About Future Festivals
From early 2023 to the end of 2024, the Future Festivals project brings together a network of festivals from Canada and abroad to jointly reimagine the role and responsibilities of publicly-funded festivals in post-COVID times. The network partners are New Now Festival (Essen, Germany), MUTEK (Montreal), imagineNATIVE (Toronto), Mois Multi (Quebec City), send+receive (Winnipeg), New Forms (Vancouver), and MUTEK.MX / MUTEK.JP.
During April the festival network came together for a month-long co-design process. In a series of workshops participants identified present challenges, envisioned ideal futures, and most importantly mapped the trajectories and activities of the Future Festivals project as stepping stones to bridge between these challenges and futures. A summary of the outcomes of these workshops as follows:
Accessibility: adapting to post-COVID biopolitics and comfort levels
Capacity: staff burnout and brain drain, desire to educate next generation of cultural workers
Funding: operational vs. project, grants vs. corporate sponsorship
Inclusivity: building community, providing access (to the wider public)
Sustainability: engaging the climate crisis in operations and programming
Abundance: UBI-like financial support for artists and cultural workers
Accountability: not only to funders, but to engaged public
Collaboration: working 'horizontally' with other orgs, exploring decentralized models
Resistance: keeping festivals un-productive (battling commercialization)
Security: long term permanent facility for administration and production procured
Sustainability: gravity of climate crisis has informed rethinking of operations
Future Festivals Lab
During the project’s co-design process in spring 2023, the partners identified shared challenges surrounding questions of accessibility, resilience and sustainability.
Over 18 months, each participating festival hosts a Future Festivals Lab that gathers the group, their extended network and selected experts in addressing these fundamental questions of festival-making.
The goal: deeply analyze shared problems and prototype solutions—from immediate, easy to implement measures to more ambitious, long-term proposals.
Future Festivals Survey
The Future Festivals research group invites all festival-makers, artists, and audiences to help assess the state of our cultural infrastructure and working in the arts. The survey collects basic info, personal opinions, and offers opportunities to get involved.
Documentation & Publication
The on-going documentation and publication is an inherent part of the project. We partnered with HOLO magazine, which are accompanying the project through an evolving multimedia dossier on holo.mg.
MUTEK acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts