Quality Block Party! April Dates and Details

The Quality Block Party is pleased to announce our upcoming festival centered in the Uptown Saint John! From Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th.

Venues include Jones Gallery, Boyd Pop Up Gallery, the Five and Dime, Taco Pica, Callahan’s, Peppers, Sanctuary, Rogue, and Backstreet Records (plus a secret venue and show just for pass holders!)

There are over 50 acts including Jon Claytor, Julie Doiron, Catriona Sturton, Jon McKiel, Dany Laj and the Looks, Falling Leaves, Papal Visit, Peter Parkers, Rozalind McPhail, Russell Louder, Robert T,  Jamie Comeau and the Crooked Teeth, T. Thomason, Dillon Ryan, Bonnett House, Jaguar Knight, Whoop Szo, Motherhood, Jane Blanchard, Platitudes, Stephen Hero, UDA, Lo Siento and many more!

Full festival passes are $40 and available for purchase from Backstreet Records, at 124 Germain Street. Any inquiries about accessibility, tickets, or volunteering can be sent to qualityblockparty@gmail.com.

Quality Block Party is now one year old! Our first event was programmed congruently with the 2017 ECMAs in Uptown Saint John. Since then the Block has grown and made many new friends. We have two annual flagship festivals, with the 2018 dates being April 27th-29th and August 9th-12th. Our mandate at the Quality Block Party is to promote and support artists in New Brunswick and beyond. We have brought NB artists to showcase in festivals such as Halifax Pop Explosion and Pop Montreal. We are committed to celebrating the strength of NB musicians,  and promoting safer spaces and community building.


engAGING Arts

New Horizons engAGING Arts Community Project Grand Finale

The Charlotte Street Arts Centre and Solo Chicken Productions, through the generous support of The Government of Canada, are pleased to announce the grand finale production of “The engAGING Arts & Community Project”. This multidisciplinary, arts-based project, which began in September 2017 has offered youth at George Street Middle School and seniors at Evelyn Grove Manor, the opportunity to explore themes of identity and belonging through artistic expression.

Youth and senior participants have taken workshops in poetry, theatre, movement and visual art and are currently working together to create a performance that incorporates elements from all the workshops.  This production features a multi-generational cast and incorporates poetry, movement, theatre and art.   The public are invited to see this joyous work on Tuesday April 17th at 6PM in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre Auditorium.  Admission is free.

For more information, please contact Eva George ArtReach Program Manager, Charlotte Street Arts Centre 506-454-6952

Updated NB Music Industry Investment Program

After months of industry surveys and consultations, Music•Musique NB (MNB) is ready to launch the reviewed Music Industry Development (MID) Investment Program. MNB has been administering the program on behalf of the provincial government since May  2017.

“Since transferring the Music Industry Development program from the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture last year, we are pleased to see the Music Industry Development Program gaining momentum under the guidance of Music NB,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Demonstrating incredible leadership, Music NB has further positioned the program to meet the needs of the province’s musicians and artists. On behalf of the province of New Brunswick, we thank you for your dedication to your craft and to New Brunswick’s music industry and look forward to the program’s continued success under the stewardship of your esteemed organization.”

“We wanted to ensure that the investment program stayed current and relevant,” says Jean Surette, Executive Director of MNB. “As we know, the music industry is in constant flux, and it is important for us to provide investment where the industry needs it most.” The new MID program now has six main components: Emerging Artist, Sound Recording, Live Performance, Showcase, Professional Development & Business Travel, and Marketing & Promotion. “Those components will ensure that our jurors can evaluate similar projects at the same time,” continues Surette. “Deadlines will also be implemented, allowing investments to be be allocated year-round.”

One of the most significant changes to the MID program will affect emerging artists. Artists who have never released a full-length recording can now access a maximum of $1,500 (previously $1,200), covering up to 75% (previously 50%) of eligible expenses for their projects. The Emerging Artist component allows for a variety of investment projects, including demo recording, video production, website design, and development of other tools & resources designed to enhance an artist’s career.

For more information about the Music Industry Development Investment Program, visitwww.musicnb.org/mid

Music•Musique NB is a provincial non-profit association working to develop, promote and celebrate New Brunswick’s music community.

New Brunswick Book Awards to be presented at June 8 ceremony

The Fiddlehead and the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick have announced the shortlisted titles for the third annual New Brunswick Book Awards. The winners will be announced at a celebration, honouring writing and illustration excellence, on Friday June 8, at the Lily Lake Pavilion in Saint John. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the awards presentation at 7 p.m.

The program celebrates books published in the 2017 calendar year and in four categories: poetry, fiction, non-fiction and children’s writing (picture books). The competition is open to traditionally published and self-published authors who have lived in the province for three of the last five years, including the award year.

A total of 36 total submissions were received for the awards. The book awards program represents a partnership between Canada’s oldest literary magazine, The Fiddlehead, which has nurtured New Brunswick’s literary culture for 70 years, and the Writers’ Federation, which for 30 years has passionately supported the development of home-grown writers at all stages of development.

The finalists are as follows:
The Mrs. Dunster’s Award for Fiction
Judge: Angie Abdou, author of five books of fiction, most recently In Case I Go
Peter J. Clair, Tobique, Taapoategl & Pallet: A Mi’Kmaq Journey of Loss and Survival
Publisher: Chapel Street Editions

Wayne Curtis, Fredericton, Homecoming: The Road Less Travelled
Publisher: Pottersfield Press

M.T. Dohaney, Fredericton, Caplin Scull: Chronicles from a Newfoundland Outpost
Publisher: Pottersfield Press
Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing
Judge: Sheree Fitch, one of Canada’s most beloved and celebrated children’s authors

Odette Barr, Petit-Cap, Colleen Landry, Moncton, and Beth Weatherbee, Baie Verte, Take off to Tantramar
Publisher: Chocolate River Publishing

Paul McAllister, Fredericton, New Song for Herman
Publisher: Herman’s Monster House Publishing
Alice Whitney, Fredericton, Henrietta’s Nightlight
Publisher: Chocolate River Publishing
The Fiddlehead Poetry Book Prize
Judge: Susan Gillis, author of three collections of poetry, including Swimming Among the Ruins

Wayne Clifford, Grand Manan, Flying the Truck
Publisher: New Brunswick Museum
Allan Cooper, Riverview, Everything We’ve Loved Comes Back to Find Us
Publisher: Gaspereau Press
Kathy Mac, Fredericton, Human Misunderstanding
Publisher: Roseway
Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction
Judge: Award-winning author, journalist and teacher Andrew Westoll
Rachel Bryant, Saint John, The Homing Place
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Tony Robinson-Smith, Fredericton, The Dragon Run: Two Canadians, Ten Bhutanese, One Stray Dog
Publisher: University of Alberta Press

Jan Wong, Fredericton, Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy and China
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions
 Last year’s winners were: The Mrs. Dunster’s Award for Fiction – Kerry-Lee Powell, Moncton, Willem De Kooning’s Paintbrush (HarperCollins)Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing –  Jennifer McGrath, Moncton, The Snow Knows (Nimbus);The Fiddlehead Poetry Book Prize – M. Travis Lane, Fredericton, The Witch of the Inner Wood (Goose Lane Editions); and, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction – Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon, Saint John, Shadow of Doubt (Goose Lane Editions).

Owens Art Gallery Welcomes Curator of Digital Engagement

The Owens Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Rachel Thornton will take on the the newly created role of Curator of Digital Engagement at the gallery. The position is fully funded by the Canada Council for the Arts under its new “Artistic Catalysts” program of support for public galleries and museums.

Thornton will curate the Owens’ program of digital engagement and interactivity, towards a complete reconsideration of the use and sharing of the museum’s recourses. This includes the information that is produced, collected and used, and the contributions of users themselves. The goal is to share resources and prioritize visitor experience and visitor contributions in innovative, inclusive and informed ways.

Originally from Carp, ON, Thornton received a Bachelor of Fines Arts degree at Mount Allison University in 2015 and is currently pursuing an MA Fine Arts with the Open College of the Arts. She has experience working at the Owens as the 2015/2016 Intern and has assisted with the gallery’s educational programs.

For further information please contact the Owens at owens@mta.ca or (506) 364-2574.

New Brunswick Museum accepts donation from Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation

The New Brunswick Museum thanks the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Inc. for the recent generous donation of $20,000. The funds will be used for the development of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Collection of Strathbutler Award Winners at the New Brunswick Museum as well as strategic initiatives relating to the promotion of contemporary New Brunswick visual art. This ongoing support by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Inc. is a strong confirmation of the New Brunswick Museum’s commitment to, and success with, our contemporary visual art programs.

The Strathbutler Award, currently valued at $25,000, is presented biennially by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Inc. in recognition of artists and craftspeople who have excelled in their fields, while also making a substantial contribution to the culture of our province. Each recipient, since the first award was presented in 1991, has been chosen by an independent jury of visual art professionals.

In 2000, Sheila Hugh Mackay made a significant donation of the work of the first five Strathbutler Award recipients to the New Brunswick Museum. The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Inc. continued that generosity and now the collection has representative examples of the work of twenty-three of the artists and craftspeople who have helped to define the province’s creative landscape over the past quarter century. In addition to being a legacy of objects, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Collection of Strathbutler Award Winners also documents a philanthropic gesture that is having a profound effect on contemporary New Brunswick art.

These new funds will also enable the New Brunswick Museum to initiate some new projects and improve some of the existing visual arts programs. Plans include the engaging of new voices in critical writing for exhibition catalogues, the sponsoring of short artist residencies or collaborations; and the support of research projects relating to the province’s visual arts.

For more information:
Caitlin Griffiths or Aristi Dsilva, Communications & Marketing, New Brunswick Museum
(506) 654-7059 or (506) 643-2358


Mathieu Chouinard and Marc-André Charron, artistic codirectors of Moncton-based physical theatre company Satellite Theatre, will join a delegation selected by Canada Arts Council to partake in the Market for African Performing Arts. The 10th edition of MAPA will be taking place from March 10th to March 17th 2018 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Africa’s most important arts market

Since 1993, MAPA has become one of the most important performing arts market in Africa. Over a span of eight days, 300 shows will be presented, in a variety of performing arts : music, theatre, dance, storytelling, comedy and street arts. Other activities will take place at the same time : professional meetings, networking, readings, days for young audiences, showcases and more.

For the first time, a theatre company from New-Brunswick will be part of these activities.

An amazing opportunity for networking and exchanges

Satellite Theatre will be promoting its work, notably the Zone Rouge project, created in coproduction with Association Ndam se na (Chad) and Atlas Film (Canada). Since 2013, Zone Rouge brought together six artists from both countries to create a unique show where live performance, multimedia documentary, direct exchange with the audience and workshops collide in one big, ambitious event. In 2017, these six artists spent two months in Chad, working with migrants from Gondjé refugee camp, near the centrafrican border.



Federal Budget 2018 – What About Artists?

The Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC) is surprised by Budget 2018’s oversight of artists. This budget focuses on women, Indigenous, and marginalized members of the Canadian society, which is commendable. Yet, if the goal was to highlight precarious workers, the federal government missed the opportunity to recognize the role that 650,000 cultural workers play in the Canadian economy. Based on the Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada, the average income of artists is 32% lower than other workers. The Coalition is encouraged by new funding to confront gender-based violence and harassment, but would have hoped to see it addressed in the arts and culture sector specifically.


The Canadian Arts Coalition is reassured to see support for Canada’s official languages, for Reconciliation, and for strengthening multiculturalism – these are values that we share. Notably, Budget 2018 considered intellectual property rights for Indigenous Peoples, but missed the opportunity to recognize the Artist’s Resale Right, which would significantly benefit Indigenous artists.


“Although Budget 2018 is marked by the absence of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s recommendations,” says Kate Cornell, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and Executive Director of the Canadian Dance Assembly. “We will continue to work with the federal government on issues such as anti-harassment, international market access, and access to the performing arts in Canadian communities.”

The Coalition acknowledges the government’s ongoing work on trade and cultural diplomacy referenced in Budget 2018, especially the upcoming Cultural Trade Mission to China. It’s evident that the government is making transformative enhancements to export programs to help Canadian businesses, including arts organizations. The Canadian Arts Coalition is deeply committed to discussions on opening new markets for creators and creative entrepreneurs. We were pleased to attend the recent China Canada Creative Industries luncheon and hope to hear more from the government of Canada on its efforts to open up new trade opportunities for the Canadian creators in Asia. The government’s negotiating of safeguards for culture in the CPTPP is a significant achievement, as noted in Budget 2018.

Lastly, the Canadian Arts Coalition was pleased to see ongoing support for the Canada Media Fund as part of the government’s Creative Canada strategy. Digital culture is a pivotal file moving forward. The Canadian Arts Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with Department of Canadian Heritage and Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development on reviewing the Copyright Act, the modernization of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, and the establishment of the Artist’s Resale Right in Canada.

About the CAC

The Canadian Arts Coalition is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organizations. We are united in the belief that the future of our citizens, their towns and cities, and the nation itself depends on a rich, vibrant and diverse arts and heritage community. Since its inception, the CAC has successfully advocated for increased support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

New Brunswick Artist Deanna Musgrave selected for the public art commission at the Carleton North High School

The Andrew & Laura McCain Art Gallery in collaboration with the Carleton North High School, the Town of Florenceville- Bristol and the NB Department of Heritage, Culture and Tourism, is pleased to announce a new public art commission by New Brunswick artist Deanna Musgrave to be installed at the Carleton North High School Library in August 2018. The finished art work, Portal (working title) will be two, 7-foot, circular acrylic paintings painted on aluminum. The two paintings will be placed back-to back within a large existing frame in front of plate glass windows in the library. The finished art work will be visible from the exterior as well as the interior.

The circular form of the paintings will activate the linear, architectural space of the library and act as a metaphor for the development of knowledge, highlighting that students learn not only in a linear fashion. The imagery for this commission will be a large sky-like cloud or nebula that simultaneously references the evolution of thought, consciousness and the storage of knowledge. Using multiple visual refences from art history including Romantic landscape and Dutch still life as well as abstract expressionism, graffiti and music.
The paintings will also be full of birds and fish to highlight the importance of the natural environment to the community In addition to creating the artwork, Musgrave will participate in an artist residency at the High school to engage with the community in developing her work. The community will be invited to donate a diversity of smaller objects that Musgrave will allow to sit in a mixture of water and pigment, leaving ghost-like imprints that will create the underpainting of the work. After the finished work is installed in August, she will return to the school to present her finished piece.

Deanna Musgrave’s studio practice is based in Saint John, New Brunswick. She paints large scale murals in public spaces that engage and connect the communities where they are installed. In 2017 she completed Nest which covers the entryway and ceiling of the pedway between Market Square and Saint John City Hall. In 2015 she painted a 56-foot long painting for the Hans Klohn Commons at the University of New Brunswick titled Cloud. Her art is represented by Buckland and Merrifield Gallery in Saint John and Ingrid Mueller Art and Concepts, Fredericton.


The Musée acadien de l’Université de Moncton (Acadian Museum) is offering a free, diversified and educational March Break program for youths!


There will be a multitude of activities offered during the week, from Tuesday March 6 to Friday March 9 from 10 am to 4 pm, including a drop-in craft and historical and image quizzes. In addition, on Thursday March 8 at 2 pm, the Museum will welcome a special guest: Nicole Poirier, French author and youth animator. She will read her book, “Le Doubas Show”, which will be followed with songs and a craft. This activity will be held in French. No registration is required to participate in any of these activities and they are all free! Donations to the museum are accepted. All activities are adaptable to a wide range of age groups.


There will be a notable activity on Friday March 9 from 9:30 am to 12 pm (noon): a multimedia creation workshop “A quilt Seen in a Different Light”. Participants aged 8 to 15 will get to choose a historical object from our collection and a shape then use them to create a video projection mapping with guidance from multidisciplinary artist, Angie Richard. Places are limited and registration is required for this workshop.