Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome to your friendly neighbourhood Seditionaire!

Hello folks!

Welcome to Seditionaire! As you may or may not know, we are a company far from the conventional. We, the artistic community of rebellious spirits, have noticed that a precedent has been on the rise in regards to artists in the city of Montreal. It is a precedent that says that artists don't need to get paid for their work... no part of the budget need be put aside for the stylists and graphic designers, PR people and entertainers that make their events happen... artists will work for food, or drinks, or guest-list, or clothes. But the truth, kids, is that we can't eat clothes and a guest-list doesn't pay the rent... working for a trade should be the artists' choice, not their only choice.

Montreal is a city that markets itself to Canada and the world as a city of artists. For this reason it receives subventions from the government... from foreign investors wanting to support the local art scene.... events such as Montreal's Jazz Festival, or the Just For Laughs Festival... Pop Montreal... Festival TransAmeriques... even Fashion Week... these are but a few of the city's many art-based attractions. But the sad reality remains that while funds are pouring in to support the country's "artistic epicenter", those funds seem to remain at the corporate level and never quite trickle down to those it's meant to support: the artists. 
Did you know that the gatekeepers that run Fashion Week -let them remain nameless, for now, to name them I guess would be too much of a sensation,;) receive around 30 million dollars to stage this fashionable affair? Surely with that much in sponsorships, they must have en excellent programme to include young talented designers, they must pay everyone involved in Fashion Week handsomely well, right? Do you know how many new, talented designers have gotten the $3000 entrance fee waived in the interest of supporting young talent in design? Not one. Do you know how much all the artists and promoters are paid that are involved with Fashion Week and it's events? Nothing. The truth is that all of those funds... the funds left over which should be going to support local talent in design, in the arts... the only thing they seem to be doing is lining the gatekeepers' pockets.

We could use just about ANY of the city's famed festivals and draw the same conclusions. Of the millions Montreal receives for the Jazz Fest, a large percentage does actually make it to the artists... unfortunately the funds go to all the big headlining acts that are being brought in from around the globe... all of the local acts? The artists' that are based out of Montreal... that find themselves opening for the big headliners, or filling up those undesirable time-slots... the artists that the thousands of tourists believe they are supporting ... that even the international acts believe they are here to support? The truth is the local acts are lucky if they receive one TENTH of what the headliners pull in... they should simply consider themselves privileged to be included in a festival as prestigious as the Jazz Fest... well, I don't know about you, but privilege never paid my bills.

We, the artistic community can do one of two things... take it lying down, or shouting from the top of our mountain- NO MORE! Well, I'm tired of lying down for the others to walk right over me...I'm ready to stand up and start shouting. The time is now, the choice is yours, USE YOUR VOICE!

Stay tuned for more goings on from your friendly neighbourhood SEDITIONAIRE!