Research projects and grants

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Cultural Sector: How to Attract Diverse Audiences


The questions of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are increasingly present in discourses emanating from academic spheres (Adamson et al., 2021; Jaeger et al., 2015; Heidelberg, 2019) and socio-economic contexts (van Ewijk, 2011). All sectors are affected by these issues, including the cultural sector. Research points to systemic discrimination within this sector (Eikhof & Warhurst, 2013), exacerbated by policies established for its promotion (Oakley, 2006) or by structural constraints (Eikhof & York, 2015). Research on EDI generally focuses on the artists themselves and how to achieve greater diversity within the sector. We find no research that focuses on the diversity of audiences consuming cultural goods. However, it is important to understand the relationship between artists and audiences, as explained by Novak-Leonard and Skaggs (2017). They argue that artists are agents of change in society and contribute to developing more inclusive communities.

Duncombe (2016) has explored the impact that activist artists have on audiences, explaining that art stimulates a feeling, takes us on an emotional journey, or impacts our perceptions. For him, art affects audiences, leading to social changes. Therefore, art and artists can have a social impact by influencing audiences (Duncombe, 2016). It is crucial for artists to reach a broad and diverse audience. In the Quebec context, it is essential to attract diverse audiences to consume Quebec cultural goods. It is necessary to understand how to interest them, attract them, and stimulate interactions between these diverse audiences and Quebec artists.

The objective of this exploratory research is to understand how cultural diffusion organizations can attract diverse audiences to consume Quebec cultural goods. For this research, we conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with employees or managers of visual arts cultural diffusion organizations in Quebec. The themes discussed with the participants in this research included current audiences, diverse audiences, as well as current practices and their vision for the future.

Research team


Julie Bérubé

Professor, UQO

Research Assistant and Students

Gabrielle Lalonde

Bachelor's degree student in Museology and Heritage

Josiane Trudel

Master's degree student in Museology and Arts Practices