Nova Scotia

4 to set up N.S. arts council

New Democrat MLA Pam Birdsall will head a committee to help set up an independent arts council in Nova Scotia.

New Democrat MLA Pam Birdsall will head a committee to help set up an independent arts council in Nova Scotia.

The council, to be called Arts Nova Scotia, will ultimately determine how artists are funded in the province.

Birdsall is a founding member of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council. She is currently ministerial assistant for the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Birdsall will be joined on the committee by:

  • Paul Caskey, artistic director of Live Art Dance Productions
  • Leah Hamilton, with Genesis Consulting, an arts consulting company
  • Christopher Shore, executive director of Theatre Nova Scotia

The last independent arts council was scrapped nine years ago.

The Progressive Conservative government at the time said the move would cut administrative costs so more money could go to artists.

Many artists said they feared that funding for controversial or non-mainstream projects would dry up if department staff made the funding decisions.

In February, the NDP government announced the return of an independent body.

Arts Nova Scotia is expected to be created this fall.

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