News Release Archive

  The province's first arts council, as introduced in
  legislation in the House of Assembly today, would enable the
  arts community to direct their own priorities and foster
  excellence in the arts in Nova Scotia.
  Specifically, the Nova Scotia Arts Council/Conseil des Arts
  de la Nouvelle-Ecosse would operate under two key
  principles. One, the council would operate at arms-length
  from government, ensuring that policy, program and funding
  decisions are based on artistic merit rather than political,
  commercial or other considerations. Second, the peer
  assessment principle would ensure that artists and their
  work would be evaluated by other artists or specialists with
  the knowledge and experience to make the right decisions to
  support excellence.
  The council would also advise government on arts policy,
  including arts education in the public schools. As well, the
  council would help raise public awareness of art and
  artists, help artists create and market their works, and
  promote research and development.
  In introducing the legislation, Education and Culture
  Minister John MacEachern gave credit to the 15-member
  steering committee, appointed by the premier this summer to
  recommend legislation, policies and programs related to the
  arts council. "Just as the council will enable the arts
  community to chart their own direction, these individuals
  have charted the direction and future of the council."
  "I applaud the committee, under Susan Gibson Garvey's
  leadership, for their excellent work," the minister said.  
  "As a result, the council will create a climate which
  fosters excellence, diversity and vitality in the arts,
  contributing to the province's social and economic welfare."
  "With the establishment of the Nova Scotia Arts
  Council/Conseil des Arts de la Nouvelle Ecosse, history will
  be made," Ms. Gibson Garvey said. "This sends a very
  positive signal to all those involved in the arts and
  culture in Nova Scotia."
  In 1993, even before the growth in film and recording, arts
  and culture, as one of the fastest growing sectors,
  contributed more than $164 million to the province's
  As part of the cultural enterprises agreement, the
  Department of Education and Culture and the Economic Renewal
  Agency will work to identify funding to support the council.
  As well, the legislation would see the creation of a Nova
  Scotia Arts Endowment Fund to allow the arts council to
  become less reliant over time on government funding. The
  steering committee has requested $1.5 million as a starting
  The bill states that council membership would reflect the
  province's cultural, regional, ethnic, arts discipline,
  gender and generational diversity. The 15-member council
  would include at least one member each of the Mi'kmaq, Black
  and Acadian communities. Two current steering committee
  members would serve on the nominating committee to recommend
  the first permanent council members to the minister.
  Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615
  trp                     Nov. 1, 1995