LET’S DEMYSTIFY CULTURAL OUTREACH
At the Festival, we believe that music is an exceptionally effective vehicle for individual and community development. We wish to develop a strong and lasting relationship with our audience and solidify our roots in Lanaudière through our social involvement. Ultimately, we intend to make the Lanaudière region the Canadian hub for classical music!
We offer, among other things, extraordinary human experiences in the context of our cultural outreach activities. So … what is cultural outreach? Let’s demystify what for many is a new concept!
The concept of cultural outreach
The term “médiation culturelle” has been used in Quebec since 2000 to designate actions that build bridges between art, culture, and society, with the aim of making everyone an agent of culture in their community. Janick Simard, artistic coordinator and head of cultural outreach at the Festival, gives us her point of view on the concept:
“For me, cultural outreach or mediation starts with an exchange between two people. This exchange can have the objective of informing or accompanying an audience: for example, by answering specific questions from an audience during a pre-concert event, a cultural outreach mediator can help them better understand the specific protocols of the concert.. The aim here is to help participants embrace and appropriate an artistic process for themselves, through things like co-creation, teaching, or simply listening. The French term ‘médiation’ is not normally used in English-speaking countries, but rather framed in terms of community engagement or education. Personally, I consider the French ‘médiation’ along these lines when elaborating our projects and activities."
What forms does cultural outreach take?
- Introduction to music workshops
- Discussions about a work or an artist
- Introduction to the arts (theatre, music, painting, etc.)
- Musical creation workshops
What impact does this have on our daily lives?
- Countering isolation
- Stimulating creativity
- Encouraging openness to others and stepping out of one’s comfort zone
- Increasing the pleasure of being together
- Enabling a better understanding of the cultural works and artists
Cultural outreach at The Festival de Lanaudière
Community cultural outreach is a means of appropriating an artistic process. At the Festival, our activities are centred, of course, on music. We want the general public to become familiar with classical music, to challenge them through the musical projects we present because we want to help them get closer to this art form and to embrace art in general. Here are some of the activities offered to our festival goers during the summer, as well as through various collaborations throughout the year.
- Community Cultural Outreach and Education
Since 2021, our cultural mediator Margot Charignon has been masterfully leading our “médiation volante” onsite outreach project during concerts at the Amphithéâtre. Before the concerts and during the intermissions, Margot discusses the works on the program and their historical and musical context with festival-goers. She also answers many questions from the audience, ranging from the role of the concertmaster and the conductor to the meaning of a musical work’s movement titles. These proactive interventions are much appreciated!
- Off-site concert series (Hors les murs)
In this concert series, festival-goers have the opportunity to interact with the artists before and after the performances, allowing them to connect with the music and identify with the musicians. Moreover, we present these concerts in unusual places. Imagine a classical music concert in a century-old barn in the middle of a squash field … what a contrast! These concerts highlight young and promising ensembles playing a vast assortment of repertoires.
- Open rehearsals
For the past two years, the Festival has offered various organizations in the region the opportunity to attend a dress rehearsal of the Orchestre Métropolitain. In 2022, more than 400 people working in the health sector took advantage of a morning of respite and celebration of music. music.
- Cultural partnerships
Festival et Concours
By engaging different partners, the Festival can reach new clienteles such as families and students. For example, since 2021, we have been working closely with the Centre Culturel Desjardins on the Festival et Concours de Musique Classique de Lanaudière.The Festival’s outreach team supports the Festival and Competition team in the organization of this event, and offers an activity to its participants—last year, it was a master class followed by a concert-lecture by Uliana Drugova and Michel-Alexandre Brockaert.
A masterclass is a class that is taught in front of an audience: an opportunity for young instrumentalists, for example, to combine playing for an audience while receiving feedback from recognized artists. In this case, the feedback touched on various aspects of the playing: from technical preparation for performing more difficult or challenging passages to non-verbal communication between instrumentalists and their collaborative pianists (accompanists). In the second part, the masterclass teachers gave a concert-lecture, with the aim of illustrating the different aspects discussed with the young people in the first part, explaining how how they strive to overcome some of the challenges such as technical difficulties, improving communication, and adequate mental preparation.
As part of the Festival’s 2023 edition, we will offer a workshop on mental preparation for performance.
Éloi, le hautbois qui avait perdu son LA | Théâtre Advienne que pourra
In collaboration with the cultural outreach team of Théâtre Advienne que pourrathe Festival team participated in the development of mediation workshops and a booklet to complement the play Éloi le hautbois qui avait perdu son LA.
Using various tools, we introduced participants to the artists’ vision and to the themes addressed in the play. Through movement exercises, rhythm games, and choral explorations, these workshops opened up a rich dialogue between the mediators and the participants. Our team also contributed to the development of the orchestral version of the play, which was recently presented with l’Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Joliette at the Centre culturel Desjardins.
Maison de la musique René-Charette
The year 2023 will see the inauguration of the Maison de la musique René-Charettein downtown Joliette. The Festival’s cultural outreach team is already coming up with ideas for communications and exchange activities with regional organizations and Festival audiences!
Music outreach projects in Quebec
Several organizations in Quebec offer music outreach activities and we want to introduce you to some of them!
Thanks to bold and innovative initiatives, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal collaborates with many community partners to offer inclusive projects that promote social integration. We were won over by the OSMose project, which aims to introduce classical music to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) along with children in regular classes.
The Orchestre Métropolitain also offers various activities such as school matinees. Discover here all the initiatives they offer to audiences young and old!
Espace transition offers a variety of programs using the arts to promote psychosocial rehabilitation and attenuate the stigma that can undermine youth who experience mental health problems. Its aim is to promote wellness throughout the entire CHU Ste-JustineWhether through percussion, cello, theatre, or visual arts workshops, participants engage in a process of co-creation culminating in a collective work presented to the public at the end of the workshops.
The Opéra de Montréal has been implementing since 2018 its Impact Opéra program to raise awareness and introduce a wider audience to opera. Through various projects, the cultural mediators aim for opera to become an agent of social transformation and an essential community outreach and educational tool.
Elsewhere in the world, the Philharmonie de Paris offers various activities for audiences of all ages! For example, their cafés-musique provide the public with opportunities to meet and discuss works on their concert programs with the artists. The EVE project offers children intensive choral singing practice through physical and psychosocial approaches over a period of 3 years.