Since its creation in 2006, DAM has taken on the mission to promote cultural diversity in the arts by encouraging the recognition and inclusion of all artists in professional networks, cultural institutions and distribution channels in Montreal.
DAM tries to maintain an active and critical watch over the policies and actions of arts and culture authorities, with a view to better recognize culturally diverse artists and arts organizations. DAM works on the basis that culturally diverse artists contribute to the vitality and excellence of the arts. Therefore, DAM tries to foster closer ties between artists and institutions, and to promote cross-cultural synergy while highlighting the specificity of each culture. DAM also strives to sensitize the cultural community to the systemic barriers that hinder the development of culturally diverse artists and organizations.
Diversité artistique Montréal (DAM) was established by the Delegation for Cultural Diversity Montreal, a group created in March 2004 following a day focused on cultural diversity in the arts organized by the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM). (Click here for a record of the day’s proceedings [PDF])
The primary mandate of this delegation composed of about 30 representatives from Montreal's various artistic milieus, was to identify ways to increase the presence of artists, organizations and communities of cultural diversity in the artistic landscape of Montreal.
The Delegation's work produced concrete results, including the presentation in February 2005 of a brief to the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) at the public hearings on the City of Montréal's cultural development policy.
In September 2005, the Delegation also made recommendations to the Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM). These recommendations were to:
The Conseil agreed with these proposals and has since adopted a number of measures, including the creation of an advisory committee on cultural diversity, the hiring of a liaison and development officer for cultural diversity and the drafting of an official policy on the promotion of cultural diversity.
In January 2006, the Delegation decided to become an independent body in order to expand its mandate. A Founding Committee was created and on Thursday, December 7, 2006, some 100 people gathered at the Maison du Conseil des arts de Montréal to officially launch Diversité artistique Montréal, a new entity dedicated to promoting cultural diversity in the arts.