The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council has received a financial boost for its annual arts awards, thanks to local businesses.
Fortis Properties, MUN, and Cox and Palmer law offices have partnered with the arts council for the Hall of Honour, Arts in Education and Arts Achievement awards, respectively, while CBC has renewed a commitment when it comes to the award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
The arts council itself sponsors the awards for Artist of the Year and Patron of the Arts.
As a result of the multi-year partnerships, the cash prize attached to the awards will increase from $2,000 to $2,500, while each piece of artwork awarded to winners will double in value, from $500 to $1,000.
“I’m delighted to announce that over the life of the agreements we are announcing today, $100,000 in council resources will be freed up to be returned to support granting programs,” NLAC chairman Tom Gordon said at a news conference Tuesday morning.
The arts council, a non-profit Crown agency established in 1980, has a mandate to promote and foster art in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through funding from the province, the council provides grants to local artists in dance, film, music, theatre, visual art, writing and multidisciplinary categories, to support specific projects and educational activities.
“Each of our new partners has a natural affinity to the arts community, and these sponsorships give expression to that relationship,” Gordon said, adding the new partnerships are a result of an increased interest in the arts by the local business community.
“This initiative sought to tap the potential inherent in the affinity between business and the arts, and to exploit the fact that in Newfoundland and Labrador, no one can resist joining a great party,” he said.
This is the 28th year for the arts awards, which counts Figgy Duff, Gerry Squires and Andy Jones among its first recipients.
Nominations for this year’s awards closed Monday, and the awards will be presented during a gala event at the D. F. Cook Recital Hall at MUN May 18.