A mosaic portrait of artists as digital entrepreneurs

Digital technologies structure our socioeconomic life, but the cultural community often finds itself in an ambivalent relationship with the opportunities and challenges inherent to these technologies and their uses.

Our research suggests that furthering the development of creators’ entrepreneurial and digital skills could help them better master digital technologies. Following three years of dialogue with stakeholders in six regions across Québec, a multidisciplinary interuniversity team painted a contrasting portrait of the diversity of digital experiences in music and the performing and visual arts. 

While observations make it possible to identify the practices implemented in each broad stage in the cultural value chain (i.e. creation, production and dissemination), they also reveal the significant need to develop the entrepreneurial skills required to capitalize on the potential of digital technologies.

The findings call for reflection on the possible evolutions of the various forms of public support and, more specifically, emphasize the need to strengthen four key areas of activity: watch, continuing education, experimentation and sharing. Indeed, sharing appears to have the most significant scope of leverage, particularly by sustaining and facilitating interactions between artistic and techno-scientific communities across Québec, which are natural agents for watch and experimentation, and by mobilizing regional councils for culture, art centres and the ADN network of digital cultural development agents as relays to deploy training programs on the implementation of digital tools for entrepreneurship.

By supporting experimentation by cultural entrepreneurs and promoting an entrepreneurial attitude, Québec institutions will foster the realization of original projects and enhance the opportunities for creators to gain economic autonomy.

Main researcher
Laurent Simon, HEC Montréal


Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: December 2020