Rogers echoes artists’ call for increased arts funding

Today in Question Period, the NDP Caucus called on government to increase funding for ArtsNL, the only arts program investing directly in artists for the creation and development of art.

NDP Culture Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says our artists have mounted a respectful letter-writing campaign calling for this necessary funding increase.

“The number of artists applying for this funding has significantly increased, yet the ArtsNL budget has decreased,” Rogers said. “I ask the Premier, does he understand how crucial this ArtsNL funding is?”

Rogers says artists such as Rick Mercer, Petrina Bromley, and Mark Critch credit early support from ArtsNL, and groups supported by ArtsNL, with helping them start their careers.

“I ask the Premier, have these articulate and passionate artists convinced him yet as to why ArtsNL investment is crucial to the development of the careers of our artists?” Rogers said. “Is there anything else he needs in order to be convinced how crucial ArtsNL funding is to the well-being and the growth of our cultural sector?”

Rogers says that several of our most well-known artists including Mary Walsh, Michael Crummey, Wayne Johnson, Cathy Jones, Alan Doyle, Allan Hawco, Lisa Moore, Jillian Keiley, The Once, The Ennis Sisters, Jonny Harris, JC Roy, Amelia Curran, Edward Riche, Robert Chafe and more, signed a letter on behalf of the arts community requesting an increase to ArtsNL from $2-$5 million over three years.

“In the past few weeks, government has made several funding announcements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars,” Rogers said. “Will the Premier now join with our artists and commit to this modest request for one of the best investments this province can make for our people?”

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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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