The rise in cultural mediation in Quebec in the age of democratisation

Jean-Marie Lafortune offers a critical analysis of cultural mediation. He considers it to be linked to the rise of cultural policies at the municipal level, reflecting both cultural democratisation (acculturation to an established culture) and “cultural democracy” that takes account of the tastes, preferences, and practices of the local population. Combining the two approaches can lead to tensions, between “aesthetic values and the social value of the projects in question”, for instance. These are analysed in the present article, which also looks at potential ambiguities and risks such as de-legitimisation, an excessively market-driven approach, and instrumentalisation.