FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $165,150 over two years to support Phase 1 of the implementation of an arts and culture workforce development strategy.

“Our focus is on people, skills and jobs and we will ensure that this important sector, with enormous potential, thrives and flourishes,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. “Our province is known for its unique and rich cultural history, which is why our government is pleased to support the arts and culture sector to ensure that our identity continues to live on for future generations to discover through things like fine art, literature and music.”

In 2012, L'Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (the Association of Acadian professional artists of New Brunswick) was tasked with leading and co-ordinating the development of a provincial workforce development strategy for the arts and culture sector.

“We were proud to work with cultural stakeholders and sector professionals on the development of Creative Futures: a renewed Cultural Policy for New Brunswick,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. “This strategy will help support those who make their living in the industry, as together we work toward the goal of a vibrant and productive cultural sector.”

Through this initiative, a roundtable on cultural human resources was formed, bringing together numerous stakeholders including government departments, the arts and culture community, universities and colleges. This investment will help the transition team create a new organization which will be responsible for implementing and managing the strategy.

"The Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick is proud to submit to the government the final report on the work done by the roundtable over the last two years," said Carmen Gibbs, executive director of the association. "Forty people were at the table including stakeholders from cultural industries and representatives of the arts, culture, heritage and education sectors. The work revealed that the development of human resources in culture – from the artist to the cultural worker – deserved to be supported by a permanent organization serving Aboriginal, anglophone and Acadian communities. Better trained and equipped workers will contribute more to the strength of our province."

A transition team headed by NB Music is being formed to create the organization. This new structure will aim to provide New Brunswick artists and culture workers with the necessary tools to support greater access to training, employment and professional development.

Since 2012, the provincial government has invested more than $210,000 into this initiative, in addition to today’s announcement.