Unveiling of a study by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal:
Concrete actions to stimulate strategic philanthropy in
the cultural sector
Montreal, Monday, November 28, 2005 With today's unveiling of the results of its study on the private funding of culture, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal makes an unequivocal statement: although companies are already investing in culture, there is still a clear need to implement mechanisms encouraging strategic philanthropy in the cultural sector. In fact, given the importance of culture to the metropolitan economy, the support of companies for cultural organizations is in many ways a strategic investment from which they too reap valuable benefits. From this perspective, the study suggests concrete actions to increase the participation of regional companies in the cultural development of the metropolis.
The Board of Trade is thoroughly convinced that one of Montreal's major strengths is its cultural vitality. In fact, the culture industry is much more than just a sector of economic activity. Culture is a fundamental component of Montreal's identity, a factor in attracting talent, a major contributor to quality of life, and a sector whose successes on the international scene can serve as an inspiration to all players in the Greater Montreal economy. With this study, the Board of Trade hopes not only to educate the business community about the crucial role played by cultural organizations in the development of the metropolis but also to actively contribute to the implementation of concrete measures supporting this strategic sector of Montreal's economy, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
At a time when companies are increasingly likely to choose locations based on the availability of local talent and when talent is choosing to live in places with a high quality of life and place of which culture is an essential component we must obviously act quickly to maintain our competitive advantage. Right now, just slightly more than 13% of revenues of cultural organizations are derived from private funding. Montreal's cultural sector is thus no exception to the Quebec rule concerning philanthropy, with the average donation in Quebec being two times lower than the Canadian average. We certainly don't want to suggest the withdrawal of state funding, simply to stress the extraordinary opportunity we have to strengthen even further the contribution of culture to the success and reputation of Montreal, added Hudon.
I am delighted with the conclusions of the study published by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal confirming the importance of greater participation by the private sector in the funding of culture, declared Line Beauchamp, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Montreal region. The results of this study are in line with the launch of Placements Culture, a measure encouraging individuals, companies, and foundations to invest more in this area in partnership with the public sector. I therefore invite business people to stand side by side with our cultural organizations and give generously to their fundraising campaigns. United by the same ideal of a society where creativity and prosperity go hand in hand, we can do much to support culture together.
This study, based on a two-part survey of the private sector both SMEs and major corporations highlights the difficulties facing companies wishing to fund cultural activities and proposes measures to help resolve them.
The Board of Trade has formulated recommendations in four major categories to stimulate and support private-sector participation in the funding of culture by highlighting the mutual benefits of strategic philanthropy and business-arts partnerships:
1. Bring companies and cultural organizations closer together
2. Stress the strategic advantages for companies of funding culture
3. Promote the various ways companies support culture
4. Share the tools of the business community with cultural organizations
This study of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal was carried out with the co-operation and financial support of Quebec's Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community for the greater Montreal area and to offer a full range of specialized services to individuals, merchants and companies of all sizes so as to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015
Hyperlink to the study: www.btmm.qc.ca/funding-culture