Hill Strategies Publishes “A Statistical Profile of the 2,700 Professional Artists in New Brunswick in 2021”

A new article has been published on post-pandemic challenges in the arts and culture sector in NB.

Professional Artists in New Brunswick

Hill Strategies Research used data from Statistics Canada’s 2021 long-form census to examine the demographics, employment characteristics, and incomes of artists in New Brunswick.

This article is part of a larger project, which includes:

  1. A survey of cultural venues (now in the data analysis phase)
  2. Interviews with operators of cultural venues (in progress), an analysis of census and
  3. Other data on the arts and culture in the province (including this report).

Hill Strategies has partnered with ArtsLink NB, l’Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du N-B (AAAPNB), and the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University.

The project is steered by a committee including Julie Whitenect of ArtsLink NB, Carmen Gibbs and Laurence Dubuc of AAAPNB, Emily Falvey of the Owens Art Gallery, and artist Emma Hassencahl-Perley.

Recommendations from the Arts and Culture Sector

October 19, 2023

Several key cultural industry associations and groups met recently to discuss the state of the arts and culture sector in NB. As important voices advocating for the arts and culture sector, we submit these insights and recommendations to further strengthen and support the vital contributions made by this sector.

It is time to recognize the importance of arts and culture in New Brunswick.

In 2021 — despite a 5% workforce decline from 2020 — New Brunswick’s arts and culture sector employed 7,050 people and contributed $578 million to the province’s GDP. Recovery from the pandemic remains a challenge, with fewer organizations and businesses from 2020 to 2022.

Inflation has raised costs by over 16% since 2019, impacting the ability of cultural organizations to fulfill their essential role within the sector’s framework. The foundation of the cultural ecosystem is made up of community centres, festival organizers, art spaces, and other cultural assets. Arts organizations offer funding for creation, distribution, and presentation, as well as for training and employment of artists, and a place for artists and the public to assemble, study, explore, and develop as a community. 

The Arts and Culture Branch of the Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture faces severe underfunding, making it difficult to meet the sector’s needs. We urge the government to recognize the value of investing in arts and culture in order to sustain and grow these essential contributions to our society and economy.

We recommend a minimum investment of $25M in arts and culture for the 2024-25 Provincial Budget, including the following:

  • Increase the Core Support Programs by $2.5M for cultural organizations’ base funding.
  • Allocate $2.5M to support festivals, including Arts in Communities and the Invitation Festival Fund.
  • Boost the Music Industry Development Program (MID) by $460,000.
  • Provide an additional $2M to the New Brunswick Arts Board through the Arts Development Trust Fund.
  • Allocate funding towards the local governance reform project to develop and implement new municipal cultural strategies.
  • Uphold the commitment to the Film, Television, and New Media Industries by increasing film industry funding by $5M to reach the 2025 target.

Your leadership in bringing these recommendations to the forefront will pave the way for a brighter future for all New Brunswickers and our economy. We are ready to discuss these proposals with you and explore collaborative initiatives and solutions toward implementing positive change and prosperity.

Thank you for your time and commitment to our province’s arts and culture sector.

ArtsLink NB, CraftNB, Creating Access, Mawi’art: Wabanaki Artist Collective, Media NB, Music•Musique NB, NB Arts Centre Association INC / Association des centres des arts du NB INC., RADARTS inc.

Lack of action in the Speech from the Throne

October 18, 2023 – Saint John, NB – On behalf of the ArtsLink NB membership, I write to express our disappointment in today’s Speech from the Throne. “Taking Action — Building a Stronger New Brunswick” failed to outline a strategy for the arts and culture sector.

“Taking Action — Building a Stronger New Brunswick” summarizes this government’s strategies for the development of the economy, communities, and the private sector. It briefly underscores the significance of tourism in bolstering the economy without proposing any concrete strategy for cultivating this resource. Culture generates a higher GDP than agriculture, pulp and paper manufacturing, IT, seafood, manufacturing, or mining.1 Our artists — writers, translators, filmmakers, actors, musicians, dancers, architects, painters, sculptors, traditional crafters, and creators — reflect our diversity of experience and weave community through shared experience.

We are cautiously optimistic about the long-awaited support for the revitalization of the New Brunswick Museum and eagerly await the museum’s new home. We also acknowledge the government’s investment of $5M in the film sector and urge them to deliver on their commitment to invest $20M in the film and media sector by 2025. 

Nonetheless, we are profoundly disappointed that the Government of New Brunswick did not seize this opportunity to acknowledge its own substantial efforts and commitment to advancing the Status of the Artist. This initiative is aimed at elevating the socio-economic status of artists through legislation that would formally recognize the indispensable role of our workforce. This collaborative endeavour has involved professional artists, arts and cultural organizations, as well as representatives from provincial government departments. Together, we are examining social protections and government programs to which artists do not have access due to the unique nature of their work.

We call on our leaders to invigorate a clear and robust strategy for the arts and culture sector We are at the ready to collaborate with the Government of New Brunswick on our shared commitment to the advancement of this province.

 1 David Campbell, Cultivating Our Cultural Workers, 2019, p.6.

About ArtsLink NB:

ArtsLink NB is a member-based arts service organization, founded in 2009 to advance the arts in New Brunswick by linking and unifying artists and arts organizations and promoting their value. We represent New Brunswick artists and arts organizations of all disciplines from across the province.


Julie Whitenect, Executive Director, ArtsLink NB


CATAPULT Applicant Info Session for 2023

Are you an artist needing help on how to be purposeful and organized about the business side of your practice? Artists need the work habits that would allow any entrepreneur or small business owner to succeed in their field. Over an 8-week period, CATAPULT participants receive training in fundamental entrepreneurial skills.

CATAPULT Applicant Info Session

Apply for the Fall 2023 session by September 4th!

Have questions about CATAPULT and/or the application process? Sign up for an online information session on Wednesday, August 16 @ 12pm via Zoom.

Can’t make the date? No problem, let us know by selecting the sign up button we will send you a copy of the session.

ArtsLink NB Hiring Summer Intern ☀️

ArtsLink NB seeks an energetic and enthusiastic candidate with a desire to work in the arts and culture sector. Applicants should have strong communication skills and be able to work independently on projects.

Image of three hands holding a lightbulb. The ArtsLink NB logo is on the bulb. Text reads: Join Our Team! We're hiring a summer intern. Apply now.

To be eligible, youth must:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment*;
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment**; and,
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations

Summer Intern

Tentative start date: between June 5th and July 3rd, 2023

Location: Office based in Saint John, remote work optional

Terms: 35 hrs a week; 8 weeks, $16/hr

This position will be responsible for: 

  • Social media activity, including daily updates to the website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as developing content for member communications
  • Producing and editing content as needed for print and other communications and marketing materials, including promotion materials. 
  • Assisting with the production of organizational documents, such as reports and proposals, and board and other stakeholder communications as required. 
  • Assist in developing and delivering networking events for artists and arts organizations.
  • General administrative tasks as required.

ArtsLink NB is an equal-opportunity employer.

If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to julie@artslinknb.com, by May 19, 2023. We thank all of those interested in the position; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

New Brunswick Eduarts Hub: Arts and Wellness

The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning is delighted to partner with ArtsLink NB on an Eduarts Hub that will be available both in-person at the Sanctuary Theatre in Saint John and virtually, on Wednesday, April 26, from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Learn from professionals working in the field of arts and wellness from both the artistic and therapeutic/medical sides. Share your experiences and join in the conversation. Refreshments will be provided.

Eduarts Hubs. ArtsLink and the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning invite you to a discussion on Arts and Wellness

Can’t make it in person?

Learn from artistic facilitators and support organizations providing wellbeing initiatives to schools and the community
Share your thoughts and experiences on wellbeing and the role of the arts in addressing 
Discover opportunities for artistic collaboration in a variety of settings throughout the community
Be Inspired by creative projects and opportunities for growth in New Brunswick and beyond

Event Schedule

4:00 pm – Welcome and opening remarks by the Canadian Network for Arts & Learning and ArtsLink NB
4:10 pm – Presentation by artist Deanna Musgrave
4:30 pm – Presentation by Chroma
4:50 pm – Networking with refreshments (opportunities to speak with arts therapist Patricia Harrity, representatives from VanGo! and NB Copes and others) 
5:10 pm – Roundtable discussions
6:00 pm – Wrap-up


Image of Deanna Musgrave

Deanna Musgrave is well-known for her work as an artist creating colourful mural-sized paintings across New Brunswick; however, she is also devoted to researching connections between art and healing. She completed her thesis titled “Connecting Crossmodal Interactions in Visual Music to create ‘Mindful’ Experiences” as part of her Master of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick. Through her part-time position as artist-teacher of CollectionARTNB’s “VanGo!” program, she visits schools across the province to share the art collection and leads students in workshops focused on what she terms “Mindful Guided Art.” She is certified in Hypnotherapy, Akashic Field Therapy™, Cognitive Energy Healing™ and holds a Reiki Masters, which she utilizes to assist clients and create art. She also has a monthly “Astrology for Creators” column in “The Artful Mind” Magazine, an arts publication in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, USA. She is currently completing a Counselling Skills Diploma from the Orca Institute in British Columbia, CA.

Chroma. Pride, inclusion, equality. Logo.

Chroma: Pride, Inclusion, Equality Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides support for 2SLGBTQIA+ people in the Saint John Region. Chroma commits to advocating for and collaborating with our community, as well as providing 2SLGBTQIA+ education to all. We promote positive initiatives for the community and conduct research to highlight gaps in services and policy to encourage positive change.

Mariah Darling They/He/She, Education Coordinator at Chroma NB
Born and raised in Saint John, Mariah received their Bachelor of Science from UNBSJ. A proudly Queer and Trans young professional with a background in medical research who is an analytical, collaborative, information-based thinker with knowledge and passion for issues facing the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.

Other Arts and Wellness Practitioners in Attendance

Patricia HarrityWorking as a creative arts therapist, Patricia’s practice is grounded a strong belief in creative processes as inherently therapeutic. Patricia’s clinical experience includes facilitating creative arts therapy with children between the ages of 4-13 at KV Psychology & Wellness Clinic, as well working alongside the NB Social Pediatrics Team to provide services to children in the uptown Saint John area. Prior to relocating to Saint John, she conducted therapy with children (4-8) in the Child Psychiatry Unit (Early Childhood Disorders Program) at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, and with children (6-12) attending after school programming at the community center Maison Saint Columba house. She has also facilitated community based group creative arts therapy with older adults with diverse/ varied abilities.

NB COPES: is a registered charity that provide creative and holistic supports for children, youth and families experiencing the loss of a close family member. Our team is led by licensed professionals who are specifically trained in grief support and creative approaches. Art therapy and music therapy form the foundation of our programs. We provide retreats, workshops and programs across the province.

VanGo!: is an exhibition of artworks in the New Brunswick Art Bank on tour to anglophone schools. A partnership of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, the exhibition helps to familiarize students with the language of the visual arts and with original works of art by professional New Brunswick artists.

Presented in partnership with ArtsLink NB.

ArtsLink NB is a member-based arts service organization, founded in 2009 to advance the arts in New Brunswick by linking and unifying artists and arts organizations and promoting their value. We represent New Brunswick artists of all disciplines from across the province.

The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the ArtsDigital Strategy Fund.

CATAPULT Program Launches Over 💯 Graduates

We had such a wonderful time on Sunday, April 2, 2023, at the CATAPULT Arts Accelerator Pitch Day for the Winter 2023 cohort! Thanks to everyone who joined us for the pitches, networking, community building, and snacks! This was the first time we’d held a pitch day in person since 2019.

Clockwise from top left: Jill McNair, Kelly Baker, Joëlle Martin, and Erin Goodine.

Arts Link NB is proud to have brought together an amazing group of supporters to celebrate CATAPULT artists as they embark on their career journeys with all the new skills they’ve learned in the CATAPULT Arts Accelerator.

Clockwise from top left: Helen Hillis, Melissa Kennedy, and Amber Carter. In the group photo, from left to right: Helen Hillis, Melissa Kennedy, Erin Goodine, Laura Boudreau, Kelly Baker, Jessica Dunphy, Jill McNair, Amber Carter, Joëlle Martin, and Jericho Knopp.

It also marked a major milestone for the CATAPULT, as we passed 100 graduates and there are now 103 alumni of the program!

Clockwise from top left: Mark Kleyn, (In the group photo, from left to right: Helen Hillis, Melissa Kennedy, Erin Goodine, Laura Boudreau, Kelly Baker, Jessica Dunphy, Jill McNair, Amber Carter, Joëlle Martin, and Jericho Knopp.) Laura Boudreau, and Jericho Knopp.

Here are some preview photos from Pitch Day that were taken by Tim Lingley.

Check out the work of our Winter 2023 Grads:

Kelly Baker
Melissa Kennedy
Amber Carter
Joëlle Martin
Erin Goodine
Jill McNair
Helen Hillis
Laura Boudreau

One 2 Ones: Taxes with Gary Belding 📈

It’s tax time! 😲

But no need to worry, ArtsLink NB is here to help!

Tax time is extremely daunting for artists. Our next One 2 One session on taxes will help you de-stress and file your taxes confidently with tax tips and advice. Bring your questions to this 50-minute one-on-one consultation with professional business, finance, and management consultant Gary Belding.

April 5-6, 11, 13. One 2 One. Taxes with Gary Belding

These One 2 One sessions will cover everything   you need to know about HST and income tax, what you can claim, what the difference is between sole proprietorship and incorporation, and what it means to register your business.

How to Register

Registration is now full. However, due to a cancellation there is one spot remaining on Thursday, April 13th, at 2pm. Email jessica@artslinknb.com to claim the spot.

About Gary Belding

Gary Belding graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1977. Gary has in excess of 40 years experience in both the private and public sectors, including management, business, and financial consulting as well as economic development encompassing business development and lending. 

Gary Belding

From June 1998 until his retirement in April 2011, Gary was the Manager of Business Financial Support with the provincial department of Business New Brunswick. Gary currently operates his own business, Belding Business Financing Solutions, raising capital for business start up and expansions. 

Since April 2012, Gary has published a number of articles in Risk & Business magazine. His business website is www.beldingsolutions.com Gary is a past director of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, River Front Development Steering Committee, Head Coach with Fredericton South Minor Baseball Association, and has championed a number of fundraising activities for the Fredericton Area United Way Campaign, Salvation Army Red

Shield Appeal, Sky is the Limit Snow Challenge, the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Chalmers Hospital Foundation. Gary is a past Area Governor and District Treasurer with District 45 Toastmasters and has achieved his Distinguished Toastmaster designation from Toastmasters International, the highest educational award. 

In his leisure time, Gary has been an actor in over 25 short and feature films along with being a production accountant and a film producer.

Film Industry Investment Omitted in 2023-24 Provincial Budget 

March 22, 2023 – Saint John, NB – On behalf of the ArtsLink NB membership, we wish to express our disappointment that further investment in the film industry was omitted from the 2023-24 budget presented on March 21, 2023.

Arts Link NB, the arts are vital to all New Brunswickers. Response to the 2023-24 provincial budget.

Last year’s budget increase of $2.5 million to support the film, television, and new media industries, was a step forward after many years of stagnation. However, the stated intention to increase the annual investment to $20 million by the year 2026 has not been upheld.

The film industry is an integral part of New Brunswick’s cultural fabric and contributes significantly to the economy. The industry provides jobs and stimulates economic growth while showcasing the unique culture and heritage of our province to audiences around the world. It is disheartening to see the provincial government not prioritize the clear value of this industry.

Other provinces across Canada have recognized the significance of the film industry and have implemented robust funding and tax credit programs. These programs have attracted major productions to their regions, creating jobs and economic opportunities for local communities. New Brunswick is missing out on these opportunities and risks falling further behind.

We urge the provincial government to respect its original commitment to the film industry and prioritize financial support and industry incentives in future budgets. Doing so will ensure that New Brunswick remains competitive and that this important sector can thrive once again.

About ArtsLink NB:

ArtsLink NB is a member-based arts service organization, founded in 2009 to advance the arts in New Brunswick by linking and unifying artists and arts organizations and promoting their value. We represent New Brunswick artists of all disciplines from across the province.

Press Contact:

Julie Whitenect, Executive Director, ArtsLink NB

ArtsLink NB Mentorship Pilot Program: Call for Applicants

ArtsLink NB is now accepting applications for our mentorship pilot program. Artists of all disciplines who live in Atlantic Canada face the unique challenge of pursuing their practice from a marginalized area of the country. Building networks through lifelong engagement in peer-to-peer and mentor-to-mentee discourse is vital to pursuing a career for any arts professional, but the need is especially high in New Brunswick. 

ArtsLink NB Mentorship Pilot Program. Professional experience, guidance, artistic practice, shared knowledge. Apply by March 31, 2023.

In response to this, ArtsLink NB is now launching an intensive 12-month mentorship pilot program that connects artists who wish to share their professional experience and guidance with other artists. This pilot program will build on the traditional mentorship model, with an open door to lateral and cross-disciplinary collaborations between mentor and mentee.

Each participant (mentee) will be paired with a mentor for a year-long mentorship. 10 artists will be selected for a mentorship with a mentor whose experience and knowledge can enhance that of the mentee. Mentorship candidates will be practicing arts professionals who aspire to gain knowledge and skills to expand their current practice. The mentor’s role is to advise on professional activities and guide the mentee in a career-building process through peer-to-peer dialogue. 

Application Criteria:

  • Successful candidates must be a member of ArtsLink whose primary residence is in New Brunswick. Mentors may reside anywhere in Canada. 
  • Artists at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must have the time over the next year to commit three to four hours a month to this mentorship.
  • Applicants must detail how a year-long mentorship would positively impact their practice.
  • Applicants do not need to have a mentor in mind, but are encouraged to make suggestions.

If Selected:

  • Each of the 10 mentees in the initial cohort will complete a pre-mentorship survey detailing their goals and expectations for the mentorship.
  • Based on each survey, potential mentors will be proposed by ArtsLink.
  • Mentors are contacted to determine their interest.
  • Available mentors are contracted by ArtsLink NB
  • Mentors receive remuneration of $1,500 to be disbursed in two installments to help ensure satisfactory performance throughout the program. 
  • An additional $500 is available as a discretionary fund for travel, materials, or to attend workshops together, etc. This will be paid by mentor or mentee upfront, and reimbursed upon submission of receipt.
  • Mentors and mentees will meet virtually or in person, for an average of 3 to 4 hours per month.
  •  At the 6-month mark, mentors and mentees will each complete a short report detailing the work they have done, whether they feel they are progressing to their stated goal; and comment on the success/challenges of the mentor-mentee relationship. 
  • At the conclusion of the 12-month period, a final report will be submitted by both mentor and mentee to gauge the success of the mentorship program. These reports will detail the progress made on the goals established at the outset.


  • Friday, March 17, 2023: Call out for participants announced
  • Friday, March 31, 2023: Deadline for application submission
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2023: Mentees will hear back on the status of their application
  • April 15, 2023: Mentorships begin, mentors are paid 1st installment
  • October 15, 2023: 6 month progress reports submitted (by both mentor and mentee), mentors are paid second installment
  • April 15, 2024: Mentorship ends, final reports and expense reports submitted

To Apply: