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artsnb announces PETL grant: big win for First Nations artists


March 9, 2016

March 9th, 2016, Fredericton – artsnb is pleased to announce the approval of a $166,000 Labour Market Research and Analysis (LMRA) grant for the period of April 2016 to March 2018 from the Department of Post-Secondary Training and Labour (PETL). The grant will enable facilitation of intensive creative capacity building workshops for indigenous artists in New Brunswick. A coup for the growth of the Indigenous arts community, the workshops will impact an estimated 140 artists in 7 arts disciplines — visual arts, fine craft, music, film, literary arts, dance, and theatre. Partnerships with provincial, regional, and national arts organizations will be developed to ensure high caliber content. This marks a new phase in growing indigenous artists’ profile in the arts and culture sector of New Brunswick, and builds on artsnb’s equity initiatives in past years.

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Increased direct participation in the arts and culture sector by indigenous artists on terms that are self-determined and culturally relevant.
  • Greater visibility and recognition of indigenous art from New Brunswick.
  • Empowerment and self-confidence in navigating the arts world and creative industries.
  • Strong toolkits for succeeding in each arts discipline.
  • Increased access to funding opportunities at artsnb, the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and at the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • Improved networks of support for artistic and cultural production at the local, provincial, and national level.

“We are only beginning to invest properly in arts and cultural development in New Brunswick’s First Nations communities. We will have a truly robust creative economy if all New Brunswickers are full participants.” remarks Akoulina Connell, Executive Director of artsnb, “Operating with limited resources is a reality for any non-profit; this is something we’re very familiar with at the arts board. Our arm’s length, non-profit, and charitable status are the winning combination that makes it possible to secure alternate funding so that we can pursue strategic initiatives like this. We’re thrilled to be able to continue this work.”

Since 2013, artsnb has conducted outreach activities in 14 indigenous communities in the province, growing community contact from a base of 40 indigenous artists to nearly 300. Building relationships and offering career growth opportunities throughout the process has been integral to the process. These activities were made possible thanks to an Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP) grant from the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) and the hard work of Katie Nicholas (1 year) and Natalie Sappier (3 years). Funding was extended by JEDI for an exceptional third and final year upon bearing witness to the momentum built.

“artsnb knows the importance of First Nations culture and heritage; that the knowledge that is shared through Indigenous Arts plays a huge role in the landscape of New Brunswick.” says Natalie Sappier, artsnb’s Aboriginal Outreach Officer, “The way indigenous artists create is unique, and with these workshops they will be given an opportunity to learn from their peers and discover new possibilities in the world of the arts.”

Jason Ryle, Executive Director of the ImagineNATIVE national film festival and workshop partner with artsnb for film/media arts, is in full support and plans to be a partner: “We see that our continued participation in such activities – and the fantastic development that has happened already with artsnb – there is a growing momentum to continue to develop skills in the arts with more dedicated, discipline-specific workshops.” said Ryle, adding “These are essential to continue to encourage indigenous artists in the province to learn the skills required to enter the media arts industry, of which Canada’s Aboriginal population is at the international center.”

“$166,000 over two years means we have the resources to facilitate, plan, and execute workshops in 7 major artistic disciplines.”, says Pierre McGraw, artsnb Chair, “The facilitator we hire will also be responsible for developing evaluation tools for measuring the long-term impact of the workshops in terms of increasing application and success rates for indigenous artists in programs at the provincial and national level.”


The job posting can be found online here