Saison Québec – Pays Basque presented to the public
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
The Tabakalera building in San Sebastián provided the venue for the presentation of the project Saison Québec – Pays Basque. In attendance were Bingen Zupiria, Basque Minister of Culture and Language Policy; Isabelle Dessureault, Québec Delegate for the Iberian Peninsula; Irene Larraza, Director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, and Joxean Fernandez, Director of the Basque Film Archive.
This cultural and artistic programme will take place in the largest cities in Quebec and the Basque Country’s throughout 2021 and 2022. It will be a project of ‘give and take’, seeking to open a window to contemporary Basque culture and creation in Quebec and to showcase the creative work of Quebeckers in Euskadi. The idea is to strengthen the ties between the two regions through language, culture and art. The initiative is spearheaded by the Etxepare Basque Institute in collaboration with the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications.
The programme envisages a wide range of activities across different disciplines, subject to the evolving situation regarding Covid-19. Through this project, the Quebec public will have the chance to experience the richness of Basque culture and creativity, and the Basque public will be able to enjoy the work of creators from Quebec. Collaboration will also be encouraged between artists, creators and all stakeholders of the culture and creative industries.
The initiative’s first event will be a film exchange between the Basque Film Archive and Cinémathèque Québecoise. From 1 April to 26 June the Basque Film Archive will screen some of the most relevant films of Quebec cinema and the Cinémathèque Québecoise will do the same with Basque cinema starting in September.
The Saison Québec - Pays Basque project has its origins in the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two regions. Quebec is a priority partner in the Basque Country´s internationalisation strategy, sharing its support for cultural and linguistic diversity, its investment in innovation and its commitment to the environment and climate change. The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation between the two regions in the field of culture and other areas such as the environment, economic development and innovation. Saison Québec - Pays Basque is one of the outcomes of this bilateral cooperation.
The Etxepare Basque Institute began to pay special attention to the regions determined strategic for the Basque Country´s foreign relations and internationalisation in 2019. To this end, Kultur Konexioak (Culture Connections) was created to incorporate the cultural dimension by strengthening bonds with these regions and cultures, establishing lasting relations, building bridges and enhancing collaboration between creators and cultural stakeholders, as well as promoting cultural and academic exchanges.