Tourism, Culture and Recreation
June 12, 2007

Minister Announces Establishment of Status of the Artist Working Committee

Artists make a valuable contribution to the social and economic life of Newfoundland and Labrador.  In recognition of this contribution, the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, today announced the establishment of the Status of the Artist Working Committee that will assist the Provincial Government to increase direct support to working artists.

�Professional artists and their creations are the heart and soul of cultural activity,� said Minister Hedderson.  �It is fundamental that they be valued for their artistic endeavours.  I look forward to working with this committee on the implementation of practical measures that will have a real impact on the lives of artists in Newfoundland and Labrador.�

 �Artists and their associations across the province have been advocating for many years that government address the challenges faced by professional artists in the province,� said visual artist Pam Hall, who chairs the committee.  �Now that a strong cultural policy is in place, and strategic planning priorities have been enunciated in the cultural plan, we are ready and able to begin to address the issues surrounding the status of the artist.  The committee is optimistic about assisting Minister Hedderson in this regard, and hopes to work toward real and tangible changes which will improve the lives of working artists in all disciplines and regions of Newfoundland and Labrador."

Other committee members include Amy House, Audrey Feltham, Carmelita McGrath and Stan Hill.  The committee has agreed to meet six times a year.  During its first year, emphasis will focus on research in other jurisdictions on activities and innovations related to the status of the artist.

�Our cultural plan, Creative Newfoundland and Labrador: The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture, contains a commitment to give priority to creative people and their artistic endeavours, and to better recognize their unique value to our culture and economy,� said Minister Hedderson.  �The establishment of the Status of the Artist Working Committee will help us to achieve this goal � to ensure that the work of our artists, in all disciplines and at all career levels, will be highly valued  and that artists will receive greater recognition as working professionals.�


Media contact:
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 728-7762 

Biographies: Members of Status of the Artist working Committee


Pam Hall is a visual artist, film-maker and writer whose work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally and is represented in many corporate, private and public collections.  She has worked extensively in the development of both federal and provincial public policy in arts and culture, education, and communications.

Amy House is an actor, playwright and the artistic animateur of the RCA Theatre Company. She has starred in numerous successful one-woman shows and been a guest on CBC�s international radio comedy Madly Off In All Directions and The Halifax Comedy Festival.

Audrey Feltham received her bachelor of fine arts from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University in 1992. Since that time she has immersed herself in the printmaking medium and has taught at both the secondary and the post-secondary level.  She has exhibited in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Carmelita McGrath is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, freelancer and editor.  She is the author of Poems on Land and Water, Walking to Shenak, The Boston Box, Stranger Things Have Happened and To the New World, for which she was awarded the inaugural Atlantic Poetry Prize in 1998.

Stan Hill is a professional artist who has made a living at his craft for over 25 years.  He is president of the Association for Aboriginal Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador and has served on the boards of the Coast of Bays Corporation, the Association of Heritage Industries and the Association of Cultural Industries.  Mr. Hill has exhibited and won awards for his Iroquois bone carvings throughout Canada and the United States.

2007 06 12                                                        10:15 a.m.

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