Dozens of artists and workers in the city’s artistic and cultural milieu gathered Sunday afternoon at Place des Arts to demonstrate for the right to access to the performing arts, which they consider a right. fundamental.
“I came today to support them because they are forgotten,” said Ruba Ghazal, Member of Parliament for Mercier and responsible for Québec solidaire in terms of culture. Today, I made a request to the Minister of Culture to give aid directly to artists. ”
She asked the Minister of Culture to release emergency aid of 50 million which would go directly through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) to help performing artists and craftspeople plan the recovery. of their environment.
“This health crisis can last a very long time and we will have to find other solutions that only confine and deconfin. The recovery is today that we must prepare, it is not when everyone is going to be vaccinated, ”she added.
“We can no longer live”
Demonstrators deplore that the artistic community has been on hiatus for nearly a year because of health standards. “We are oppressed, we can no longer live and we are a living art,” says Mélodie Gauvreau, who has been earning a living in the artistic field for 20 years.
People can go shopping, wait in line, fly, but you can’t go to a performance hall. The government puts us in a mode of consumption rather than healing.
His daughter Neyla Gauvreau, 8, accompanied him, sign in hand. “It’s boring because our circus school has closed due to COVID-19,” she said. “She is a child and she can no longer do circus, dance and gym,” adds her mother. She needs to express herself. The government is making society sick. ”
Transparency and concrete
The demonstrators can no longer be sidelined. “I think we have been made invisible since the start of the pandemic. I think it is important that we come together today to show that we still exist, despite being a little behind the scenes, ”said Léo Gaudreault, who works in the visual arts field.
He asks the government to have the dignity of talking about artists. “I don’t know where the Minister of Culture has been since the start of the pandemic, but she is being too discreet. ”
Aymen Khelifa and Kilian Merdrignac implore the government to be transparent and to put itself in the shoes of the artists. “There are probably other alternatives to this total containment. The government must admit that there is a problem and that all is not well, ”said Mr. Khelifa.
“We’ve been waiting for something concrete for a long time. It’s already good that museums are reopening next week, ”adds Mr. Merdrignac.