Yesterday, the provincial government released its budget for 2024-25 titled Stronger Than Ever: Let’s Keep Building. In it, there are a couple of noticeable strides forward alongside some glaring omissions. I wish to convey our apprehension regarding the absence of crucial investments required for the arts and culture sector.

We are happy to see the inclusion of an increase to the New Brunswick Arts Board and Music•Musique NB’s programs of $1.9 million through the Arts Development Trust Fund, “towards grants and scholarships for New Brunswick artists, and grants for musicians and music organizations.” More details are expected soon on how this will be allocated.

Despite these positive steps, the arts and culture sector remains severely underfunded. On October 19, 2023, eight arts and cultural organizations jointly urged the government to commit to a minimum investment of $25 million in the cultural sector, including a $2.5-million increase in organizational support. However, this budget outlines a mere $472,000 increase.

Furthermore, we urged the government to uphold its commitment to the Film, Television, and New Media Industries by increasing film industry funding by $5 million to meet their target of $20 million by 2025-26. Unfortunately, there is no mention of this in the released materials. We were told to anticipate an announcement soon regarding this commitment.

Although the increase in artist grants through artsnb and MusicNB is welcome news, we are profoundly troubled by the absence of investment in the infrastructure crucial for the development, presentation, and support of artists’ works. Cultural venues, theatres, artist-run centres, and other organizations are facing urgent requirements for investment to sustain their ongoing activities and programming. 

As more details of this budget are outlined in the coming weeks, we will be keeping a close eye on any accompanying support and strategy for the sector.


Julie Whitenect
Executive Director of ArtsLink NB