Last week I met with my federal, provincial and territorial counterparts as ministers responsible for culture and heritage in Toronto to discuss common priorities for 2023-24.
Preserving and promoting our heritage and culture is important to our identity as New Brunswickers. Having governments from across our country work together allows us to share our successes and challenges, learn from one another, and, at the end of the day, helps ensure New Brunswick’s story is written in ways we can be proud of.
I shared with my counterparts the provincial government’s priority to stabilize economic conditions for professional artists through work in response to the report of the Premier’s Task Force on the Status of the Artist. In addition, I talked about the plan to increase the film budget, as well as the progress being made to open a new provincial museum in 2026.
I then met with federal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez concerning financial support for the New Brunswick Museum and its board which, under legislation passed last year, has been empowered to manage the design and construction of its new home in Saint John.
We were presented with a high-level analysis of key data and trends for culture and heritage, especially those observed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest provincial and territorial data indicate that the nominal GDP for the culture sector in Canada increased by 8.3 percent to $54.8 billion in 2021, and that jobs increased by 11 per cent. Notably, increases were observed in all provinces and territories. New Brunswick’s cultural GDP increase of 4.5 per cent was fifth among Canadian jurisdictions, behind only Yukon, British Columbia, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island.
For Canada overall, both cultural GDP and jobs maintained steady growth, surpassing pre-pandemic levels around the second quarter of 2022.
“Over the past two days, ministers responsible for culture and heritage across Canada have come together for the future of our sector,” said Rodriguez. “We have talked about strengthening our creative economy, consolidating our cultural and heritage resources and mobilizing our communities. We have accomplished a lot, but there is still work to do, and I am excited about what we are going to accomplish to encourage long-term growth, support workers and communities, and celebrate the rich culture found within Canada.”