Manif d’art is a non-profit organization and a recognized charitable organization. Its primary mandate is to promote investigative and experimental art by showcasing cutting-edge major trends in visual art from Québec, Canada and abroad. Addressing a varied public, the organization establishes contexts for non-conventional creation and exhibition, thereby fostering enquiry into fresh issues within contemporary art.
Manif d’art brings together artists at different stages of career. Its activities offer them innovative platforms for creation and exhibition. Examples include the Manif d’art – The Quebec City Biennial, l’AutocART, Première Ovation Arts visuels, Arts médiatiques et Métiers d’art, exhibitions outside the country and Les Prix Videre en arts visuels. Through its multi-pronged approach, Manif d’art endeavors to stem the tide of artists leaving the Québec City region.
General and artistic director
An art photographer, Claude Bélanger is the founder of Manif d’art (formerly Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec). In 1985, he co-founded the artist-run centre L’Œil de Poisson and assumed its coordination until 1999. He has done graduate work in sociology and holds a post-graduate certificate in project management. He has been involved in numerous regional and provincial associations ( RCAAQ, RAAV, SODART, Méduse, CCRQCA ) and has served on selection committees for several cultural events and organizations.
He acted as an independent curator for exhibitions such as Bestiaire mutant, Machines et Machines, Deux générations Deux sensibilités, Corpus and Latinos del Norte ( in Mexico City ) and was co-creator of Mirabile Visu. Since 1989, he has shown his work in over 100 exhibitions in Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico and the Ukraine and has been commissioned to create a number of public artworks. He has been a recipient of grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2004, he received the Prix François, Samson, awarded for cultural development in the Québec City region.
Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec was born of a desire within the arts community to see an important international visual art event in Québec City. Responding to that desire, the artist-run centre L’Œil de Poisson launched the first Manif d’art in the fall of 2000. L’Œil de Poisson’s coordinator, Claude Bélanger, active in the project since 1998, pursued the initiative. To develop the Manif d’art on a recurring and long-lasting basis he founded Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec in 2002. In 2003, Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec presented the Manif d’art 2 at various downtown locations. The resoundingly successful event was followed by the Manif d’art 3 in May 2005.
As of 2004, in addition to coordinating the Manif d’art, Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec took over the coordination of the annual Prix Videre and assumed responsibility to travel exhibitions of works by recipients of the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas. In 2005, Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec inaugurated the Collectors’ Club to promote visual art and stimulate Québec’s art market.
To increase the international exposure of Québec artists, Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec is also committed to projects outside the country. In 2005-2006, the organization participated in showing work by Jocelyne Alloucherie in three European cities; it collaborated in Canada’s video program at the Semana Francofona 2004 in Chili and in 2004-2005 it supervised the Québec-PACA ( Provence, Alps, Côte d’Azur ) exchange in France.