Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

7.7 million requested for Quebec performance halls

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Despite the return of the public since the pandemic, multidisciplinary theaters are facing an explosion in production costs.

  • Charles Rioux (Consult the profile)Charles Rioux

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The Professional Association of Show Presenters (RIDEAU), which represents 350 performance halls and festivals in Quebec, is asking the Legault government for an additional investment of $7.7 million for multidisciplinary spaces, whose health is undermined in particular by 'explosion of production costs and loss of quality labor.

In a press release published Thursday, RIDEAU cites three main reasons to explain the needs of its members: the staggering increase in fixed costs, the loss of quality personnel during the pandemic and the congestion expected in 2024 for grant applications. /p>

With the storm of post-pandemic effects at the macroeconomic level – lack of labor, inflation, explosion in production costs – we are at a breaking point, summarizes the general director of RIDEAU, Julie-Anne Richard.

RIDEAU also joins forces with a dozen other broadcasting organizations to deplore a shortfall of $40 million in support for theaters. These organizations are thus pleading for the credits granted occasionally to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), due to the pandemic, to be fully maintained.

Glimmer on the horizon, the multidisciplinary rooms are regaining color since the slack period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ms. Richard. The problem would now be elsewhere.

We are approaching theater attendance rates before the pandemic […], but the problem is that our costs have increased so much that even if we are very efficient, our budgets are no longer aligned and we are in line with structural deficits, explains Julie-Anne Richard.

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The general director of RIDEAU also recalls the historic gap of 5% between reserved public funding to multidisciplinary theaters (30% of their revenues) and that which benefits the rest of the broadcasting sector (35% of its revenues).

There is some catching up to do, but the rest of the broadcast also needs support. It's not at all a question of undressing Pierre to dress Paul, but we've been at the back of the pack for a long time.

The general director of RIDEAU also cites the non-renewal of subsidies for its members since 2017, an exercise which is done every four years and which was to be held in 2021, but which was delayed due to the pandemic.

The recurring amounts that we receive year after year as an operating budget have not been reviewed since 2017. It has been six years since the exercise was carried out, so we have lost value in terms of our subsidies , she explains, recalling the gap between public funding of multidisciplinary theaters and the entire distribution.

With the information from Catherine Richer, cultural columnist on the show Le15-18

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