A conference in Sydney this week is exploring how the creative sector can make Atlantic communities more sustainable.
Organizers of the conference say they want to encourage people with creative talents to collaborate with those in the business sector to create economic opportunities.
"We really want to bring our community together," said Lori Burke, the general manager of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. The centre is hosting the conference titled Growing a Creative Economy.
"By community, I mean our municipal leaders, our various levels of government, our artists, to talk about how we, through the creative economy, can create a more viable, creative, sustainable community for us all to live in."
Burke said more than 230 people from the Atlantic provinces are set to attend – more than four times as many delegates as initially expected.
Also in attendance will be Bill Strickland, the keynote speaker who founded the Manchester-Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA.
"The arts is available to everyone," he said. "So everyone can pick up a piece of clay, everybody can pick up a camera and take a picture. It’s inherently democratic and available, and you get extraordinary results."
Studies show the cultural sector contributes over a billion dollars a year to Nova Scotia's GDP.
Burke said she believes that number can grow.