Canadian arts mandarin argues for everyday arts participation

Simon Brault, head of Canada’s National Theatre School and vice-chair of the Canada Council for the Arts has become the latest spokesperson for the need for government to acknowledge, honour and support ‘amateur practices’.

Dismissing the preoccupation of arts funding agencies with ‘audience development’, he is pushing for an arts version of ‘Participaction’ (a Canadian version of Australia’s ‘Life Be In It’ campaign). This program was designed to stimulate Canadians to get off their arses and shake their tail feathers and has apparently been widely successful.

He sees a similar program being essential to developing sustainable connections between professionally produced arts and the wider population.

James Bradshaw’s Dec 4 report in Canada’s ‘Globe & Mail’ offers a thumbnail of Brault’s recent pronouncements and activities. Good stuff.

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