Cultural Diversity in the Arts


Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity is made manifest not only through the varied ways in which the cultural heritage of humanity is expressed, augmented and transmitted through the variety of cultural expressions, but also through diverse modes of artistic creation, production, dissemination, distribution and enjoyment, whatever the means and technologies used.

Source: Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO, 2005, p.7

In this context, this term refers to the different minorities within society and their contribution to the common culture. Cultural diversity in the arts mainly involves the participation of ethnic minority and visible minority artists and artists with diverse artistic practices in the cultural life of Montréal.

The inclusion of culturally diverse communities is a question of equity. Organizations must ensure that these artists have the same access to resources and the same opportunities for recognition, contribution and development as artists from the dominant culture.

Culturally diverse artists

Artists belonging to an ethnic or visible minority and/or who have a minority, non-western or mixed artistic practice

Culturally diverse artists’ collective

A collective mainly composed of artists belonging to an ethnic or visible minority. Such a collective is a one-time collaboration that reflects the practices of culturally diverse artists and brings together at least two professional artists for the purpose of carrying out a joint project requiring complementary practices, knowledge and expertise.

A collective is not a legal entity and includes a person responsible for the project who acts on behalf of the collective.

Culturally diverse arts organization

Organization within which the full-time artistic team is majority culturally diverse, or which presents, on a regular basis and as a primary activity, artworks reflecting a practice that is non-Western, culturally mixed, or otherwise informed by non-dominant cultures.



A principle which involves impartiality and justice, as distinguished from equality: whereas equality is about providing everyone with the same access, equity is about recognizing that not everyone starts from the same point, and that there are imbalances that need to be corrected.

Ethnocultural minorities (ethnic minorities, cultural minorities, cultural communities)

Ethnocultural minorities are allophones other than Indigenous Peoples and visible minorities. In Québec, allophones are people whose mother tongue is neither French nor English.
The mother tongue is that which was first learned in childhood, and which must still be understood by a person in order to be considered part of an ethnocultural minority.

Source: Official languages Act


Immigrant person

…first-generation, meaning one of the following:

• a person born outside of Canada who is, or has been, a landed immigrant to Canada

• a person born outside of Canada to parents who have Canadian citizenship by birth

• a person with temporary residency status (coming from another country and possessing a work or study permit or who is a refugee claimant, as well as family members who have accompanied this person to Canada)


… second-generation, meaning individuals born in Canada with at least one parent born outside of Canada; including:

• people born in Canada to two parents born outside of Canada

• people born in Canada to one parent born in Canada and another born outside of Canada (the grandparents of these people could be born in Canada or outside of Canada)


Newcomer to Canada

Immigrant who has lived in Canada for less than five years.



The concept of race is a social construct allowing one group to subjugate another. The person or group who is the object of the process of racialization is “racialized”. The terms “racialization” and “racialized” have the benefit of making clear the fact that “race” is an invented category and not a biological reality. The process of racialization creates an effect of othering, diminishing and excluding.

Source (in French): Glossary | Ligue des droits et libertés

Racialized person

Person likely to be labelled in a racial category or perceived as being “other” and not belonging to the majority group. This term does not describe a quality inherent to a person, but a social characteristic: not an identity, but a position in society resulting from the collective process of racialization.

Source (in French): Comprendre les enjeux de l’inclusion en danse, Regroupement québécois de la danse, p.12


An ideology based on the notion that people and groups are unequal on ethnic or “racial” grounds. Racism is a multidimensional set of ideas, attitudes and actions aimed at or resulting in the social, economic, cultural and political undermining of ethnocultural and national groups, thus preventing them from benefiting fully from the advantages granted to all citizens. It translates into prejudice, discrimination, segregation and violence, and involves power relations between social groups, which have a stigmatizing, justifying and dominating function, and whose logic of inferiorization and discrimination can vary in time and space. White supremacy is inherent to this ideology, which sees race as a biological (rather than socially constructed) category. The pseudoscience of racial theories has been used to legitimize the enslavement and exploitation of Indigenous and racialized people for centuries.

Source : Amnistie internationale, Lexique pour l’antiraciste (In French only)


Visible minorities

According to the Employment Equity Act, visible minorities are defined as “persons, other than Aboriginal people, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”.