I like to say that you put on a festival… by putting it on! The process isn’t theoretical, it isn’t set in stone. There is, of course, a Mission, a Mandate, a Position, a desire to fill a certain space within the cultural milieu. But life isn’t static; we are constantly being confronted and called upon to make certain choices.
I made the choice, and continue to choose, to offer a platform to unclassifiable and atypical artists, whether emerging or established, whose avant-garde approaches are off the beaten path. Age does not determine our ability to take risks, to reinvent self or art; we are never too old to break with convention and try new things.
But even beyond age, background, and discipline, what excites me the most is meeting an artist with a unique approach, voice, and attitude; an artist who refuses to compromise, who is dedicated to his or her art, who struggles, rallies collaborators, procures resources; who is passionate, demanding, and emotional.
Phénomena is up and running, and my greatest wish is to support these artists and make sure their work is seen. This year, we welcome many new artists who are committed, dynamic, enthusiastic, and idealistic, and it is an honour to be able to offer them a platform. So mark your calendars—we invite you to step up and take a risk!