Saskatchewan’s La Troupe du Jour wins Business for the Arts’ inaugural artsVest™ Outstanding Partnership Award

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Business for the Arts, Canada’s national association of business leaders who support the arts, announced that Saskatoon French-language theatre company La Troupe du Jour received the first-ever artsVest Outstanding Partnership Award at the National Business for the Arts Partnership Awards, held October 4 at the Carlu in Toronto.

artsVest is a sponsorship training and matching incentive program of Business for the Arts and delivered in Saskatchewan with funding from Canadian Heritage and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, and with in-kind support from SaskCulture Inc. The program’s goal is to assist Saskatchewan’s small- to medium-sized arts and culture organizations in the development of new and mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses.

“This recognition by Business for the Arts of the partnership between La Troupe du Jour and Saskatoon Express is a great example of government, business and the arts working together to enhance culture and contribute to our economy,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said. “I’m also pleased that the national award was presented to this dynamic Francophone theatre company from Saskatchewan during the Year of the Fransaskois.”

“We congratulate La Troupe du Jour and Saskatoon Express on being the first-ever recipients of this award and on their successful partnership,” said Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts. “This is a wonderful example of how the artsVest program can bring together the arts and business sectors to create meaningful partnerships that benefit the community.”

Founded in 1985, La Troupe du Jour is the only professional French-language theatre company in Saskatchewan, maintaining an artistic presence in Francophone communities across the province by touring shows, supporting playwrights, and presenting programs in local schools. The company has produced more than 80 plays, half of which are original creations or adaptations of original works by authors from Saskatchewan.

The Discovery Festival, a multicultural celebration of writing for the theatre that gives voice to merging and established Francophone, Anglophone, Catalan and First Nations authors, was a great opportunity for La Troupe du Jour to join forces with the community newspaper Saskatoon Express, as both organizations share a community-first philosophy. Saskatoon Express became the Community Media Partner of the Discovery Festival, and marked the first time that the newspaper sponsored a not-for-profit arts organization. The Saskatoon Express is a local community newspaper and is delivered weekly to 60,000 households in Saskatoon and area plus drop-off points city wide.

“We are honoured to receive this national recognition that supports community-driven partnerships. Our partner, the Saskatoon Express, a free weekly community newspaper, helps us build a community across languages and culture by assisting in the promotion of a festival that celebrates intergenerational and intercultural dialogue through presenting works from both emerging and established playwrights,” said Denis Rouleau, Artistic Director of La Troupe du Jour.

The artsVest Outstanding Partnership Award is a new award that recognizes an exemplary partnership from the 2011-2012 national artsVest program. The winning arts organization receives a cash prize of $5,000 to add towards the partnership. La Troupe du Jour and Saskatoon Express received their award at the National Business for the Arts Partnership Awards, which were handed out in Toronto on October 4, 2012. The gala recognizes business leaders who demonstrate outstanding support of the arts across Canada. For more information on the gala, visit http://www.businessforthearts.org/awards. artsVest currently operates in Ontario, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Vancouver. For more information on the program, visit www.artsVest.com.

Founded in 1974, Business for the Arts aims to strengthen arts and culture in Canada by connecting arts organizations to business patrons and volunteers through our artsScene and boardLink programs; by providing arts organizations with matching incentive funds to stimulate business investment and professional development resources to improve their sustainability through artsVest; by communicating the value of investing in the arts through advocacy and research via our Roundtables and Surveys; and by providing a platform for arts organizations to celebrate their outstanding business partners in the arts through our National Awards Gala and media partnerships. For more information, visit www.businessforthearts.org.