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Saint John Designated One of the 2010 Cultural Capitals of Canada

26-Aug-2009

The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, accompanied by Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament (Saint John), and His Worship Ivan Court, Mayor of Saint John, today announced that the municipality of Saint John, New Brunswick, has been designated a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010.

"Culture has a way of bringing us together. It also allows us to express who we are and what makes us truly unique," said Minister Moore. "Congratulations to the people of Saint John on taking pride in their local culture and heritage and on putting the best of their city forward for all Canadians to see."

"This recognition will provide a great boost to the people of Saint John, who will celebrate the city's 225th anniversary in 2010," said Mr. Weston. "The designation will surely encourage new partnering opportunities and generate economic benefits for Saint John and its surrounding area."

"The City of Saint John is proud of the work, led largely by community volunteers, to promote and celebrate our local arts, culture, and heritage," said Mr. Court. "We are pleased to be designated a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010 in Canada's Original City."

The Cultural Capital of Canada designation is awarded for merit, as determined by the quality of a proposed project and earlier achievements by the candidate community that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture. An independent advisory committee evaluates the candidate communities and makes its recommendations to the Minister. Funding is provided to support special projects that celebrate the arts and culture. Amounts vary according to the size of the municipality. Municipalities with a population between 50 000 and 125 000, such as Saint John, may receive up to $750,000.

With this funding, the city will launch Saint John 225: The Original City / La ville originale, a year-long program of events that celebrates the creativity, culture, and heritage of the Saint John region. Saint John 225 begins on January 1, 2010.

Saguenay, Quebec, was also designated a 2010 Cultural Capital of Canada (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ccc/index-eng.cfm) earlier this week. Another cultural capital will be unveiled shortly.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.


BACKGROUNDER

2010 CULTURAL CAPITALS


Saint John, New Brunswick

Category 2: population between 50 000 and 125 000

Maximum contribution: $750,000


Highlights of Saint John, New Brunswick's, proposed projects:


- Passage in Time: Art in the Public Space - commissioning of four signature pieces to commemorate Saint John's 225th anniversary on sites of historical significance.


- Where's Art - Celebrating the Unexpected - performances and artistic displays in non-traditional spaces to promote upcoming activities and events of local arts and cultural groups; creation of a mascot to be used on promotional and marketing material.


- Celebration 225: The People, Places and Events that Shaped Saint John - a series of festivities to begin May 18, 2010.


- First Nations Cultural Celebration - in partnership with Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik communities, this event will honour First Nations contributions to New Brunswick. It will include demonstrations of traditional ways of life, traditional storytelling, and displays and performances by contemporary First Nations artists.


- Reunion 2010 - gala performance by professional artists originally from the region who have achieved national and international acclaim; they will perform alongside emerging local artists and performers.


- Arts on the Edge - master classes for emerging artists and performers, and apprenticeships for directors, producers, and "back of house" administrators with a local master in the production of an exhibit or performance.


- Learning on the Edge - multimedia educational program that consists of digitized filming of each master class and apprenticeship to form the foundation of a digital library and Web-based resource centre that will be made available to community groups, schools, individual artists, performers, and educators.


- The Original City/La ville originale Website - creation of a new website to promote Saint John's arts, culture, and heritage through the use of new technologies and digital media to inform and interact with Saint John residents.


- World Speakers' Series - speakers' series to feature three nationally or internationally renowned experts.


- The Original City/La ville originale e-zine - a new online publication to report on regional events and developments, as well as international trends and significant events.


- Arts Groups, Businesses and the City: The ABCs of Cultural Development - a series of workshops or other events to ensure ongoing interaction among arts groups and non-profit organizations, the private sector and city staff.


For more information on the Cultural Capitals of Canada's selection criteria and previous years' winners, consult the Department of Canadian Heritage website at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pgm/ccc/index-eng.cfm.

For more information, please contact

Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
819-997-7788


or


Canadian Heritage
Media Relations
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155