DIEPPE (GNB) – The provincial government's new cultural policy, Creative Futures: A renewed Cultural Policy for New Brunswick, was unveiled today by Premier David Alward and Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. The document highlights new investments in cultural and heritage programs supported by the province.

The renewal of the cultural policy was a government commitment made in 2010 and involved public consultations, input from a variety of cultural stakeholders and a cultural policy working group who guided the process.

"Creativity is at the root of many types of enterprises and activities," said Alward. "Nurturing the core of creativity- the artistic and the creative impulse- is central to the cultural policy. As a society, we are collectively responsible for encouraging and supporting culture and as a government we must provide the support to enable our creators and cultural industries to flourish for the economic benefit of all New Brunswickers."

The province's first cultural policy was drafted and adopted in 2002. Since that time, significant changes and growth in the cultural sector made it imperative to review the policy, bring it up to date and ensure it reflects new markets, technologies and the global economy.

"It was time to take stock of where we are as a province, to evaluate our progress against the goals of the first policy and, most importantly, to set a new course over the next five years to ensure the province's cultural vibrancy," said Holder. "Creative Futures will guide our progression as a province as we support our culture and work together to celebrate our diversity and cultural wealth."

An additional $3 million will be invested in cultural initiatives this year to begin the incremental investments needed to meet the objectives of the cultural policy.

New and increased investments include:

●    increasing operational funding for professional arts organizations;
●    increasing the operating grants to New Brunswick's key cultural institutions;
●    increasing funding for supporting professional artists, through the New Brunswick Arts Board;
●    providing funding for enhanced First Nations engagement processes as it relates to archaeological resources;
●    creating the Community Cultural Places program, increasing funding for organized and arms-length built heritage advocacy, and increasing operational funding for Community Museums;
●    providing funding for activities related to community commemorations of historic events, including the First and Second World Wars and events leading up to the 150th  anniversary of Confederation, in support of the recently announced New Brunswick Provincial Commemorations committee; and
●    reinstating and expanding the touring and presenting program for New Brunswick arts organizations and presenters.

"Ensuring a strong cultural identity is an important way to enhance our quality of life and celebrate our shared culture and heritage," said Alward. "We will move forward as a stronger province by supporting our cultural industries and celebrating our diverse heritage."