it is such an integral part of Canadian society. As one of the oldest and most modern cultural hubs in Canada, we at CAFE look forward to working with you throughout this process.

  (1000)  

     Thank you.

[Translation]

     I now give the floor to Mr. Théberge and Ms. Morin, representing the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française.
    My name is Martin Théberge. I am the President of the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française, or the FCCF. I am joined by Marie-Christine Morin, the federation's Acting Executive Director.
    The FCCF is the national voice of arts and culture in Canada's francophonie. Its vision is to inspire, mobilize and transform Canada through arts and culture.
    Its network brings together seven national arts service groups, 13 organizations dedicated to cultural and artistic development in 11 Canadian provinces and territories, as well as a group of performing arts presentation networks and a network of community radio stations. With its network of 22 members in Canada, the FCCF oversees 3,125 artists and more than 150 organizations, from over 180 French-speaking communities. For 40 years, it has been promoting artistic and cultural expression in francophone and Acadian communities.
    I want to begin by thanking you for the opportunity to appear before you today. We will focus our comments on the concept of creative centres, their relevance and their potential with respect to our common objectives to support the development and enhance the vitality of francophone and Acadian communities across Canada.
    I have come to talk to you about a dream, a vision related to the development of our sector and our minority communities.
    I cannot talk to you today about what has been accomplished because the concept of creative centres in Canadian francophonie is not yet a reality, but rather an idea that can lead to many opportunities.
    At the FCCF, we are developing ideas, and we want to share with you the fruit of our consideration, which is ongoing and is increasingly destined to translate into action.
    I will start at the beginning. After the government announced its “Creative Canada” vision, the FCCF established itself as part of the solution, as a champion of new ideas to modernize its sector, to achieve “real” reconciliation between the government and its community partners.
    It is in this spirit that we have put forward concepts like the creation of solution design teams, and innovation centres such as living laboratories and creative centres.
    We took the concept of “by and for” further. These are creative centres by and for the Canadian francophonie, but we have added a “with” to the concept. I will focus on that element over the next few minutes.
    The FCCF champions innovative ideas. We have demonstrated all the creativity for which we are renowned in coming up with our best contribution to innovation—a network of creative centres across the francophonie.
    We dared to push the concept of creative centres further by adding a social innovation centre to those creative centres. We have created a kind of a conceptual marriage between creative centres and the development of francophone and Acadian communities. We have added a social innovation centre animated by a mobile design team, which helps stimulate those spaces and rally not only stakeholders from our sector, but also users and the community, in order to find solutions that resonate and bring people together.
    Here is a concrete example. Let's imagine a creative centre where community stakeholders come together and share resources. Let's imagine a mobile solution design team that is active in that collaboration space that could, for example, be located at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, in Moncton. Let's imagine a brainstorming session on the development of young audiences aimed at early childhood for all of Acadia.
    All of a sudden, the entire user community is coming together to find solutions: child care workers, our distribution network in Acadia RADARTS, our artists, the Department of Education, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or the ACOA, the Faculty of Education at the Université de Moncton or the Université Sainte-Anne, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.
    Everyone is there to find solutions that will ensure the community's development and vitality. We could test those solutions on a small scale before making major investments in order to assess them and then scale them up.
    Our network is ready to activate those cultural centres and social innovation centres, which will help modernize the sector.
    That will have a major impact on all issues related to communities, in addition to encouraging intersectoral exchanges. The interest and expertise are there.
    If investments were planned not only for infrastructure, as is currently the case with the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, and funding was added to have those centres animated by mobile teams, we would have a real space and means to create and think differently, in a more global way. That is what we mean when we say “by, for and with”.

  (1005)  

    Through the design concept, we are already connected to stakeholders in our communities. Measures that can be used as levers are necessary to activate expertise on the ground, animate spaces and make them alive, so that they would have the desired effect on our communities' development.
    Our cultural, arts and community centres are prime locations and spaces best suited to accommodate those centres. The technology we are looking at to deploy such creative platforms would be installed and available to as many people in our communities as possible.
    Creative centres are a new and different way to promote creation, and to encourage partnerships and interdisciplinarity. They engage us in innovation and represent a potential that has so far been underdeveloped in terms of unique possibilities provided by our small size and small numbers.
    Creative centres represent an openness toward structuring initiatives likely to open up new possibilities for us. Ideally, we want to establish a network of creative centres and innovation centres in well-defined cultural hubs of the Canadian francophonie.
    We are looking beyond the spaces; we are looking beyond the concrete. For us, this is an opportunity to give ourselves a prime workspace to meet challenges and the specific needs of the Canadian francophonie. For that space to be vibrant, it must be animated.
    The expertise in social innovation required to animate those locations must be thought out and funded through that social development project Canada wants to give itself. The development of the arts sector also goes through innovation. This is the way forward, and the possibilities are there. The Canadian francophonie wants to spread.
    For creative centres to work, people have to animate them and get locals to think differently. That requires drivers of change, people who think outside the box and engage various stakeholders in the search for solutions. That is the missing element in the current project. That element is vital if we want our infrastructure to be meaningful.
    Our entire network is enthusiastic about the idea of positive outcomes and advantages that our communities could potentially see thanks to the contribution of a network of creative centres in the Canadian francophonie.
    Thank you for listening.
    I am now ready to answer your questions.

  (1010)  

    Thank you.
    We will now move on to questions and comments.
    Mr. Hébert, go ahead.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I want to congratulate the witnesses on their presentations.
    Mr. Théberge, your presentation was very clear. I see that you have taken some steps and have understood the concept. Over the next months and years, you will take action to protect your culture, which is dear to everyone, from coast to coast to coast.
    Ms. Morin, you did not talk a lot, but I know that you are well supported.
    However, I was quite surprised by what Ms. Franc and the people from the Rosebud School of the Arts said. My first questions will be for the people from the Rosebud School of the Arts, north of Calgary.
    It is pretty surprising to see that you have been around for a long time with a “religious” program.
    What are the benefits and challenges of operating in a small community? How do you see the expansion of your theatre over the next few years?

[English]

     The coming expansion is quite dependent on some of the strangest things that you wouldn't really think about first, and they are core services, things like potable water and waste water. At the moment, there is a moratorium on new building in the area we're in, so we're working to have the physical ability to expand our area.
    Many of the professional artists who perform on our stage have to travel 100 kilometres each day to come to do their performance, because we quite literally don't have a place for them to stay. That's been a bit of a challenge, and of course, Canada, as it continues to develop our area.... We've seen it over the past 100 years. As an example, 90% of Albertans lived on farms and in a rural setting, and 10% in the urban centres, and now all that's swapped. The urban centres are 90%, and the rural are 10%.
    Some of those challenges are the distances, but I think our longevity shows that the need for arts and culture for Canadians to enjoy, no matter what their setting, is extremely important.

[Translation]

    Thank you.
    My next question is for Ms. Franc.
    The word “agriculture” includes the word “culture”, but it is difficult to establish a link between an exhibit and an agricultural fair. For example, in my region, in Saint-Félicien, there was an agricultural fair for many years. Unfortunately, it had to cease operations. In the Saguenay region, the Exposition agricole de Chicoutimi is very important. It attracts a huge number of locals and visitors.
    That said, how are you managing to establish a link between culture and agriculture?

[English]

     I think the big point is that a lot of our fairs are more than just agricultural ones now. Unfortunately, the ones that have shut down have done so because they haven't diversified, whereas, if you look at other fairs they have other components. They have local artists whom they're showcasing. They bring education to the table. They bring communities together. We are so much more than the agricultural fair we were 100 years ago, and there's so much to do. There are the midways, there are competitions for local artists and artisans, and all sorts of stuff. We're stuck with the stigma of being agricultural fairs, but we're so much more than that. We are fairs.

[Translation]

    That's very interesting. So I suppose your exhibits involve an artisanal component. For example, the Lachute region has a quilt exhibit. Quebec has Cercles de Fermières. That association, which has existed for a long time, preserves crafts that are dear to us.
    How do you think you can maintain your activities and form an association?
    How could you receive more help from the government?

  (1015)  

[English]

    Just recognize that we are more than just the agricultural fairs. Pardon me if I don't answer this fully, but I can look into it more.
    We have so much opportunity and no one thinks of us, and that's why I'm here today. You say you were surprised to hear from the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions. Well, we know that we're not thought about a lot, so if you could bring awareness of us to Canadian Heritage, to the government, it would help. We could use their support, support in terms of the resources I mentioned, including for training our volunteers and our staff, bringing it out to the rural communities like our colleagues in Alberta were saying and, of course, operational funding. Furthermore, there could be better, more flexible language in the grants and applications so that they're more open to our organization.

[Translation]

    I definitely believe in what you are saying. I put questions to you twice specifically to give you an opportunity to explain a bit better the reconciliation you are engaging in.
    My next question is for Mr. Théberge, from the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française.
    You told us that your federation brings together many organizations. You talked about 22 members.
    Have cultural centres and cultural districts been created or will they be created soon in the communities you represent?
    In various regions of the country, recently renovated infrastructure has what is needed, in terms of physical spaces, to become creative centres. During our presentation, we highlighted the necessity or need to animate those spaces. We do have 22 member organizations. We are a federation, as are a number of our members. That is why I was saying earlier that we represent over 3,000 artists and more than 150 organizations, across Canada. They all have a very specific mandate, but we in no case have the mandate or the funding necessary to animate those creative centres.
    By definition, a creative centre brings people together. Those buildings are designed to provide a physical location where a certain potential exists in terms of the population. What we provide is the social element. Our communities are small and rural, located in remote regions. The social element does not exist in the current concept of a creative centre. That is in great part the point we wanted to emphasize today.
    Thank you very much.

[English]

    We are going to Mr. Shields please. I believe you're sharing your time with Mr. Eglinski.
    Right, I'll share it with Mr. Eglinski.
     Thank you to the witnesses for being here today and talking about arts and culture in rural Canada. I really appreciate it.
     If I could go to Rosebud first, Jack, how are you doing? I'm surprised at where you show up. It's good to see you there. Are you drying out in Rosebud?
    Yes, we are, but unfortunately we have a bad affect on the people downstream from us. The old very historically rich community of Wayne is flooded because the Rosebud creek goes through it, but we're at the headwaters so we're fine, but thank you for your concern.
     You mentioned water. There is a pilot project in Rosebud that may have far wider implications, and that's the wastewater treatment plant, which is unique and could be used in other parts of the world. It's an interesting project, and I hope it develops further. You mentioned that limitation, and there's a wastewater treatment plant being developed there, in a unique situation, in a hamlet of 100, that will have far-reaching effects.
    On Rosebud itself, you talked about 30,000 people for a hamlet of 100.
    For Calgary Commons, you said 600,000 for a million people. I enjoy Calgary Commons. When you changed the name, it threw me, because when you're an old guy, you know, that's all downtown Calgary.
    Going back to Rosebud, you talked about the number of people who come and how you attract people for schools. Can you talk just a little more about those folks?
    We have everything from the elementary school crowd that comes in—quite often, it's their very first exposure to professional arts—to the other end of the spectrum, which is that we have busloads of seniors who come from Calgary and Edmonton, for example. The service we offer, obviously because of our distance, needs to be a combination, so we feed these people and we expose them to some of the very best that professional theatre across the country has to offer, for the price of $80.
     We have everyone in [Technical difficulty—Editor] and we even involve our students in the theatre, which gives them exposure to the people in the profession. It shows them that there can be a future in the arts in this country. They get to see people actually taking that option and bringing that art to the folks in the community.

  (1020)  

    It's good that you mention that, because one of Canada's artistic directors came from a school in the area. He came from Brooks. He saw this and is now one of the leading Canadian artistic directors. He is working in Calgary at the moment, but has worked in Niagara Falls. That experience is where he got his initiation into this and the possibility of doing it. I appreciate that.
    For Calgary Commons, you have something there that Ottawa could sure use: the Plus 15 system that helps people get around in the wintertime. Can you talk about your walkability? The Olympic Plaza is in the middle of that. I think the 1988 Olympics got that going as a meeting place right in the middle of the cultural hub.
     On behalf of many people, I apologize that our name threw you. That's a common reaction we heard at the beginning. If I may, I'll just say that the name change was very intentional. It was to indicate that we are no longer just a centre for performing arts, as those terms indicated, and that we are much more open and much more a gathering place. Over time, I think the name is getting a lot of traction, and a lot of people are following our example and changing their name for the same reasons.
    In terms of walkability, it certainly is the heart of Calgary. It's the cultural heart of Calgary. It's the communication and transit hub of Calgary and right next to city hall as well. Yes, the Plus 15 is a unique thing, and not just in Canada but worldwide. There is literally no other example that I can think of where a public walkway through the downtown goes right through an arts facility like ours. Many more hundreds of thousands of people just simply pass through the building and are exposed to the many visual arts, sound arts, and media arts installations that we have on that route to animate the experience, which is another way of creating a hub-like experience for artists and for folks who just walk through the building. It truly is unique. I agree with you.
    The Chair: Mr. Eglinski.
    To Christina Franc, thank you for appearing today. When I first got a note from you talking about fairs, I had to wrap my head around it, but as rural Canadian MP, I'll say that they are our culture hubs. I have probably attended 25 to 30 during the summer. They range from one day to four and five days. They bring together families and communities, and they bring together art. Whether it's painted art, photographs, or a grandma cooking a pie competing against the grandma down the road who is cooking a pie, it is art.
     It is art in the fact that maybe that farmer has brought his beautifully restored John Deere tractor out there and is competing with seven or eight other people who have brought out their Massey Harris tractors, their Fords, and whatever. It is art, and it opens up the culture of the community. Because we're small communities and everybody is living on little acreages or farms, we don't have that urban centre, but to them, for their four days during the summer, that's their culture. I wonder if you would like to explain that a little more.
     Absolutely. I'm not going to miss that opportunity.
    Communities absolutely shift when the local fair comes to town. It's the high school reunion. It's the event everyone's going to go to. The population of my small town of Ormstown, of 3,000, goes up to 25,000, which is bigger than the whole MRC. It really brings the community together. Local businesses are supported because they are coming in to showcase what they're doing as well. It really is such a vibrant situation. It's one of the few places where there is something for absolutely everyone. You have the little kids who are going to go on the midway rides, but you're also going to have the adults checking out the tractors or seeing the animals, or whatever it may be. Our range of demographics is steady across the board, up to about 65 years old. You talk about bringing the community together, especially in rural communities where there's a lot of isolation. In the winter months everyone hibernates, and the spring and the summer are when people come out. They come out to the fair and they get to see everyone and they socialize. In the same way the strawberry social used to be the big thing, the fair now is, and it has always been where people gather.

  (1025)  

    Thank you very much.
     You're out of time now.

[Translation]

     You have the floor, Mr. Nantel.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you all for your presentations.
    Arts Commons is a perfect example of the kind of cultural centre that could be part of the program we have been tasked with studying.
    I want to commend you for your passion, Ms. Franc, because it is not easy to come and give a presentation here. It reminds me of my colleague's enthusiasm when he spoke to us about an antique car show at the beginning of our study. It is true that all of that is also part of culture.
    There is no doubt about the importance of the social gathering. At Thanksgiving every year, when I go to the village of Ayer's Cliff, there is a farmers' market on Sunday. It brings the whole community out, and it is a gathering that enhances the quality of life. This is similar to the objectives of the cultural hubs program.
    I encourage you to be very creative, however, and to make a significant contribution to our study if you want to be part of this program. That will give us hope that you are committed to the development of culture, the arts or a community.
    Of course, if we are talking about a fair where everyone is trading pumpkin pie recipes, that can be very local, but it is of course a cultural activity. But is that also true of an event with rides, a Ferris wheel, and so forth?
    If we want to invest in a francophone community, we have to adapt and not just steamroll along with all the equipment from one place to another. Thinking outside the box is important. That is what helps us make progress.
    Thank you, Mr. Théberge, for your very charismatic and vibrant presentation. It reminds me of the first times that groups representing cultural interests—ceramic artists or musicians, such as those represented by Music Canada—appeared before the committee.
    We have a large francophone community that is spread out across the country and that often struggles a great deal because it is isolated in remote regions. Do you think the cultural hubs program would give Canada's francophone community an additional criterion in order to promote exchanges in French?
    For example, would you like the program to have a more mobile dimension or do you see it more from the traveller's point of view? I am thinking of Charlottetown, which has an outstanding cultural centre that has not yet been designated as such, although it certainly is one. There are buds all over the place and sometimes more than buds—in the case of the Arts Commons, which is clearly working well.
    In my opinion, the FCCF needs to address one of the fundamental issues for francophone culture to survive and flourish. What are your thoughts?
    I think there are two parts to that question.
    As to the first part, there can indeed be partnerships in the case of agricultural fairs and cultural activities held in the community. For example, before I began my current duties, I took part in the Hants County Exhibition, which is in its 252nd year. In short, there are partnerships with cultural organizations.
    That said, in terms of a creative centre in downtown Calgary, you have to realize that the anglophone community will automatically take over, for demographic reasons. Let there be no mistake. The Action Plan for Official Languages reported certain statistics. In particular, it indicated that our population has declined from 6% to 3.4% of the total population. If nothing is done, I expect it will be just 3% by 2036. Something has to be done. To be blunt, I would say that by failing to use a francophone lens in your study today, you are in a way contributing to the assimilation we are undergoing.
    The other aspect is as follows. If you use that francophone lens, we would ask you to understand our reality, our geography, and our demographics. You can go beyond the first phase, which focuses on physical spaces, including the district and buildings. That is fine. We cannot object to that in any way. Moreover, I don't think anyone has been opposed to that during the discussions so far.
    What we are asking you is to go a step further in your thinking and address the social and technological aspects right away. That means asking what the second phase of the project will be and what activities will take place at these buildings. If the question is how the activities will be conducted, I encourage you to consider the next question immediately, which is what approach can be taken for Canada's francophone community, since we are a very small community that is very spread out and remote. In my opinion, a mobile team is needed, with a social dimension, along with a solutions development team that will not only consider the situation, but that will put the users at the centre of that solution, that is, the creators, artists, and community organizations.

  (1030)  

    Thank you. What you say is very exciting. You talked a lot about buildings. The focus on physical spaces scares me a bit. On the whole, I think we should be as flexible as possible.
    Ms. Marcuse, from the International Centre of Art for Social Change, highlighted all the health-related and other benefits for citizens who are involved in arts processes. We heard testimony from a representative of Wapikoni Mobile, an organization that serves as a creative laboratory and travels from one community to another.
    We cannot do everything and nothing at the same time, but would that mobility be a way of reaching the francophones in small communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba?
    Let there be no mistake. The idea of establishing a francophone creative centre in St. Paul, Alberta, is not realistic. We have to think instead of mobile, social, and technological components.
    This project also has a virtual aspect, namely, that these various creative centres will be connected across the country. We have heard—and Canadian Heritage officials also said this at the outset—that this aspect will be considered in the second or third phase.
    In our opinion, given our situation, namely, that our communities are spread out, we have to consider this aspect very early in the process, if not right now. The virtual aspect, which connects people to the teams, will be crucial to the survival of the network of creative centres.
    Do all these small communities have good Internet service?
    That is an excellent question and the answer is no.
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.
    I will now turn it over to Mr. Breton.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I also want to thank all the witnesses for their passion and dedication to the arts and culture.
    My first questions are for Mr. Théberge and Ms. Morin. They are related to what Ms. Franc said earlier about gathering data. Ms. Franc said she would like to have greater access to statistics.
    That being said, Mr. Théberge and Ms. Morin, I am interested in the economic impact of cultural hubs and cultural districts.
    Do you have any such data from the members you represent, whether they are rural, remote communities or urban communities?
    I would like to hear your thoughts on that. We can then move on to the people from Calgary and to Ms. Franc.
    We do not have any specific data on the arts and culture in francophone communities in Canada. It is a specific niche of a target market and we do not have any tangible data. We are, however, preparing an exercise within our network to develop a profile of the needs and opportunities available to our communities in order to really stimulate our thinking on this issue.
    I would also point out that, in general, the arts and culture sector accounts for about 3.1% of GDP, if memory serves, and about the same percentage of jobs. So the sector has a major economic impact and contributes to the development of our communities. There is no doubt that it is an economic driver.
    I heard my colleague say earlier that, in addition to the events themselves, the whole community experiences and is supported by them: the population triples, and all the nearby businesses and citizens benefit from these events.

  (1035)  

    My colleague just said that the sector accounts for 3.1% of GDP and, if memory serves, 3.4% of jobs in Canada. So those figures are roughly equivalent. I can confirm that and send you the information later on, but if memory serves, the arts and culture sector in Canada supports more jobs than aquaculture, agriculture, and the fishery combined. So the economic impact is significant, not to mention the volunteer and social component, and so on. Clearly, it has a real impact.
    What you are saying is interesting and I think this message has be spread more broadly in order to better inform the public.
    Ms. Franc, do you have something to add?

[English]

     The last study we completed was in 2008. We do know that nationally we contribute $1 billion to the Canadian economy. We contribute 10,700 jobs. The study was based on small, medium, and large fairs. The small fairs average a $750,000 impact on their local economies. So we do have significant impact, even in the smallest communities. As I said, though, that information is quite outdated, and we're looking for some help there.

[Translation]

    Would our friends from Calgary like to add anything regarding the economic impact?

[English]

    I can say that it's huge in our case, because the community obviously wouldn't exist without the arts. In our province, as an example, the top industry, of course, is the energy industry, followed by agriculture, and then by tourism and recreation. A huge component of tourism and recreation is directly associated with the arts.
    We work co-operatively. I need to say we want our francophone friends to travel and be able to see what the offerings are, and I think we need to do the same. There's more rubber-tire tourism taking place now across our country. The agricultural fairs draw people into all of the communities throughout our area, and I know that we get spinoff from them and the people who come in. I know that many of the core services in those communities are supported by what happens with the fairs that take place in the different locations.
    I think better coordination in the future is going to be extremely important to the survival of all of us. As I said, as far as the financial situation is concerned, our budget is just over $3 million. In our general community around us, I expect that the spinoff is probably 10 times that with the bed and breakfasts and the golf courses and the different things that people access when they come to see the different forms of art that are offered.
    Just in response to that question, if I may add, I did mention briefly that our annual economic impact, according to Deloitte, is $87 million, and that includes the direct, indirect, and induced impacts. But to support what Jack was saying, that's the measurable direct and indirect impact, and it supports 1,400 artists a year.
    In terms of the indirect impact, would the absence of Arts Commons create a loss of more than $87 million way out on the edges, because of the impact on tourism and the economy in more general terms? I think the answer is definitely yes. So beyond just the measurable numbers, we're working hard in our industry and my field to try to figure out how we mention the SROI—the social impact, the social return on investment. That's something that I think is far bigger, and it touches on the elements Jack mentioned. It's not measurable in our field at this stage. We're working on ways to articulate that.

[Translation]

    Thank you so much.

[English]

     That brings us to the end of our hearings of witnesses for our cultural hubs study.

[Translation]

    This is the last meeting in our study on cultural hubs and districts in Canada.
    Many thanks to all the witnesses and to the members; it has been most interesting.
    In the next few meetings, we will continue our study of gender parity on boards of directors.
    Thank you very much.
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