Vice-Chair, Canada Council for the Arts,
CEO, National Theatre School of Canada
Simon Brault is the CEO of the National Theatre School of Canada, where he has held several key positions since 1981. He initiated Journées de la culture (1997), a Québec-wide cultural event; he founded Culture Montréal (2002) and, since 2007, heads the steering committee of Montréal, Cultural Metropolis. He is cultural advisor (2010) for the Québec government’s Agenda 21C and is in his second term as Vice-Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2009, he launched Le FACTEUR C – L’Avenir passe par la culture, translated into English in 2010 as No Culture, No Future. In 2011, the Presses de l’Université du Québec published a monograph titled Simon Brault: Prendre fait et cause pour la culture.
Working in the performing arts today means being constantly challenged by an infinite number of demographic, economic and political shifts at a local and global level, by technological innovations and by profound and very rapid changes of behaviour amongst the public.
Cultural organizations are urged to evolve, explore new territories and reinvent themselves quickly enough to avoid being marginalized or even, collapse and disappear.
This uncomfortable sense of urgency can be a powerful incentive for the mobilization of our collective intelligence and resources in order to reposition the performing arts in a digitalized, on-demand and more dematerialized world. It is not so much a question of communication, marketing or even creative approaches to management but rather of value-driven leadership, true commitment to advancing public engagement in the arts and a profound redefinition of the notion of growth. It is also a matter of timing and scaling of change.