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Budget 2006 - The Right Choices : Momentum for Growth and Prosperity
NLIS 13
March 30, 2006
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)
 

The Right Choices: Newfoundland and Labrador: Vibrant and Strong

The Williams government is committed to the further development of our cultural and tourism industries and to promoting the benefits of recreation and sport to all residents. Budget 2006 will invest $15.55 million this year to support this vision of a more prosperous, creative, healthy Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This represents strategic and aggressive investment in promising and dynamic sectors that affect people in every region of the province," said Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

"We want to support economic growth and employment in the tourism industry, as well as cultivate contemporary arts and preserve our cultural heritage. At the same time, we want to celebrate our talented athletes and promote active living to all residents. These investments protect our past legacy, celebrate our identity and pave the way for an exciting and healthy future."

Developing our Cultural Sector
As previously announced, Budget 2006 allocates investment of $8.5 million this year, and $17.6 million over the next three years, to support the continued success and growth of professional artists and cultural industries in the province through the adoption of the province�s first strategic cultural plan; Creative Newfoundland and Labrador: The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture. This represents $6.3 million in new investment and $2.2 million continued investment in the film and music industries.

Key investments include:

Support for Artists and Cultural Industries: Government will provide $3.9 million under Budget 2006 in direct support of professional artists and the creative process, and the continued growth of cultural industries. Highlights include:

  • Increased investment in the Arts and Letters Awards by $50,000 annually, almost doubling its allocation;
  • An additional $300,000 in 2006 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. In fact, government will double the budget of the arts council within three years, bringing its total budget to $1.8 million;
  • $200,000 boost in 2006 for the Cultural Economic Development Program; and,
  • $3.25 million to develop our cultural industries, including the fields of music, publishing, film and video and export development.

Preserving, Strengthening and Celebrating our Heritage: Government will commit $760,000 to help fund heritage organizations, community museums and archives, as well for research and development in the heritage sector. Highlights include:

  • $300,000 this year, doubling last year�s budget, in core funding for heritage sites and community museums and archives; and,
  • The development of a heritage framework, a cultural tourism strategy and an expanded archaeology program.
  • Strengthening Key Cultural Infrastructure: Government has committed $3.8 million in 2006 towards improving and revitalizing the province�s Arts and Culture Centres, provincial historic sites, regional museums, and other cultural institutions, including:

  • $1,350,000 for improvements at the Arts and Culture Centres;
  • $500,000 to renovate and expand the LSPU Hall;
  • $790,000 in provincial historic sites and regional museums, with a total investment of $4,174,000 over three years;
  • $500,000 in 2006 to develop plans to restore and interpret the Colonial Building; and,
  • $125,000 for infrastructure improvements and interpretation at the Corner Brook Museum, with a total investment of $325,000 over two years
  • Growing Our Tourism Industry

    Tourism is an integral economic engine with visitor expenditures exceeding $800 million a year. Newfoundland and Labrador offers an incredibly unique travel experience. Budget 2006 invests $4.5 million to further develop the tourism industry. Highlights include:

  • $2.1 million infusion into the marketing and product development budget, bringing the total budget to $10 million, in order to enhance the province�s tourism potential and remain competitive;
  • $1 million this year to add additional campsites and construct comfort stations at Butter Provincial Park and Squires Memorial Provincial Park; construct a comfort station and dumping station at Pinware River Provincial Park; build dumping stations at Frenchman�s Cove Provincial Park and J. T. Cheeseman Provincial Park. An additional $389,500 is included in this year�s budget for operational funding for our parks system;
  • $1.6 million over two years to create leading edge and technologically-based provincial visitor information centres; and,
  • $482,500 over three years to support the creation and operation of a new visitor information centre at St. John�s Airport in partnership with the City of St. John�s and the St. John�s Airport Authority.
  • Enhancing Sport

    Budget 2006 provides $2.55 million to champion our athletes and to support opportunities for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to participate in organized sport and recreational activities. Highlights include:

  • $700,000 this year for a total renewed provincial contribution of $2 million towards the creation and operation of a new Provincial Training Centre to ensure our talented athletes have an appropriate training facility.
  • $400,000 per year to cover a three-year extension of the Bilateral Agreement-National Sports Policy program which is cost-shared with the federal government. This program offsets the costs of hosting regional games and the Festival of Sport program. It also assists sports teams traveling to national championships.
  • Media contact: Susanne Hiller, Communications, (709) 729-0928, 728-7762

    2006 03 30                                      2:30 p.m.


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