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Local projects to benefit from new Culture Innovation Fund

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Today, June 4, government announced investment in 31 projects approved in 2017-18 under the $1.5 million Culture Innovation Fund.

“Each of these projects demonstrates the power of harnessing the arts, creativity and our culture to address complex social issues,” said Leo Glavine, minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “These projects show how artists, public institutions and community organizations can play a leadership role in leveraging creativity, arts and culture to develop and implement programs that help those in need, bring people together and promote inclusion. This, in turn, strengthens our communities and province.”

Among the recipients is the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) which is receiving $80,000, in partnership with Phoenix Youth Programs, for the Art Factory. This program uses art to provide positive, supported and safe classroom experiences for Phoenix’s clients and helps prepare them for other educational settings.

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“Our youth have many hidden talents and we have witnessed first-hand how freedom of expression and access to professional artists builds confidence and supports mental health,” said Christine Hall, director of community programs, Phoenix. “One of the participants in the Art Factory program last year enrolled at NSCAD. We are incredibly grateful that we can continue our partnership with NSCAD and encourage the creative growth of Phoenix youth.”

The Art Factory also provides training and employment opportunities for NSCAD students.

“Everyone who is part of the program; staff, facilitators and participants have something great to offer and something greater to gain,” said Leesa Hamilton, Art Factory co-founder and curriculum creator, NSCAD. “For many of our facilitators, they are developing a workshop and teaching for the first time, which can feel like a daunting task.

“We are all invested in making the experience the best it can be, and the combination of collective skill-sharing has resulted in a fun and supportive space where good art is made.”

The fund, announced in January, supports new and innovative culture initiatives that address social priorities and economic opportunities across the province. Applications are accepted year-round.

Creation of the fund was a priority action item in the province’s Culture Action Plan, launched in 2017. The plan includes a focus on the social impact and benefits of culture.

Receiving grants are:

Eastern Counties Regional Library, Guysborough, Open Public Library – $88,621

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, Antigonish, Relaxed Performances – $10,000

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, Antigonish, Theatre on the Town – $30,000