COVID-19 and the Arts

On July 16th, 2020, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation held its fourth webinar in the Emergence series. This episode featured discussions around the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the arts.


Hosted by Robert Steiner (2019 Mentor), the discussions featured panelists  Nathalie Bondil (2018 Mentor) and Patrice Sauvé (2020 Mentor), with closing remarks from Patricia Bérubé (2019 Scholar) for the French portion; and, Sara Angel (2012 Scholar) and Steven Loft (2010 Fellow) as panelists, with closing remarks from Diane Roberts (2019 Scholar) for the English portion.


The panelists highlighted the importance of art for individuals' emotional systems and the evolving role of museums as places that promote the health and well-being of communities. Nathalie Bondil stressed that being in physical proximity with art allows us to connect and appreciate art moreso than virtual platforms, which are unable to replicate the benefits of an in-person experience.


Sarah Angel remarked that technology and online platforms have allowed for a democratization of art, in which more people in society have an opportunity to create and exhibit art. She stressed that this democratization has removed the boundaries of what it means to be considered an “artist”.


Closing remarks from Patricia Bérubé noted the issues around accessibility to art. She stressed the importance of considering marginalized communities’ access to art and ensuring that emerging artists are well-represented should the arts sector move online.