Place des Arts hosts the ISPA Congress, a flagship event on the international cultural scene

by ahnationtalk on April 20, 201711 Views

MONTREAL, April 19, 2017– From May 23-27, an estimated 450 performing arts leaders from some 185 cities in about 40 countries will meet in the province of Quebec to take part in the 100th International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress.

Initiated by Place des Arts, the discussions with ISPA started three years ago based on the desire to highlight the exceptional contributions of the arts and culture scene to Montréal’s cultural vitality, by welcoming this renowned congress. “From the first conversations, our proposal to host the 100th ISPA Congress on the occasion of Montreal’s 375th anniversary was greeted with openness and interest, which speaks volumes for Montreal’s eminence as a location for creativity in the performing arts,” commented Marc Blondeau, President and CEO of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal.

Identities, a universal challenge

In this year of celebration for ISPA and for Montreal, the programming committee proposed a strong and universal theme: Identities. “Taken in a plural context, Identities evokes the changes occurring during our era, and the importance of new encounters; the identities of individuals, cities, and societies are in the crux of a mutation, and are being impacted by demographic movements, cultural blending, technology, and communication methods. A surge in diversity becomes one of the most powerful influences of the artistic world. This theme will be conducive to enriching discussions,” explained Mr. Blondeau.

Renowned panelists

Playwright and screenwriter Michel Marc Bouchard, whose work is infused with the notion of identity (Tom à la ferme, Les Muses orphelines) will be the keynote speaker and will set the tone for a congress that promises rich explorations.

Fifteen or so panelists will take the stage during the course of the congress. These include, among others, Jane Chu (Chairperson, National Endowment for the Arts, USA), Aurea Vieira (Manager of International Affairs, SESC SP, Brazil), Simon Brault (Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts), Ahmed Ali (spoken word poet, entertainer, and educator, of Somali origin, Canada), Ása Richardsdóttir (Project Leader, Ice Hot Reykjavík 2018, Iceland), Ismaël Saidi (actor, author of the play Djihad, Director and Producer, of Moroccan origin, Belgium), Henriette Post (General Director, Performing Arts Fund NL, Netherlands), and Phloeun Prim (Executive Director, Cambodian Living Arts). The conference’s content is available on ISPA’s website.


The theme will be tackled from six perspectives:

  • Identity, Diversity, and Creativity
  • Production: New Practices to Cross Borders
  • In Search of an Audience: Are all Stories Universal?
  • Education, Outreach and Inclusion: Projects that Create Identity
  • Funding Models: Embracing Diversity and Identity
  • Identities: Growth through Meeting People from Different Backgrounds

The program includes a series of conferences, training for the next generation of talent, performances, presentations of new works, and an awards ceremony. Discover the full content for each conference at

The 100th ISPA Congress’s programming committee includes: Marc Blondeau, President and CEO of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal; Clothilde Cardinal, Director of Programming at Place des Arts; Marie-Christine Dufour, Executive Director for Lemieux Pilon 4D Art; Marie-Catherine LaPointe, President and founder of Boulev’Art Artists’ Management; David Lavoie, Co-Executive Director and Administrative Director of Festival TransAmériques (FTA); Stéphane Lavoie, CEO and Head of Programming at the TOHU; Alain Paré, CEO and founder of CINARS (International Exchange for the Performing Arts); Martin Faucher, Co-Executive Director and Artistic Director of Festival TransAmériques (FTA); Émilie Monet, Artistic Director of Onishka Productions & Indigenous Contemporary Scene.

Journalist registration and accreditation

Individuals who want to register and take part in the 100th ISPA Congress are invited to do so on ISPA’s website. Journalists can participate in the Congress at no cost by submitting an accreditation request by e-mail to

For more information:

For further information: François Sammarco, Communications Director, CINARS, 514 842-5866 #26; Joanne Lamoureux, Communications and Marketing Director, Place des Arts, 514 285-4273 –; Media: Marie-Noël Phaneuf, Annexe Communications, 514 844-8864 poste 211-



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