Canada Profiles

Address: DARE-DARE’s trailer office is located on a site neighbouring the Atwater market, in the triangle formed by Atwater Avenue, Greene Avenue and Doré Street, a few minutes from the Lionel-Groulx subway station in Montreal, Canada.
Contact: Martin Dufrasne, programming coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Website: dare-dare.org
Phone: 514 849 3273
Open Hours: Monday to Friday, 10h30 to 17h30

How is the project operated? 
DARE-DARE is non-profit organisation founded in 1985 and an artist-run centre since 1990.

How long has it been in existence? 
34 years.

HALTE book collection, 2018. Image courtesy of DARE-DARE.

What was your motivation?
DARE-DARE has as its guiding principle to be deeply responsive to the needs of artists and of their practice and to offer them not only logistic support in this regard, but also personalized attention in a spirit of openness to new ideas. The centre’s actions are thus motivated and guided by trust in the artists’ processes and choices, flexibility with regards to the form and duration of projects and a willingness to work with the established production schedule. DARE-DARE adapts to the needs of each project and to the profile of each individual artist, both in terms of the type of support offered creators and the degree of involvement expected from the centre. To succeed in its mission, DARE-DARE must share in the artists’ enthusiasm for their projects and partake in maintaining it, lest they fail. DARE-DARE wishes to remain in sync with strides made by contemporary art by keeping abreast of activities and issues related to new artistic practices in public space or within contexts not originally intended for the presentation of art.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project 
A board of directors composed of 7 members operates DARE-DARE. The center has two full-time staff: a programming coordinator and administrative coordinator, as well as a seasonal employee as a programming assistant. DARE-DARE is supported by the volunteer involvement of its members.

How are programs funded?
DARE-DARE’s activities are funded primarily by core grants from the following three bodies: Montreal Arts Council, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and Canada Council for the Arts. Membership fee revenue, donations and fundraising activities together represent a fraction of the center’s total operating budget.

HALTE public library, 2018. Image courtesy of DARE-DARE

Who is responsible for the programming? 
A committee made up of 6 members of the center including the coordinator sets up the programs. The committee is in charge of designing the call for proposals and deliberating on the final selection of projects.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year
The duration of projects taking place in the public space varies according to their nature. This can last a few weeks or months depending on the needs of the artistic research. Including regular programming and special projects, there are about a dozen projects that are presented each year.

What kind of events are usually organized?
Book launch, lectures, artists talks, reading circle, special events in collaboration with other artist-run centres, as well as the presentation of all the projects that make up our programming: New Genre public art, Social practices, relational art, performance, ephemeral installation in the public space, and practices that transgress all of these formats and beyond.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
YES. Each fall, we call our project on our website, newsletters, on the various bulletin boards and platform for contemporary art.

What’s working? 
Small-scale projects, oriented by the desire to go out the gallery and to create a new dialectic with its public.

What’s not working?
Artistic interventions and projects that require major financial support and extraordinary logistical support.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach? 
Our mission is to explore, question and evolve contemporary art practices, spaces and modes of dissemination and to promote their democratization and accessibility. DARE-DARE supports the research and development of innovative practices by artists, be they just starting out or seasoned professionals. The artist centre has had a long-standing interest in exploring and diversifying artwork and intervention design processes, forms of expression and modes of presentation within diverse contexts not traditionally intended for art. The artist centre encourages collaboration with various cultural and/or community organizations, as well as with partners who are not within the art field. We are looking forward to reconsidering methods of site-making and meaning-making that have been overlooked or discarded, and giving space to new relevance for our times.

Green Spot, 2017. Image courtesy of DARE-DARE.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
DARE-DARE has as its objective to promote education, understanding and appreciation of contemporary art at a local, national and international level. This is achieved throughout a range of activities including: research, creation, production, dissemination, documentation, publishing, workshops, as well as artist discussions and forums.
Within the artistic community, DARE-DARE aims to serve as a flexible and friendly go-to resource for research, experimentation and vital expertise with regards to intervention art in public space and to:
• Generate a favourable context for the production, development and achievement of critical, audacious, exploratory projects
• Promote the relationship between artistic practice, public space and social and civic engagement
• Play a mediating role in presenting diverse forms of intervention practices within social spaces to the public at large
• Accompany artists and facilitate the obtaining of authorizations and permits required for their projects
• Serve as a meeting point, a forum for dialogue, debate and exchange between various disciplines, be they artistic or other
• Be a place of learning, where emerging and seasoned artists can meet and network together
• Encourage and support promising artists with little promotional experience
• Be an open, inviting, welcoming, friendly and inclusive space for one and all
• Welcome artists and theorists in a fair and professional way in line with CARFAC best practice standards
• Offer various alternative platforms for reflection, where action-oriented, meticulous, intellectually serious initiatives are encouraged
• Strengthen ties between members of the artistic community

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
To support more artists in their research, to be able to support sensitive and audacious projects, and to contribute to the refinement and the development of hybrid artistic practices, diffused outside the networks and the traditional context.

Images courtesy of Dare-Dare. This profile has been published in partnership with Temporary Art Review