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Town of Mount Royal, March 31, 2008 – After months of work and many smaller-scale meetings, Town of Mount Royal is today ready to present to the public its proposed cultural policy. Specifically, the Town invites all residents interested in the arts, heritage and local development to attend a public consultation to be held on Tuesday, April 8, at 19:00 at Town Hall. It is hoped that the meeting will pave the way for a productive exchange of views on all these subjects.

Growing out of an initiative by a group of local artists, the proposed cultural policy took its first steps in early fall 2006 after receiving an attentive hearing by Town Council. Built around various basic goals – to increase the opportunities for presenting arts, provide more structured support for cultural events, acknowledge the necessity of partnerships – early drafts of the policy were studied by several local groups, whose comments helped refine it over the months.

Members of the Table ronde sur l’art de Mont-Royal (TRAM), the Mount Royal Municipal Association (MRMA), the Heritage and Culture Advisory Committee and the Youth Council as well as representatives from Mount Royal schools and places of worship have already been encouraged to provide input on the document’s content at earlier consultation sessions.

Reflecting these meetings, the Town of Mount Royal cultural policy now comprises a number of carefully chosen objectives grouped into four main orientations: celebrating heritage by making it a bigger part of our cultural agenda; providing local access to an active cultural life; further developing municipal support for the presentation of arts; and promoting culture as a positive force for bringing people together.

Many cities and towns in Quebec already have cultural policies. Our neighbours Laval, Longueuil and Montreal all do, which has not prevented the boroughs of LaSalle, Montréal-Nord and Outremont (to name only three) from implementing their own cultural policies, all of which tie into Montreal’s broader policy. Although the detailed objectives vary from municipality to municipality, the basic idea is almost always the same: to facilitate the local population’s contact with various aspects of culture, in particular the arts.

“There is culture as spectacle – the huge and hugely popular entertainment industry – but there is also everyday culture, which is closer to our roots, so familiar and so much a part of us yet so hard to define when we lack promotional tools truly adapted to its scale,” said Mayor Vera Danyluk. “We tend to take it for granted, to overlook and trivialize it. But culture is to be found in Mount Royal. It has a long history, a solid foundation and a new generation of enthusiastic supporters. It expresses itself in various languages and strives to occupy a more important place in our lives. Showcasing our history, providing a springboard for our young artists, encouraging cultural exchanges and opening ourselves to the world is to say we are confident in Mount Royal’s vitality and its future. A number of actions can be taken to advance culture without it costing anyone a penny. And these actions can be profitable for our community in so many ways! We look forward to discussing them with as many residents as possible on April 8. All residents are welcome.”

The public consultation on Town of Mount Royal’s proposed cultural policy will be led by Anne-Marie Jean, General Manager of Culture Montréal.