Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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A Message from the ArtsNL Chair, Mr. Stan Hill

ArtsNL has been the subject of conversation within the artistic community regarding decisions made related to “Year Two” grants earmarked for certain applicants who received a “Year One” grant from ArtsNL’s three-year cyclical program, the Sustaining Program for Professional Arts Organizations.

This program is designed with the intention of creating an opportunity for professional arts organizations to be able to access sustained grants and, as such, it has the most stringent eligibility requirements, and compliance and regulatory framework. These requirements are outlined in the program information available online and attached to the application forms: http://www.nlac.ca/grants/sppao.htm

This program, in “Year One” of its current cycle, provided grants to 20 professional arts organizations listed here: http://www.nlac.ca/news/grants_sppao.htm.

To receive “Year Two” and “Year Three” projected grants, approved professional arts organizations must submit detailed reports on an annual basis, using the same familiar process followed in “Year One”.

These reports must be accompanied by required support material, using the same online reporting system employed by Canada Council for the Arts, and most other arts funding organizations in Canada.

As deadlines neared, staff made regular contact with all relevant organizations to outline expectations, and provide courtesy deadline reminders. ArtsNL’s general practice has always been to offer every applicant any possible support prior to deadlines, and applicants are made aware there is no leeway to extend deadlines.

Each of the organizations whose “Year Two” reports were rejected had significant omissions with respect to required support material, or they had otherwise failed to satisfy the clear compliance regulations outlined for this publicly funded grant program. 

As a government entity ArtsNL is subject to audits from the Department of Finance and the Office of the Auditor General, and Council has no dispensation to relax deadlines or compliance regulations.

The grants previously earmarked for these organizations have not been returned to the provincial government. These funds must be held back from distribution until legal matters have been concluded.

All three organizations affected were notified that they were eligible to alternatively apply to the Annual Operating Program for Professional Arts Organizations, which provided them all with equal opportunity to continued access to ArtsNL funding in the event their applications were successful.

ArtsNL is aware of the concerns of the arts community and we are listening to comments relating to this issue. ArtsNL continues to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

- Stan Hill

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (now known as ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual grant of $1.9 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.