The MBAM receives a rating of “worrying situation” of the Canada Council for the arts

Le MBAM reçoit une cote de «situation inquiétante» du Conseil des arts du Canada

Photo: Valérian Mazataud Archives The Duty
The council has sent a letter to the MUSEUM asking for details on the state of human resources.

The Canada Council for the arts (CAC), an organization that subsidizes the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM), has awarded the institution the rating of the ” worrying situation “, because of the turmoil surrounding the forced departure of its executive director Nathalie Bondil by the board of directors.

In an email sent to the Duty, the council has confirmed this information, transmitted initially to the Art Newspaper.

The CAC offers the MMFA a multi-year grant, called the base, of $ 450,000 per year, to contribute to the operation of the museum. “Special conditions apply,” says the ACC by e-mail. The very public of the current crisis, combined with problems related to the organizational health, leadership, governance and management of human resources, has meant that we have had to inform the museum that it had received a rating of worrying situation. “

The rating of the “worrying situation” that is assigned by the ACC “to an organization in a situation of instability organizational” and allows the subventionneur to follow more closely his situation.

According to the director of the canada council, Simon Brault, this rating is “almost automatic” when ” a situation where the investments of the council are potentially at risk.” He gives the example of the public allegations “as we had a few years ago with the theatre, Soulpepper,” or the hypothetical accidental death of the director of a theatre, which would also create this dimension of the ” worrying situation “.

Simon Brault is concerned about the situation of the MMFA ? “But of course. Of course, that when one emits something like that, it is because we have reasons to believe that the situation is not ” normal “, that there are challenges for the future “, he explains.

This rating of the “worrying situation” does not necessarily lead to the reduction of the sums paid to MBAM, but, for example, enables the council to withhold grant payments until certain conditions are met. “It becomes a condition to maintain the relationship of subsidies with the ACC, but it does not reduce their grant “. The rating does not, however, financial aid from the CCA for specific projects.

The council has sent a letter to the MUSEUM asking for details on the state of human resources, on the situation surrounding the hiring of a new management and governance of the museum, or the links between the management and the board of directors.

About the climate of internal work at the MMFA, “we know that the C. A. said that the report cannot be made public, because there is nominal information, but when even the conclusions of the report, we will wish to know,” said Simon Brault. The management of the present crisis will also be at the centre of the concerns of the CAC. “In the short term, how to ensure, if the direction is assumed by the executive council, that it is not in a conflict of interest with his or her own decisions ? “.

Simon Brault does not see the internal tension of the fact that Nathalie Bondil is vice-president of the board of directors of the CAC. The imposition of the new rating does not mean the C. A., but the administration, ” noted Mr. Brault, who is not of the Council.

“Anyway in any situation that affects the MBAM and that is presented to the board of directors, Nathalie could not be part of the discussion. She should recuse himself because of our rules on conflict of interest. The policy is followed. “

The most important subventionneur of the MMFA is the ministry of Culture and Communications, which has issued this year, 16-million to the institution of Sherbrooke street.

Contacted by The Duty, the MBAM did not want to comment on the situation.

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