By Josh Marchesini, @joshmaar

When you start your new year in Montreal, you should definitely think of checking out an ARC (or artist-run centre).

Since the late 1960s/early 1970s, artists themselves have created galleries and art spaces that are artist-initiated and artist-managed. Simply put, they are like not-for-profit arts organizations. There’s a de-emphasization on selling the artwork.

They focus on emerging artists and artists working non-commercially. Along with programming of artists in Canada and around the world, these centres offer books, zines, and public events like performances, screenings, lectures and workshops too. Some even support creative production specifically, particularly in the areas of video, new media, photography and printmaking. Oh, and no admission fees for exhibitions! The other organizations outside of ARCs are also useful for you in figuring out where you want to start, as well as standard rates for your artwork, because you deserve to be paid, and paid well.

The artist-run centres of Tio’tia:ke (Montreal) are plenty, yet varied. Below are just a few of the many that you can visit or get involved with:

262 rue Fairmount Ouest
514 842 9686

Articule is defined as an open-access artist-run centre, dedicated to social engagement, experimentation and interdisciplinarity. Check out their Basis of Unity: Strategies for an anti-oppressive centre, an ongoing framework to tackle oppressive systemic disparities in your own, other art spaces, and beyond.

Studio Ada X (formerly Studio XX)
4001 rue Berri, Suite 201

Founded in 1996, Studio Ada X (formerly Studio XX) is a bilingual feminist artist-run centre that supports technological experimentation, creation and critical reflection in media arts. Ada is a nod to the first name of a pioneer in computer science, but it also refers to the keywords Art, Digital, Activism, three pillars of their mandate. The X connects to the history of the centre as well as a meeting point of the intersection of varied, rich, and fluid identities.

La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse
4296 Boulevard Saint-Laurent

One of the first artist-run centres in Canada, La Centrale is a non-hierarchical organization. The members play a decisive role in the decision-making processes and in the programming. Dedicated to dissemination and creation, the centre leaves a major place for experimentation.

4001 rue Berri, suite 301

A centre dedicated to production and presentation of art, contemporary practices and new media. Check out their New
Media Lab, offering a vast array of equipment and professional resources.

Atelier Circulaire
5445 avenue de Gaspé, Suite 105

Atelier Circulaire is an artist center dedicated to excellence in the production, research, education and dissemination of printed art. It aims to preserve and teach traditional engraving techniques while integrating new technologies and con-
temporary practices related to the printed art.

Centre Clark
5545 avenue de Gaspe, suite 114.

Le Centre d’art et de diffusion CLARK est un centre d’artistes autogéré voué à la diffusion et à la production de l’art actuel.

Eastern Bloc
7240 rue Clark

Since 2007, Eastern Bloc has been at the forefront of digital art dissemination, promotion and production in Quebec. The vision at Eastern Bloc is to explore and push the creative boundaries situated at the intersection of art, technology, and science, as well as all other emerging digital practices.

Atelier Celadon
A contact form is available on their website.

Atelier Céladon prioritizes supporting artists who are underrepresented by mainstream media production, including but not limited to the lived experiences of racialized and gendered bodies. We place emphasis on process-based work, in that artistic creation can happen through collaboration and movement without necessarily designating a completed set of art objects as an end goal.

Other useful points of connection:

CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule
The CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule is sort of like a minimum wage for artists. It sets minimum recommended rates for the use of artwork and certain services that visual artists provide.

CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule

Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ) — Réseau Art Actuel (in French only)
2 rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Espace 302

Created in 2009, Réseau Art Actuel is updated daily and dis- tributes an impressive body of information on current arts in Quebec. Its calendar allows users to find, by day and by city, the activities in progress in nearly 125 different locations throughout Quebec and Canada. The RCAAQ is an advocacy organization whose mandate is to support, bring together, represent, and promote Quebec’s artist-run centres. They support research activities related to artistic experimentation, encourage artists to run their own centres, offer a continuing education program for both cultural workers and professional artists, and support the dissemination of art within society.

Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA)The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada. Representing over 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the IMAA serves over 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.

English Language Arts Network (ELAN)
460 Rue Saint-Catherine Ouest, Suite 708

The English-Language Arts Network (ELAN) is a not-for-profit organization that connects, supports, and creates opportunities for Quebec’s English-speaking artists and arts communities. ELAN members are individuals and organizations from a wide array of artistic disciplines, cultural and geographic backgrounds, and linguistic and cultural communities. Together this network reflects an evolving Québec identity and celebrates the province’s cultural, artistic, and social diversity.