Initiated by the Jacques-Cartier Center and co-organized by many partners, the National Forum on Social Art is an event with unconventional activities, sometimes comical, which aims to transfer knowledge in the sectors of intervention through art and artistic intervention, from a social development perspective. Special attention is given to the context of youth homelessness, a particularly vulnerable and growing population. The forum wants to help connect the different actors of the many sectors of activity concerned by art as a tool for social change (the artistic community, research, government institutions and community organizations). In an ideal world, the event will contribute to the emergence of new arts intervention projects and artistic intervention projects across Canada, thus enabling the entire population, particularly the most vulnerable populations, to benefit from the positive impacts of the artistic experience.
That the event itself is an intervention by art, more human than theoretical, that contributes to arouse curiosity, to experiment and to sensitize different actors to the intervention by the art, and this, in a context of egalitarian relations.
In the fall of 2016, the Centre Jacques-Cartier was responding to a call for social innovation projects as part of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) of the Department of Employment and Social Development (Canada). ) by proposing a three-part project entitled Social Art for Youth Homelessness. In February 2018, the project was signed and started. The three components of the project consist of a research project, reconnaissance and training trips, and a national forum.
Meanwhile, in 2017, the Centre Jacques-Cartier celebrated 25 years of activities, involvement and training with young people in its community. One of the activities organized as part of the festivities was a forum on social art, at the local level, where partners, speakers and artists from the Quebec City region were invited. The event generated a general enthusiasm and several participants – more than half – expressed interest to see a following on this first initiative of the Center. The community wanted more.
The Center decided to merge these two projects in one, to make the event bigger and to take advantage of the mobilization of the moment.