International Explainer: What is CINARS?

CINARS is a non-profit service organization whose mission is to promote and support the export of Quebec and Canadian performing arts. Its main objectives are to :

  • promote cultural creations in the performing arts sector;
  • encourage exchanges between production and presentation organisations;
  • make Montreal an international magnet for the performing arts.

CINARS offers five main services:


Every two years since 1984, CINARS has organised one of the largest international meetings of the performing arts in Montreal, attended by over 1,900 professionals from 54 countries, including 433 of the world’s leading presenters. Over the course of a week, more than 170 shows from Quebec, Canada and abroad, workshops, networking events and an exhibition hall are on offer to participants. After eighteen editions, the CINARS Biennial has become a key multidisciplinary event in the international performing arts landscape.


Throughout the year, CINARS maintains a presence abroad through :

  • Collective representation at international conferences: to promote Quebec productions abroad, forge ties and consolidate relationships with programmers, CINARS organises a series of collective participations in the most important international conferences under the QUÉBEC EN SCÈNE banner, along with agents and representatives of Quebec companies. Organising a shared stand allows Quebec participants to benefit from greater visibility, meet more programmers, develop a spirit of mutual support with their peers, and attend conferences at a lower cost;
  • Showcases abroad: CINARS organises showcases abroad during certain international conferences. Among the most important operations, in 2012, 2014 and 2016 CINARS coordinated the Nordic showcase ICE STORM in New York during the APAP conference (Association of Performing Arts Presenters);
  • Development missions and an ongoing presence at international networking events.


Each year, CINARS offers training sessions for agents and representatives of Quebec companies, as well as specialized workshops to foster the development of international distribution skills. A mentoring service is also offered throughout the year to meet the specific needs of artistic companies.


CINARS offers expertise services by conducting certain sectoral studies, developing long-term strategies for certain geographic areas or acting as operator or consultant for international networking events.


To facilitate the promotion of Quebec and Canadian companies abroad, CINARS sets up collective promotional operations such as the publication of promotional DVDs.