Festival discrimination in Montreal?

Montreal is the City of Festivals, but are some festivals in town getting short shrift when it comes to city funding? And, if so, what is there to be done about it?

I was recently part of a panel on MAtv’s CityLife discussing this very thing alongside Montreal Gazette Arts columnist T’cha Dunlevy and Montreal Community Contact editor Egbert Gaye. The panel discussion starts at the 15:15 mark of the above video, but watching the first half of the show, during which CityLife host Richard Dagenais interviews Everiste Blaize will likely offer you some valuable context.

For what it’s worth, I think the country, the province and the city should spend more on the arts for reasons including but not limited to that art is good and is good for you and investing in the arts is oftentimes a smart financial play. That doesn’t necessarily come across in what I say to Dagenais because the discussion we had largely revolved around issues of responsibility, accountability and perhaps most importantly, the question “how do we measure success?” when it comes to funding the arts.

Also, while I apologize profusely for using the term “street cred,” I do not apologize for saying that Osheaga has become a festival for tourists from Toronto. ■

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