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 Post subject: Cultural Branding
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2001 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Last week the Heritage Minister (who oversees arts funding in Canada) and the Prime Minister announced that the arts were to receive $560 million in assistance (Canadian Heritage Minister Promises $560 Million for Arts.

A Canadian Conference on the Arts Bulletin reported the breakdown of how the money was to be distributed declaring that:
Quote:
$32 million [is] to encourage export of cultural products and services in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and explore new markets for our artists. Cultural products will be used to "brand" Canada around the world as a diverse and innovative country.
This week Ray Conlogue reported in the May 5th Globe & Mail that the Heritage Minister, Sheila Copps, had recently met with French Culture Minister Catherine Tasca in which Tasca (after launching France Works, a festival of French nouvelle danse, in New York), encouraged Canada to join the culture battle against U.S. popular culture.

To read more of The Globe & Mail article, "Let the culture battle begin":
Netscape Users: Search Ray Conlogue on the Globe & Mail's 7 Day Search
IE Users: Use this direct [url=http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fopt%2FGIS%2Fverity%2FTGAM%2FTGAM%2Fhtml%2F20010505%2FRVFRAN%2Ehtml&DocOffset=2&DocsFound=7&QueryZip=ray %20%20%20+conlogue&Collection=TGAM&SortField=sortdate&ViewTemplate=GAMDocView%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Farchives%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fs97is%2Evts%3FQueryZip%3Dray%2Bconlogu e%2%206Re%20sul%20tTemplate%3DGAMResults%252Ehts%26QueryText%3Dray%2Bconlogue%26Collection%3DTGAM%26SortField%3Dsortdate%26ViewTemplate%3DGAMDocView%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26Res ultCou%20nt%3D1%200&]link[/url]

Cultural Branding is an interesting concept. As someone who has both Canadian and American grandparents, as well as a partner who is Francophone, I recognize that there are inherent cultural differences in our histories and our day to day experiences.

The concept of homeogenization through the proliferation of American culture is an interesting one to me because many of the strengths that I find in U.S. dance are actually a result of the 'melting pot' effect of immigration there.

Is the influence of American artists that far reaching, and particularly on the touring circuit for dance? As a Canadian citizen I often travel to the U.S. to see dance...but it's usually to take in European companies or other international fare because considerably more work of international scope is presented in the U.S.

I would see more American companies if they were presented in Western Canada (where I currently reside), but not many U.S. dance companies cross the border here which has to do with the limited resources of Canadian presenters--who present Canadian work first and foremost (no matter how dismal, at times). Should we, in Canada, have to hear 'our voice' ad nauseum in order to protect our culture? I heard a comedian on television say that Canadians were like aliens--they look and act like Americans but they're really not the same. And if that's the case, what is there to guard against? Maybe Canadian dance artists (particularly those in Vancouver) could the energy of some exposure to dance companies from Washington, Oregon and California for a good kick in the pants, lol.

And what do Americans think when they hear that the G7 countries would like to build a touring network to keep them out or at least at arms length?

[This message has been edited by Marie (edited May 07, 2001).]

<small>[ 08-11-2002, 09:51: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Cultural Branding
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2001 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Hmmmm. Interesting Marie. As someone who's toured to Canada with our company LEAVING GROUND/DANCE, I can honestly say it's a huge hassle, at least for a small, low-budget company like we had. Revenue Canada placed much paperwork in our pathway. Immigration/Customs when we were crossing the border were also a huge hassle; in addition, we cut our travel time too close. We were haggling with the immigration officer at the border crossing at Washington state/Canada about some paperwork problem, about 3 hrs. before our curtain time in Vancouver!! Nerve wracking. After that, it was smooth sailing..pretty much. I enjoyed performing there (FRinge Festival, l995, Vancouver East Cultural Center) and LOVE Vancouver. We got a warm reception there and had our picture featured in The Province newspaper. I HAVE noticed that Canada really does try to hire artists mainly from Canada; which I can understand. They don't want the American culture (however we would describe that!) to take over Canada. Those other things about European issues, I was unaware of. France has always, to my knowledge, been in LOVE with American contemporary dance, from Alwin Nikolais to Trisha Brown to Merce Cunningham to Bill T. JOnes. These choreographers have enjoyed "carte blanche" in France: schools, theatres, etc. More so than in their own country!!!<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited May 07, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Cultural Branding
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2001 5:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I certainly see both pros and cons to this situation. It is very understandable to want to protect, nourish and foster home grown talents and resources.<P>However, I think, the Chinese Wall/Maginot Line way of thinking has more negatives than positives, in the long run. Artists usually thrive and really need outside influences. It gives them new windows on their own creative processes. <P>I would hate to see oils and never water colors. I don't use water colors, but they do influence my oils.<P>When I was in New Zealand, which is a gorgeous country with very friendly people, I realized how much I missed the diversity of America. I had always taken it for granted that I could buy so many different kinds of ethnic food, see faces of all colors, hear music from all over the world, in what is the melting pot of America. <P>And while the food in New Zealand was great, fresh, tasty,....gosh I missed Mexican food, and Vietnamese, and Afghan,....and so on. I also missed hearing so many different accents that I take for granted on the streets of America. It lends a layer and spice to my life, that I have never taken for granted again.


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 Post subject: Re: Cultural Branding
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2001 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
More from Ray Conlogue on culture and identity...<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Flooded by U.S. mass entertainment, countries like France are showing Canada how to defend national identity</B><P>When it comes to arts funding, Canada has adopted a middle path between Europe's high level of public support and the United States' mix of private patronage and free market. What's less often observed is that as a trading nation, we have two areas of cultural concern with opposing intellectual frameworks.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>To read more of <B>Culture is a Blood Sport</B> from the 05/10/01 Globe & Mail:<P>Netscape Users: Search <B>Ray Conlogue</B> on the [url=http://www.globeandmail.com" TARGET=_blank>Globe & Mail's</A> 7 Day Search<BR>IE Users: Use this direct <a href="http://archives.theglobeandmail.com/s97is.vts?action=View&VdkVgwKey=%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Frealtime%2Fsearch%2Fhtml%2F20010510%2FCOCULTURE%2Ehtml&DocOffset=1&DocsFound=7&QueryZip=r %20ay+conlogue&Collection=TGAM&SortField=sortdate&ViewTemplate=GAMDocView%2Ehts&SearchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Farchives%2Etheglobeandmail%2Ecom%2Fs97is%2Evts%3FQueryZip%3Dray%2Bconlogue%26 Res%20ultTemplate%3DGAMResults%252Ehts%26QueryText%3Dray%2Bconlogue%26Collection%3DTGAM%26SortField%3Dsortdate%26ViewTemplate%3DGAMDocView%252Ehts%26ResultStart%3D1%26ResultCount%3 D10&]<B>link</B>[/url]<P><p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited May 10, 2001).]


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