Tourism, Culture and Recreation
June 12, 2007

Committee to Assist Government to Improve Benefits for Artists

Mr. Speaker, our artists make a valuable contribution to the social and economic life of Newfoundland and Labrador. This government invests in our artists through several existing programs and we are committed to increased investment in original artistic creation within all disciplines and at all levels and stages of artistic development.

In recognition of the efforts of our creative people, it is my pleasure today to announce the establishment of the Status of the Artist Working Committee which will assist this Government to increase direct support to, and recognition of, working artists.

I am pleased to inform the House that Pam Hall, a visual artist, film-maker and writer will chair the working committee. Ms. Hall�s 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.

Other committee members include actor and playwright Amy House, the Artistic Animateur of the RCA Theatre Company; printmaker Audrey Feltham, who has exhibited her work in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia; award-winning poet and author Carmelita McGrath; and, Stan Hill, who has exhibited and won awards for his Iroquois bone carvings throughout Canada and the United States and is president of the Association for Aboriginal Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, 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. 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.

Mr. Speaker our professional artists and the art they create are the heart and soul of cultural activity. It is important that our creative people are properly valued and compensated 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.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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