Additional funding for emerging artists

The provincial government is investing an additional $100,000 in the New Brunswick Arts Board to increase the funding to emerging artists.

This additional investment by the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture is designed to encourage emerging artists to explore and excel in various disciplines.

“The additional funding allocated to grant programs fits in with our ongoing efforts to support the economic competitiveness and the vitality of the arts and culture sector while showcasing the creativity of our artists,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Through our partnership with the New Brunswick Arts Board, we are convinced that this year’s additional investment will facilitate the emergence of our New Brunswick artists a little more and thereby contribute to our province’s vitality and economic diversity.”

The New Brunswick Arts Board is an independent body whose mandate is to facilitate and promote the creation of art and to manage funding programs for professional artists on behalf of the provincial government. It also provides advice to the minister on cultural policies and assumes a leadership role in the arts field in New Brunswick.

“The board of directors, executive director, and staff of the New Brunswick Arts Board and I are very pleased to accept this additional funding from the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and we are keen to see an increase in the number of talented artists who can participate in all our programs,” said Carol Collicutt, chair of the board. “With this generous addition to our 2018-19 budget, we will be able to provide more grants to help emerging artists with their infrastructure, equipment, and creation materials; and add to our Equinox Program for emerging indigenous artists. I thank the Government of New Brunswick for helping us reach our objective of allowing more emerging artists to develop their practice and make a strong contribution to the cultural fabric of New Brunswick.”

Emerging artists wishing to obtain more information or to submit a grant application can visit the artsnb website or call 506-444-4444 or 1-866-460-ARTS(2787).

“Bass”ic: It’s all about the Bass

The Saint John String Quartet is joined on stage by Symphony New Brunswick’s principal bass player, Andrew Miller in a concert featuring these SNB musicians as a String Quintet.

The lush sound of the string quartet is enhanced by the extra bass voice. The addition of the extra lower string adds exponentially to the sounds and to the overtones; the listener will hear each string voice individually and in concert with its relatives in this exciting program.


Recruitment and retention of managers and administrators are still big challenges for arts organizations

Mercer revises Compensation Survey finding – a somewhat better picture but the message is the same

In late April the 3rd edition of the National Compensation Study for Managerial and Administrative Positions in Not-for-Profit Arts Organizations, commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage, was released with a key finding that showed Average Wage Growth at -.1%. Very disturbing, especially given the many efforts made since the 2008 report to improve compensation for arts administrators and managers.

Mercer has since provided a revision to the report (particularly in Section 4.5) that relates to methodology. This has led to a change in the average yearly real wage increase which was originally calculated at minus .1%, and has been re-calculated at 6.7% since the previous study in 2008. An improvement and it’s encouraging to see trending in an upward direction but this is still not keeping up with the all industry average real wage growth of approximately 10% over the same time period. For organizations with operating budgets of $250,000 to $1,000,000 (representing 44% of the survey respondents), the real wage increase is calculated to be 3.9% over nine years (0.43% per year), well behind the all industry average real wage growth.

The revised report can be found here

Recruitment and retention of manager and administrators are still big challenges for arts organizations.

Richard Hornsby, chair of CHRC, says: “To have a healthy cultural sector, we need a strong infrastructure at its core. And that means we need to be competitive with other industry sectors in terms of compensation and benefits to be able to recruit and retain top quality managers and administrators. We’re not there yet. Arts administrators and managers still receive significantly less than their counterparts in other sectors. We must keep pressing on this issue.”


Symphony New Brunswick special offer “Dry Night Out” to those affected by the flood waters.

Basement flooded? Road washed out? Symphony New Brunswick reaches out with music.
Drop into the Playhouse or the Imperial, show us a picture of your water problem and pick up tickets to the symphony for $5!

Forget your troubles for an evening. Sit back, relax and enjoy the comfort of a great concert with Your Provincial Orchestra.

Tuesday, May 15 in Fredericton 19H30 at the Playhouse or Wednesday, May 16, 19H30 at the Imperial.


Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #2, piano solo Philip Thomson
Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
Mendelssohn: Symphony #4 (Italian)
Dvorak: Romance, violin solo, David Adams

Nel Oudemans Award

The Nel Oudemans Award, established in 2002, celebrates excellence in fine craft in memory of the extraordinary contribution of Nel Oudemans to Canadian applied arts.

This competition is open to all emerging artisans who have lived and practiced in New Brunswick for 5 years prior to application. The winner of the award will receive a cash prize of $2000 and becomes eligible for additional funding to to participate in the SOFA Chicago Educational Mission, sponsored by the Craft Alliance and ACOA through the International Business Development Agreement.

Nel Oudemans Award Applicationsmust be postmarked by May 15, 2018. An independent jury of arts professionals will evaluate all applications.

Please consult sheilahughmackay.cafor details.

Theatre New Brunswick Announce 50th Anniversary Season

t’s going to be a big season for Theatre New Brunswick. Today the company announced plans to stage new work by New Brunswick playwrights including world premiere productions by Mona’a Malik, Ryan Griffith, Kim Parkhill and Norm Foster; a partnership with Ship’s Company Theatre (Parrsboro, Nova Scotia); an epic holiday adventure for the whole family and a trip down the Yellow Brick Road – all as part of its 50th anniversary season.

“It is a rare and extraordinary thing for a theatre company in Canada to turn 50 years old,” said TNB Artistic Director Thomas Morgan Jones. “This milestone was made possible by generations of audiences and artists, as well as a city and province that has supported the live performing arts.  Theatre New Brunswick was created with a mission to provide all of the people of New Brunswick with the highest standard of professional theatre, and as the years have gone on it has deepened its commitment to the province through our Young Company and then our Theatre School.  That’s 50 years of theatre and education in our beautiful province!”

Any Given Moment

by Kim Parkhill | a co-production with Ship’s Company Theatre | World Premiere | September 2018

Open Space Theatre + provincial tour


Come Down From Up River

by Norm Foster | a world premiere production by The Foster Festival | November 2018

Fredericton Playhouse


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C. S. Lewis | December 2018

Fredericton Playhouse, Imperial Theatre (Saint John), théâtre l’Escaouette (Moncton)


Gretel & Hansel

Based on the Grimm Brother’s story | adapted by Thomas Morgan Jones | World Premiere

TNB Young Company


Sania The Destroyer

by Mona’a Malik | World Premiere | TNB Young Company


A Brief History of The Maritimes and Everywhere Else

by Ryan Griffith | World Premiere | March 2019

Open Space Theatre + provincial tour


The Wizard of Oz

Featuring students from TNB Theatre School | April 2019

The season begins in September with a world premiere production by New Brunswick-born actor and playwright Kim Parkhill. Inspired in part by the prevailing culture of fear that has come to occupy our day-to-day interactions through social media, Any Given Moment helps expose the differences and similarities that define us all. This play is a co-production with Ship’s Company Theatre and will run in Nova Scotia and tour NB before hitting the Open Space Theatre for a week of Fredericton performances.

In November, Norm Foster’s latest work, Come Down From Up River, will make its debut on the Fredericton Playhouse stage with a four performance run. Combining Foster’s razor sharp wit and his gift for crafting lovable, everyday characters, Come Down From Up River is the first world premiere from The Foster Festival to be part of a TNB season.

“Norm Foster began his career at TNB, and has gone on to be the most produced playwright in Canada,” said Jones. “He continues to be a beloved writer here at home in New Brunswick, too.  His last production at TNB was 2015’s On A First Name Basis and since that time we have all been eagerly awaiting his return…and what a return!  Not only is Come Down From Up River a world premiere production, but it is set in Saint John.  What better way to celebrate 50 years at TNB and our long history with Norm than with a hilarious and touching play hot off the press!”

For the holidays, audiences will experience a childhood adventure in Narnina with C. S. Lewis’ epic tale, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe takes to the Fredericton Playhouse stage, December 13 – 15.  TNB will pull out all the stops for this show. Expect elaborate sets and fantastical costumes as some of the country’s best theatre artists bring this story to life.

Ryan Griffith returns for a fourth year at TNB with his latest play, A Brief History of the Maritimes and Everywhere Else. This work, commissioned specifically for TNB’s 50th anniversary, combines Griffith’s love for New Brunswick and his fascination with the unknown with his proven ability to create engaging characters both mysterious and relatable. Guaranteed to be a great night at the theatre!

The season concludes with TNB Theatre School’s production of The Wizard of Oz. In keeping with tradition, this annual cap on the season combines the most experienced musical theatre students with an orchestra, a professional design team and the combined resources of both the Fredericton Playhouse and Theatre New Brunswick to create one of the most elaborate and visually stunning community productions of the whole year. What a great way to wrap up the season.

TNB Young Company

This exciting season also includes TNB Young Company’s 44th provincial tour bringing live theatre to schools across the province. This year’s tour will feature two world premieres developed specifically for TNB Young Company. Elementary school audiences will experience the play Gretel & Hansel, a Thomas Morgan Jones adaptation of the Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Middle and high school students will enjoy a world premiere by New Brunswick author and playwright, Mona’a Malik with her play Sania The Destroyer, all about growing up Muslim in Atlantic Canada.

Subscriptions On Sale Now

TNB Ultimate Subscription: $139 ($75 student) + HST

Any Given Moment, Come Down From Up River, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, A Brief History of The Maritimes and Everywhere Else, The Wizard of OZ, PLUS a special performance of both TNB Young Company Shows Gretel & Hansel and Sania The Destroyer.


TNB Playhouse Subscription $97 ($45 student) + HST

Come Down From Up River, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Wizard of OZ


Single tickets go on sale July 23.


Subscriptions and tickets for all Fredericton performances available at the Fredericton Playhouse Box Office.


Media: Interviews with the company can be arranged by contacting Matt Carter (Director of Communications and Development)

“Keys to the Hometown” welcomes home the intrepid NB virtuoso Philip Thomson

For its grand season finale, Symphony New Brunswick welcomes the triumphal return of Saint John native pianist Philip Thomson. From the sarcasm of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2 in F major, to the exuberance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4, this program encapsulates a vast range of emotions. The concert will also feature a delightful Romance for Violin and Strings by Dvorak as well as Mendelssohn’s beloved Hebrides Overture. This concert will be conducted by principal conductor Michael Newnham.


There is no doubt that Shostakovich was a quintessential Russian composer. One can hear influences from all the major Russian music figures in his work, from Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky to Rachmaninoff. However, in the concerto medium, particularly in this Piano Concerto No.2, Shostakovich tended to move as far away from the Russian models as he could. Compared to the Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky piano concertos, it seems unfathomable to think that Shostakovich’s concerto belongs to the same genre. Shostakovich’s piece is thin in orchestration, rarely using the full spectrum of sound that we often hear in his Symphonies. Shostakovich juxtaposes playfulness and glee with strident, jarringly dissonant sections, highlighting his affinity for dry humor and sarcasm in his music.


Philip Thomson will be the pianist featured in this atypical Russian concerto. Originally from Saint John, he studied piano at the University of Toronto and at the Juilliard School. Currently on the piano faculty of the School of Music at the University of Akron, he is renowned internationally as a pianist, a Naxos recording artist, and a researcher. Besides his coast-to-coast Canadian concertizing, Mr. Thomson has also performed in the United States, England, Ireland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and China.


Also on the program will be Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4, otherwise known as “Italian”.  It was written when Mendelssohn was only 21. After his parents encouraged him to see and learn from the wider world in order to become a well-rounded adult, Mendelssohn set out to “examine the various countries closely. He made the rounds of Venice, Rome, Naples and Milan. Whilst there, he composed this Symphony, and Mendelssohn wrote to his sister “It will be the jolliest piece I have ever done, especially the last movement”. It is an ebullient, joyous work, and is reflective of “the loveliest time of the year in Italy”.

This concert will be a wonderful way to end the season, with ample jubilant music to celebrate the arrival of summer.

“Keys to the Hometown” Concert details :

May 14 in Moncton at the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 pm

May 15 in Fredericton at the Playhouse at 7:30

May 16 in Saint John at the Imperial Theatre at 7:30

Pre-concert talks at 6:30

Concert tickets are available at the door or at the Box Offices in each city

Moncton, Capitol Theatre (506) 856-4379,

Fredericton, The Playhouse (506) 458-8344,

Saint John, Imperial Theatre (506) 647-4100, imperialtheatre.nb.

New Anti-Harassment Initiatives in the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage today announced $550,000 to be directed towards a wide range of undertakings to prevent harassment in the arts. The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) will play a lead role, coordinating this far-reaching series of anti-harassment initiatives in the live performing arts, visual arts and crafts, and literary arts.

Under the rubric “Respectful Workplaces in the Arts”, these initiatives will include holding consultations with equity-seeking communities across the country, developing training and information webinars, delivering discipline-specific workshops, compiling best practices on Board policies and processes and codes of conduct, conducting research on reporting mechanisms, and a broad communications campaign targeted at Canadian audiences and arts supporters.

“Recent events in the cultural sector across Canada have highlighted more than ever that a specific program of resources and training for professional artists, managers and cultural workers to promote safe and respectful workplaces is vital.” (Sara Meurling, PACT)  For the past few months, anglophone arts groups, with a strong push from the Canadian Arts Coalition, have joined their colleagues in the screen-based industries, and their Quebec counterparts, to combat harassment in the sector. A Coordinating Committee of leaders from national arts service organizations in the live performing arts, visual arts and crafts, and literary arts, along with representatives from official language minority and equity-seeking communities will join CHRC in overseeing the 2-year project.

Susan Annis, Executive Director of CHRC, sees the commitment of both government and artists/ arts organizations reflected in government funding and anti-harassment actions already underway across the country, as strong and definitive statements that harassment has no place in Canada’s cultural offerings.  She affirmed: “Respectful Workplaces in the Arts will ensure that artists and arts organizations across Canada have the tools, resources and training to prevent harassment of any kind, and build respectful workplaces as the norm in the cultural sector.”