The crisis seen by Frédéric Lapierre

The crisis seen by Frédéric Lapierre

Booking Agent for North America. Working with Art Circulation since August 2019.

From last October to February, I took part in six markets as an agent. In Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Québec, Rimouski, Vancouver. Newcomer in the Art Circulation team, it is my first time as an agent. Within a couple of months, I met dozens of new people, agents, presenters, actors from the cultural field… Recently, I wrote to one of these “new” person I met, almost a friend now, presenter in… New York. Ten days and a second email later, I am still waiting for an answer. Trying to convince myself that she is too busy to get back to me. 

Before I was an agent, I worked as a presenter for eighteen years. I discovered two fascinating worlds during that time: the world of stage creation for youth and of professional stage contemporary dance. Two cases of absolute love at first sight. Before or during the same period, I worked in a grocery store, a restaurant, a traveling agency, a car factory, in film festivals and theatres. I wrote two books, wrote and directed two films, created a handful of shows. I took part in events in Annonay, Blainville, Bruxelles, Cannes, Châteauguay, Chicoutimi, Clermont-Ferrand, Halifax, L’Assomption, Longueuil, Locarno, Matane, Moncton, Namur, Poitiers, Repentigny, Roberval, Rosemère, Rouyn, Sainte-Geneviève, Sainte-Thérèse, Toronto, Val-Morin, Valleyfield, Varennes, Winnipeg.

Today, I am thinking about these places I have seen, the people I have met. Passionate people burning with love for their jobs, looking for ways to increase the funding of the business or simply to maintain it. Happy, after waiting three, four, five years, to be at last about to shoot their film. Still shocked to be opening this festival, to have won this award, to participate in this event. This Quebecer moved to see his work touching the audience of a foreign event. A Scotsman still wondering how it can be that his trip to Québec was paid to present his three minutes film…

I am remembering everything and thinking: What if I don’t ever see all of this again? I was privileged to cross these peoples’ roads and to walk these cities’ roads.

I don’t believe the borders will always stay closed. I do believe however that things will never be the same. We already knew before the crisis: as a society or as individuals, it is impossible to keep on accelerating the pace. Our body, our spirit and planet were telling us so. So here it is, we are exactly at that point. The moment when we have to take a step backward. To analyse what we were doing, sure, but most importantly to decide how we will be doing things starting from now.

Let us take this opportunity to also reflect on the way the Mayas introduce themselves when they meet someone. The don’t say “Hello” or “How are you?”. They say “You are another me, I am another you.” That sounds like a good motto to me. In any case, we should turn it into a children’ song. Maybe they would become better adults because of it.

I am going to put forward something huge here: if it were not for the economical misery, the illness and the deads, this moment we go through is formidable. The same way that after a depression, some come to think of it as the best thing that could ever have happened to them.

To all the creators, events organizers, owners of cultural places, all the actors in distress of the great cultural chain… please keep on believing that we have the intelligence and the inner resources to reinvent ourselves. Because we do have them. Frédéric Lapierre