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Short Story

In the spring 2020, a few artistic festival managers started virtual meetings with the primary objective of exchanging and supporting each other collectively in the context of the Covid crisis, which has obviously hit quite severely the entertainment industry. As the discussions, sharing and collaborations progressed, it became clear that the need to get together was not only due to a circumstantial episode but rather to a desire to make changes together. This is how REFRAIN was born in March 2020.

REFRAIN carries the aspirations of Quebec's cultural events, facilitating a fundamental contribution to the vitality of all regions.

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REFRAIN is an alliance promoting and stimulating artistic activities that are essential to the development of tourism, economy, and culture in Quebec.

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REFRAIN is a round table for sharing ideas, resources, and wise practices.

Active members

Any corporation, organization or legal entity interested in the goals and activities of the corporation that meets the eligibility criteria and pays its annual dues. Active members shall be entitled to participate in all activities of the corporation, to receive notices of meetings of its members, and to designate a representative to attend and vote at meetings. They are eligible to be members of the board of directors of the corporation.

REFRAIN's Objectives
  1. To defend the interests of its members and the recognition of the industry;
  2. To encourage the events to reach the highest level of excellence in innovation and professionalism in order to become the benchmark in cultural events;
  3. To provide resources to existing events in Quebec to increase their growth and improve their impact;
  4. To develop an attractive and niche offer in an effort to promote the national and international influence of Quebec events;
  5. To provide its members with specific common promotional strategies;
  6. To support networking between regions of Quebec, the exchange of expertise, as well as the sharing of human resources and equipment (by region and/or by sector);
  7. To promote eco-responsible practices among its members;
  8. To become, in terms of cultural activities, the force behind an economical revitalization in all regions of Quebec, and to contribute to the economic viability of its members;
  9. To contribute to the well-being of the population and cultural players by presenting festivals on a human scale throughout Quebec.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Being a non-profit organization
  • Being recurrent, lasting more than one day
  • Being recognized on a municipal, regional or national level
  • Being significantly supported by national, regional or municipal cultural authorities (SODEC, CALQ, Heritage Canada (arts distribution), CAC, Musicaction, etc.)
  • To have an annual budget of less than $5 million
  • To be committed to the concept of artistic risk-taking (25% of programming featuring emerging artists), sustainable development and social economy
  • To respect the ecological, economical and social aspects of the cultural industry
  • To reflect the involvement of local communities (value of volunteer work, community impact, involvement of the municipality, etc.)
  • To promote the hiring and outreach of local artists
  • To promote the hiring and development of local, regional and national expertise
  • To have a positive impact on its field or niche
  • To demonstrate the partnerships and involvement of the community (city, MRC, businesses) in the organization (in exchange of services or money) and the organization's involvement in its community (discussions with other organizations, participation in committees, round tables, etc.)
  • To have and enforce sound governance
  • To have a permanent staff in charge and provide follow-ups

Associate members

Any corporation, association or legal entity interested in the goals and activities of the corporation, which does not meet the eligibility criteria (e.g.: municipalities, MRC, etc...) and which pays its annual dues, is an associate member of the corporation. Associate members may participate in the activities of the corporation and attend general membership meetings and selected activities but are not entitled to vote at these meetings. They shall not be eligible to serve as members of the board of directors of the corporation.

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