With the September 24 election fast approaching, New Brunswick voters will soon be making an important decision about our province's future and leadership. In order to ensure that our music community is well informed about issues which could affect us, Music • Musique NB sent a questionnaire to political parties to help shed some light on their plans to support our growing music industry.
1. If elected, will your party:
a. Commit to continuing to invest in the New Brunswick Music Industry Development (MID) Investment Program?
b. Commit to supporting and growing the New Brunswick live music sector, which drives local and provincial economies through venues, festivals and tourism?
c. Commit to policy and funding that facilitate the retention of artists and music industry professionals in the province of New Brunswick?
d. Commit to working with the New Brunswick music industry to develop opportunities for priority groups, including artists/music entrepreneurs identifying as women, indigenous, LGBTQ+, racially visible people, people with disability, youth, linguistic minorities, etc.
2. Ontario and British Columbia are leaders in creating provincial music funds, aimed at strengthening and simulating growth in the provincial music business sector. Those funds complement other public funding programs and aim to address investment gaps for the music industry, such as providing support for record labels, music publishers, recording studios, music managers, booking agents and artist entrepreneurs. Would you support the creation of a similar New Brunswick Music Fund?
Green Party of New Brunswick
New Brunswick Liberal Party
In its last mandate, our government supported the arts and culture sector by honouring its pledge to accelerate the implementation of the new provincial cultural policy and further enhance support for this sector by increasing investments aimed at implementing various cultural support initiatives. We invested an additional $2 million for cultural initiatives per year since 2015 to further accelerate the implementation of the cultural policy.
Furthermore, our government has identified New Brunswick's arts and culture sector as a priority in its multi-year Economic Growth Plan. This framework will allow to work at developing the arts and culture industry in the coming years.
We also supported the work of the task force on the status of the artist to ensure artists are properly recognized for their contributions to our society and we invested an additional $100,000 in the New Brunswick Arts Board to increase support for emerging artists. In May of this year, our government announce an additional $50,000 investment to help New Brunswick musicians showcase their talents outside the province. This has augmented the current fiscal year’s funding of $320,000.
This additional funding is part of our ongoing efforts to support economic competitiveness by investing in sectors that have important growth potential, which includes our musicians and the music sector as a whole. Through our partnership with Music NB, we are confident this additional investment will increase the presence of New Brunswick artists in external markets while having a positive impact on employment in the province.
A re-elected Liberal Government will maintain this funding. We are committed to maintaining all existing funding for the arts and culture sector.
As the Music Industry Development Program is now administered by Music NB, a re-elected Liberal Government, would be interested in meeting with you to further assess the situation concerning funding related to showcases, live performances, professional development and
professional travel. Also, we would be opened to meeting with Music NB to discuss issues concerning the music industry development, support to the live music sector, retention of artists and music industry professionals, promotion of priority groups within the industry, as well as general support to the arts and culture sector and more specifically, to the music industry.
Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick
Thank you for your questions.
New Brunswick's arts and culture community, specifically music, contributes more to our economy than most people realize - even more than traditional sectors like forestry. For a small province, we have disproportionately influenced music in Canada and the world.
Of all the arts, music (particularly live music) is most affected by economic conditions. When unemployment is high, when taxes and the cost of living is high, live musical entertainment (for many) can become an unaffordable luxury. This is why our government's plans for private sector economic growth, enhanced government accountability and lower taxes are critical to the growth of music industry.
We will work to support the arts and culture community and strengthen our small business and tourism sectors. We believe that the success of our music industry is dependent on a vibrant live music sector and citizens with disposable income that allows discretionary spending on musical performances. Furthermore, our government will have a particular focus on re-invigorating tourism in rural New Brunswick and will ensure we can preserve and share our cultural and musical heritage.
We are committed to the success of our entertainment sector and, upon forming government, look forward to working with Music NB to better understand how we can work together to ensure the economic success of music and the arts in New Brunswick.