FREDERICTON (GNB) – The first meeting of the Premier’s Task Force on the Status of the Artist has taken place.

“Artists contribute a great deal to New Brunswick’s quality of life, economy and to the strength of the cultural fabric of our communities,” said Premier David Alward. “The challenges they face in their profession are unique. Our government is committed to working with the arts community to find a sustainable path forward for artistic development in our province.”

The task force is comprised of:

  • Vicky Lentz, professional artist, St-Jacques;
  • Gilles Doiron, professional artist, Moncton;
  • Sebastien Michaud, professional artist, Moncton;
  • Sarah Johnson Power, professional artist, Saint John;
  • Phyllis Grant, professional artist, Papineau First Nation;
  • Imelda Perley, professional artist, Tobique First Nation;
  • Philippe Beaulieu, president, l’Association acadienne des artistes professionnels du Nouveau-Brunswick (association of professional Acadian artists of New Brunswick);
  • Kathryn Hamer-Edwards, president, ArtsLinkNB;
  • Chet Wesley, vice-president, NB Arts Board;
  • Carmen Gibbs, executive director, l’Association acadienne des artistes professionnels du Nouveau-Brunswick;
  • Kate Wallace, executive director, ArtsLinkNB;
  • Akoulina Connell, executive director, NB Arts Board;
  • representatives of the Office of the Premier and of the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

The mandate of the task force is to provide recommendations on measures or legislation that will improve the socioeconomic status of professional artists.

This measure fulfills a commitment to recognize the professional status of New Brunswick artists. It was also identified as a priority in the province’s renewed Cultural Policy, Creative Futures.

“During the consultation process for our renewed Cultural Policy, we received the message loud and clear from New Brunswickers and the artistic community: professional artists play an important role throughout our communities,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. “We look forward to hearing the recommendations to be brought forward by the task force and to working collaboratively towards a common goal.”