In February, whilst carrying out its program reform of the Multidisciplinary section, the CALQ (Quebec Council for the Arts and Letters) calls upon key practitioners from across Quebec. Following this exchange, Richard Simas, Dulcinée Langfelder and Michel Lemieux meet to further discuss about the needs and practices of the multidisciplinary milieu and invite other practitioners to join their reflexion.
In March, a first committee (Marie-France Bojanowski, Isabelle Choinière, Nathalie Derome, Richard Gagnon, Dulcinée Langfelder, Émile Morin, Annie Roy and Richard Simas) organizes a discussion forum to which interdisciplinary artists and organizations are called upon. Supported by the CALQ, the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC) and the Arts Council of Montreal (CAM), the forum undertakes to pinpoint the needs and to identify the common ground of our highly diversified community in order to reinforce our public image, improve our working conditions and encourage the practice of interdisciplinary arts.
Following the forum, a 2nd committee is formed with the express mandate to begin the process of assembling a representative organization for interdisciplinary arts. This committee includes Isabelle Choinière, Nathalie Derome, Richard Gagnon, Martin Kusch, Dulcinée Langfelder, Marie-Claude Poulin, Caroline Ross, Annie Roy, Nadine Sures, Jean-François Desmarais, Miriam Ginestier and Richard Simas.
On February 24, 2005, a consultation meeting consisting of 30 inter-arts practitioners takes place. The committee proposes a legal structure to the RAIQ’s general assembly : internal rules of governance, a membership scale, as well as a definition of what interdisciplinary arts consists of. The priorities of a 2005-2006 action plan are also outlined. A 3rd organizational committee is formed with the mandate of proceeding to the incorporation of the organization. It is composed of Richard Simas, Nathalie Derome, Richard Gagnon, Annie Roy, Miriam Ginestier, Nadine Sures. Dulcinée Langfelder, Caroline Ross et Marie-France Bojanowski volunteer to add further assistance in case of need. On April 5, 2005, the Regroupement des arts interdisciplinaires du Québec is incorporated.
On May 30, 2005, the first RAIQ Board of Directors is elected (Caroline Ross, president , Nadine Sures, vice-president, Miriam Ginestier, treasurer, Olivia Boudreau, secretary, Sarah Wendt, D. Kimm et Annie Roy, administrators). During the summer, the RAIQ proceeds to hire a coordinator, Michel Des Jardins, and a website coordinator, Victoria Stanton. The RAIQ moves into its new office at Studio 303 in Montreal.
Following the forum on interdiscplinary arts organized by the RAIQ and presented during the Vasistas festival in Montreal in February, an outline is written and presented to the Inter-Arts department at the Canada Council, the Multidisciplinary section at the CALQ and to the Emerging Artistic Practices at the CAM in an effort to establish a developmental framework for the continued evolution of interdisciplinary arts.
Ensuing grants from the Flying Squad program at the Canada Council allow the RAIQ to structure and consolidate the association’s activities, focusing specifically on creating a strategic action plan which is followed by a communications plan and a four-year action plan. In May 2007, the RAIQ hires Virginie Belhumeur, an emerging coordinator.
In February 2008, the RAIQ/Popstart launches its new internet portal at the Mois Multi (in Quebec city), at Vasistas and Temps d’Image (in Montreal) and at the Free Fall Festival (in Toronto). In September 2008, Lise Gagnon, former director at Studio XX from 1998-2003 and director of the magazine Jeu from 2003-2008, is hired as general director of the RAIQ. After four years spent specifying and building up a coherent working structure, while gaining increasing support from its members, the RAIQ begins to play an active role within the inter-arts community, initiating and taking part in a range of artistic events.
A first professional development workshop for interdisciplinary artists, Producing and Disseminating In Interdisciplinary Arts, with Nathalie Derome and Émile Morin takes place on February 19, 2009 at the Méduse Complex and the Théâtre La Bordée in Quebec city. The RAIQ develops an online Resource Centre on the RAIQ/Popstart websites in an ongoing effort to offer interdisciplinary artists a space conceived specifically for the varied practices within the inter-arts. The Centre also intends to reach a larger public by sharing documents that deal with various issues related to interdisciplinary practices, both for research and consultation purposes.
The RAIQ plans several partnerships with artist-run centres and initiates networking activities as well as a reflexion on interdisciplinary arts, particularly a first colloquium held in May 2010 at the Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI) Interdisciplinary Arts : Hi-Tech, Lo-tech, No-Tech bring together artists from Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Winnipeg, Baltimore and Rochester (U.S.). During the same year, in connexion with the events highlighting the 5th anniversary of the RAIQ, a tribute is paid to Françoise Sullivan, a pioneer of interdisciplinary arts.
In 2012, the RAIQ organizes at the Maison de la culture Côte des Neiges a second colloquium entitled Territories of the interdisciplinary : art and environment, curated by Martin Dufrasne. During the same year, the RAIQ holds a vast consultation of the interdisciplinary milieu which points out the needs of artists, companies and organizations in terms of creation, diffusion and documentation of their practices. At the head of the RAIQ since 2009, general director Lise Gagnon leaves office in 2013. Véronique Lévesque-Pelletier, already employed by the RAIQ, assumes the interim management of the organization until October 2014 when Sonia Pelletier is hired as executive coordinator.
In February 2014 RAIQ organizes a major event, the CHAOS days of reflexion, Games and political issues of the interdisciplinary art practice. For two days, the event brings together at the Écomusée du Fier Monde in Montreal 45 artists, cultural workers and theoreticians of interdisciplinarity from several regions of Quebec and Canada. Several officials from the Quebec Arts and Letters Council, the Canada Arts Council and the Montreal Arts Council join the assembly in order to sound the reflexions addressed by the community together with several major representatives of the interdisciplinary milieu. The event had strong repercussions, so a second edition entitled CHAOS II Power and Schemes of Indisciplined Art, was held during the spring 2015 at the cultural and artistic production centre Alyne-Lebel in Quebec city, together with several inter arts artists from Montreal and the regions. It is in this context that the RAIQ celebrated its 10th anniversary with a renewed formula including artistic activities curated by Sonia Pelletier. Following these days of reflexion, the RAIQ prepared a printed and digital publication focusing on the issues of interdisciplinarity in actual art.
In September 2016, the RAIQ consults its members during the Discussion Forum CHAOS 3.0 in order to hold a summit conference for artist-run centres in collaboration with the Media Arts Quebec Council (CQAM) and the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ). A great opportunity to discuss this time about the future and the contemporary issues of artist-run centres in Quebec with a view to achieve sustainable development.
Ever since its foundation, the RAIQ has become a key actor in the interdisciplinary milieu. It gathers over a hundred members and its membership is in constant progression. Its website is a showcase for interdisciplinary practices since it receives more than 3000 visitors per month.