New Brunswick Arts Branch

New Brunswick Arts Branch (New Brunswick Cultural Development Branch 1975-89). Established in 1975 to provide the technical, human, and financial resources necessary for the development of the province's cultural community.

New Brunswick Arts Branch

New Brunswick Arts Branch (New Brunswick Cultural Development Branch 1975-89). Established in 1975 to provide the technical, human, and financial resources necessary for the development of the province's cultural community. Initially a division of the Dept of Youth (from 1976 Youth, Recreation and Cultural Resources; from 1983 Historical and Cultural Resources), it was brought under the aegis of the Dept of Tourism, Recreation and Heritage in 1985 and then of the Dept of Municipalities, Culture and Housing in 1991. On the retirement in 1991 of the branch's first director, John Saunders, Desmond Maillet became acting director.

With the introduction of New Brunswick's first comprehensive arts policy in 1989, the branch concerned itself with five disciplines: literary arts, visual arts, craft, film and video, and performing arts including dance, theatre and music. The policy provided for the complete revision of programs of assistance for artists, arts students, cultural industries and professional and community arts organizations, as well as the establishment of an advisory arts board whose members are chosen by the arts community. The New Brunswick Arts Board/Conseil des arts du Nouveau-Brunswick began meeting in February 1990, and jurors recommended by the board evaluated the first grant requests in January 1991. Five multidisciplinary juries a year evaluate and recommend funding levels for projects in creation and excellence, including grants for travel (for groups and individuals to attend out-of-province conferences, competitions, and festivals), post-secondary studies in the arts, creation projects (including sound recording for performing artists), and awards for excellence. All juried awards are funded by the Arts Lottery Trust Fund with funds provided by lottery revenues.

A network of five provincially-funded regional offices set up to promote cultural activities in both English-speaking and French-speaking communities fell prey to budgetary restraints in May 1983.

Provision in music includes operational grants for camps and schools, subsidies for orchestras and ensembles within the province, bursaries for advanced post-secondary music studies, and travel grants to groups and individuals to attend out-of-province conferences, competitions, and festivals. The branch provides financial assistance to volunteer organizations such as community arts councils, to provincial music federations and festivals, to musical groups and individuals for recording, and to individuals for portfolio development, and awards touring grants to performers for in-province travel costs. In addition it has sponsored artists-in-the-schools and artists-in-the-community programs. In collaboration with the cultural agencies of the other Atlantic provinces and the Touring Office of the Canada Council, it has sponsored the semi-annual workshop and artist showcase Contact East, begun in 1976.

The annual reports of the various departments in which it has been located have summarized the Arts Branch's activities. The Arts Branch periodically publishes brochures outlining the scope of its various funding programs, giving information on eligibility and application procedures.


Further Reading

  • Claus, Jo Anne. 'New Brunswick goes to work to spread the cultural word,' PfAC, Spring 1977

    Maillet, Desmond. 'Review of Contact East 1979,' Touring Office Bulletin, Jan 1980

    Bauer, Nancy. 'PACA arts board meetings' Arts Atlantic, vol 10, Fall 1990