Provincial Government to Implement Status of the Artist Legislation

In recognition of the important role artists play in contributing to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the province, today a new Status of the Artist Act will go to second reading in the House of Assembly. The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, joined stakeholders at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s to celebrate the important milestone. The Status of the Artist Act is intended to enhance the recognition and support of professional artists and to ensure fair compensation.

Through the act, the Provincial Government encourages everyone, with government departments and agencies leading by example, to pay artists fairly and equitably based on existing industry pay scales for their genre. (i.e. visual artists, writers, musicians). The Provincial Government is also committed to revitalizing its approach to supporting culture through a new cultural plan renewal to be completed by January 2019. This is in support of the Status of the Artist Act and will involve broader consultation with people and organizations from both the arts and heritage sectors.

This renewal process will offer the opportunity to explore government programming and support, and ways to improve opportunities for artists in the province. In developing the legislation, the Provincial Government consulted with representatives from the various art sectors including: visual arts, craft, music, literary and publishing, dance, theatre and film. In addition, 256 professional artists provided their perspective through an online survey.


“I am pleased to bring forward legislation that formally recognizes the important contribution our artists make to our province. Recognizing and supporting professional artists is a key priority for our government, as outlined in The Way Forward. This legislation is just the beginning; through the cultural plan renewal, we will ensure continued support to improve the lives of artists in our province.” Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Status of the Artist legislation brings us light-years forward in terms of recognition and support for our multi-faceted professional artists. So many people, from the arts community, and from government, have worked together to make this happen. It’s an historic moment for all of us. It’s our turn to applaud the initiative and the stand for artists this represents.” Berni Stapleton Chair, Resource Centre for the Arts “

ArtsNL has been pleased to work with the department as a partner in the development of the Status of the Artist Act for a number of years. The minister’s 2015 mandate letter acknowledged that artists are essential to the preservation and progression of our cultural identity. ArtsNL agrees with that statement while simultaneously recognizing the value of the arts sector as an important social and economic industry of Newfoundland and Labrador. As such, we were delighted to also partner with invited sectoral organization representatives, and the professional arts community as a whole, as government conducted round-table discussions and openly collected feedback online. Those consultations have informed legislation that formally recognizes the arts sector as one that is an important and dynamic contributor to the economic and social well-being of the province.” Stan Hill Chair, ArtsNL –


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