On February 13, 2024, SPACQ announced that it was making a historical shift by officially welcoming artist-entrepreneurs as members of its association.

SPACQ logoAfter more than 40 years serving authors, composers and songwriters, SPACQ members have decided to broaden the organization’s representation to include artist-entrepreneurs by creating a new membership category, and changing its original name from SPACQ to SPACQ-AE, for Société professionnelle des auteurs et compositeurs du Québec et Artistes-Entrepreneurs.

Members voted unanimously in favour of the modification to the by-laws, recommended by the Board of Directors at an extraordinary general meeting. This will enable the association to represent the interests of artist-entrepreneurs in the Québec music industry, and Francophones across Canada, in addition to its existing base of authors, composers and songwriters.

“SPACQ-AE is very proud to play a major role in recognizing the entrepreneurial activities of artists, who increasingly have to wear more hats than ever,” said Ariane Charbonneau, Executive Director of SPACQ-AE. “The artist-entrepreneur business model is becoming more and more common, but until now, these creators had no specific representation to defend their interests. It made complete sense for us to pursue this broadening of our representation, since a large proportion of our members are artist-entrepreneurs. We will develop tools, mentorship, training, and more to meet the needs of these artist entrepreneurs, in addition to representing their interests in collaboration with our sister associations.”

In the spring of 2022, a group of artists met for the first of several times to ponder the situation of artist-entrepreneurs. This group was composed of Philémon Cimon, Ian Kelly, David Bussières (of Alfa Rococo), Carole Facal (of Caracol), Debbie Tebbs, Andréanne A. Malette, Jordan Officer, and Alexandre Poulin. Together, they reached a clear conclusion: our music ecosystem needs an association to represent the interests of artist-entrepreneurs. Several possible solutions emerged, and pointed to the creation of such an association. SPACQ undertook legal steps to look into the possibility of welcoming artist-entrepreneurs into the organization. A few months later, the answer came, and it was positive, so steps were taken to create SPACQ-AE

In addition to numerous meetings held to take the pulse of the artistic community, last year the organization set up a joint committee made up of members of the Board of Directors and artist-entrepreneur spokespersons Bussières, Malette and Facal, who were tasked with exploring possible avenues and spearheading the transformation project. To illustrate the challenges facing artist-entrepreneurs, SPACQ conducted a survey of 300 artists in the summer of 2023, garnering 188 responses. Almost 87% of respondents had expressed the need for associative representation, and nearly three-quarters indicated that they wanted to be represented by SPACQ, a recognized, established and proven association.

For Bussières, a singer-songwriter, artist-entrepreneur, and member of the SPACQ-AE joint committee, “SPACQ has proven to be the ideal vehicle for welcoming and representing artist-entrepreneurs. Conceived by and for artists, the newly named SPACQ-AE will be able to provide a strong, consolidated voice for the issues and interests of these artists, as it has done for songwriters and composers for over 40 years. This is a historic moment for our artist-entrepreneurs, one that was long overdue, and one that will have major positive repercussions for our sector.”