Newfoundland Division of Cultural Affairs
Newfoundland Division of Cultural Affairs. Created as a full division in 1972, it functioned within a succession of provincial departments before being moved in 1989 to the Dept of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. Prior to 1972 support of culture and the arts within the province had been the responsibility of the Dept of Provincial Affairs, which, before it ceased to exist in 1972, oversaw the establishment of Newfoundland's first Arts and Culture Centre (opened 1967 in St John's). The position of director of cultural affairs was created in March 1971, prior to the establishment of the Cultural Affairs Division. In 1991 the post was held by Elizabeth Batstone.
The division has functioned solely on funds provided annually by the provincial government. Its responsibilities have included the operation of the province's six arts and culture centres (located in Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Labrador West, Stephenville, and St John's). In addition, the division maintains a secondary touring circuit to provide performing arts programs in some 14 smaller communities. The division also administers a modest budget ($40,000 in 1991) to help artists participate in cultural events outside the province. It has co-operated with the cultural agencies of other Atlantic provinces and the Canada Council Touring Office to sponsor the semi-annual performing artists' showcase, Contact East, begun in 1976.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council was created as an arm's length agency by the provincial government early in 1980 to foster and promote the arts in the province, advise the government on arts policy, and administer the funds allocated by the government ($485,000 in 1991) for grants to individuals and organizations. The Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra receives a sustaining grant from the council which has also provided funds to other musical organizations and musicians. In 1991 the chairman of the arts council's board was Tom Cahill, and the executive director was Anne Anderson.