February 4th, 2020

Arts and cultural spaces need support

Arts and cultural spaces need support

HALIFAX - The NDP Caucus will re-iterating the call for improved, stable funding for arts and culture organizations and spaces at the Community Services Committee hearing today. The Committee will hear from several witnesses who will speak about the ongoing loss of art spaces in the province.

“A variety of accessible art spaces is critical. Imagine what our communities could be if we had a diverse ecosystem of places to make and show art of all disciplines,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP Communities, Cultural, and Heritage Spokesperson. “While the government is investing in big projects like the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, smaller spaces for emerging and local artists continue to struggle to exist. Nova Scotia needs them all.”

Arts and cultural organizations have lost at least seven spaces since 2004 including 1588 Barrington St (known as the Khyber building) and the Theatre NS Living Room.

"We see a critical need for long-term, affordable space for emerging arts organizations in Halifax. Our project, The Turret Arts Space, will renovate the Khyber Building as a multipurpose arts facility but we need the Province to step up to fund community-driven arts infrastructure projects, said Emily Davidson, President of the Turret Art Space Society.

The NDP caucus introduced the Support for the Creative Economy Act in the fall legislative session which calls for one per cent of provincial expenditures be dedicated to arts and culture funding. This would amount to an increase of $18 million a year. By contrast, core funding for arts and culture organizations has been frozen every year of the McNeil’s Liberals government.


Art spaces lost over the last 15 years:

5663 Cornwallis Street, closed 2019

Theatre NS Living Room (Agricola St), closed 2018

Kamphyre (Almon St), closed 2018

Kazan Co-op's The Waiting Room, closed 2018

Plan B Merchants Coop, closed 2018

Manual Training Building studios, closed 2017

CBC Radio Building, closed 2016

The Turret/Khyber (Barrington St), closed 2014

Plutonium Playhouse (Hunter St), closed 2014

Roberts Street Social Centre, closed 2014

North Street Church (North St), closed 2013

Propeller Building studios, closed 2011

The Roy Building studios. Closed 2013

Bloomfield Centre, closed 2005

One Light Theatre's The Crib (Gottingen St), closed 2004