3 February 2016
Premier Ball and Minister Bennett,
Thank you for your efforts to engage the population of Newfoundland and Labrador in the government’s fiscal planning. In response to that effort, I recommend that the government consider reinvesting in the cultural industries.
Like many industries in the province, cultural work in Newfoundland and Labrador is suffering. An industry that relies heavily on public investment in order to generate substantial direct and indirect returns, arts companies have, over the past decade, been forced to cut programming, reduce staff hours, and put off major actions that would stabilize and grow the industry.
DanceNL represents the dancers throughout the province, whether they practice dance as a profession or as a recreational activity. From traditional Newfoundland set dances and step dancing, to hip hop and contemporary ballet, the reality is that both professional and recreational dancers need public investment, and the public needs dancers. Dancing is an alternative form of physical activity, a form of expression and a path to strong communities and better mental health.
Culture, as a broader industry, is the hallmark of Newfoundland and Labrador. Beautiful television ads celebrate it. Visitors revel in it. New residents are attracted by it. Culture is – and reflects – our identity as a province, an identity based in our rich history, our pride of place, and our hopes for the future. It brings in skilled workers. It brings in tourism. It is a positive step towards a healthy, diverse, resilient economy, and one that can be made with confidence.
Given that case studies have shown that each dollar invested in the cultural sector has the potential to generate more than ten dollars in direct, indirect and induced returns¹, now is the time to renew a commitment made in The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture in 2006. Now is the time to invest in the industries that make Newfoundland and Labrador the target destination for Canadian and international tourists. Now is the time to invest in the workers who bring beauty, entertainment, and culture to the residents of this spectacular province.
In good faith,
Executive Director, DanceNL