While not everyone is pleased with the 2023-2024 budget tabled by the Nova Scotia government last week, in a media release, a group of sixty arts organisations across the province, including several Halifax-based groups, have applauded what they call a “generational investment” in the province’s arts and culture sector.
A generational investment from the province indicates that artist mental well-being, and vibrant arts and cultural lives matter in Nova Scotia. – Hannah Guinan, director of Halifax’s Khyber Centre for the Arts.
The big win in the 2023-2024 provincial budget is an additional $5.1 million earmarked for operating grants for the arts and culture sector. According to the release, this program has been frozen since 2006.
“The provincial commitment to doubled funding of operating support programs will bring the cultural sector up to a level that enables not just survival but growth, leading to increased employment, programming, and the health, social, and economic benefits inherent in living in a province with a vibrant arts scene,” says Chris O’Neill, executive director at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.
“Bringing funding up to 2023 levels means that cultural organisations can spend less time stressing about making ends meet and more time focused on providing meaningful and essential programming for our communities,” adds Janet Larkman, president of the Atlantic Presenters Association and executive director of King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal.
According to the release, Nova Scotia’s arts and culture sector generates more than $928 million in GDP annually.