Montreal’s vibrant, high-profile arts industry has been struggling to stay afloat in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With theatres, cinemas, concert halls and other small venues closed for months and yet to be re-opened, the city’s artists have had to come up with alternative ways of going about their livelihood and remaining connected.
The new, more ephemeral arts scene that has emerged this spring is the subject of a collaborative research project that hopes to catalogue the profusion of new independent initiatives, most of them online. The study is being led by Concordia professor of English and Études françaises Patrick Leroux, Hervé Guay of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Sandria Bouliane at Université Laval in Quebec City.
The researchers and their assistants who are working on the “Recensement des initiatives culturelles pour contourner l’isolement causé par la COVID-19” have been tracking the industry since the province-wide lockdown was imposed on March 13. With all venues shuttered until further notice, the researchers noticed an evolving, organic pattern emerging out of industry-focused social media and private conversations…
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