Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

January 21, 2008 14:30 ET

Canadian Heritage: Fredericton Designated 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2008) - On behalf of the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, Mike Allen, Member of Parliament (Tobique-Mactaquac), today celebrated with Brad Woodside, Mayor of Fredericton, the city's designation as a 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada.

"The City of Fredericton recognizes the role arts and culture play in improving citizens' quality of life and economic development," said Minister Verner. "By establishing strong links with cultural organizations through its proposed activities, Fredericton will foster artistic excellence, innovation, and accessibility to arts and culture."

"I am very pleased Fredericton is receiving this prestigious award, which confirms the importance of arts and culture," said Mr. Allen. "The Government of Canada is proud to support cities such as Fredericton that focus on cultural and artistic vitality to improve the quality of life in their municipality."

"We are thrilled about Fredericton being designated a Cultural Capital of Canada!" said Fredericton's Mayor, Brad Woodside. "We have planned a very exciting year of cultural and heritage projects for 2009. We are eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work with our arts, culture, and heritage partners to make these projects happen. 2009 is going to be a very special year of celebrating Fredericton's heritage and culture."

The Cultural Capital of Canada designation is awarded for merit, as determined by the quality of a proposed project and earlier achievements by the candidate community that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture.

An independent advisory committee evaluated the candidate communities and made its recommendations to Minister Verner. The committee was composed of experts in the field of arts and culture and the mayors of the Cultural Capitals of Canada for 2007.

Funding is provided to support special projects that celebrate the arts and culture. Amounts vary according to the size of the municipality.

Municipalities with a population under 50 000, like Fredericton, may be awarded up to $500,000. With this funding, Fredericton will be able to launch the Exposing Our Culture project, which proposes a diverse program that brings together music, theatre, film, and visual arts.

The other Cultural Capitals for 2009 are Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, in the greater than 125 000 population category; Coquitlam, British Columbia, in the between 50 000 and 125 000 population category; and Caraquet, New Brunswick, and Whistler, British Columbia, in the under 50 000 population category.

For more information on the projects proposed by the 2009 Cultural Capitals, the funding they will obtain, and the other municipalities that applied, please see the attached backgrounder.

The names of previous Cultural Capitals are posted on the Department of Canadian Heritage website at www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ccc/index_e.cfm

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)


BACKGROUNDER

2009 CULTURAL CAPITALS

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

Category: population over 125 000

Maximum contribution: $2,000,000

On the occasion of its 375th anniversary, Trois-Rivieres is planning an ambitious program that includes a number of celebrations and cultural activities. In line with the City's cultural policy, the project, "Trois-Rivieres, ville d'histoire et de culture: 1634-2009" (Trois-Rivieres, City of History and Culture, 1634-2009), recognizes the role that culture plays in affirming identity and the quality of life of citizens, as well as in the economic development of thismunicipality. The project also maintains that access to culture is a basic right of the city's residents. The proposed programming will foster increased resident participation through activities such as neighbourhood celebrations, a commemorative performance, and the Acces scene et musee (Access to Stage and Museum) project, which will involve a host of professional and emerging artists. Finally, the project will help to build partnerships with target groups, such as First Nations and cultural communities, in keeping with the municipality's aim of promoting cultural inclusiveness.


Coquitlam, British Columbia

Category: population between 50 000 and 125 000

Maximum contribution: $750,000

Maintaining a long tradition of cooperation with cultural organizations, the City of Coquitlam proposed a project developed through community participation. The City has developed close ties with arts and cultural organizations and is distinguished by the support and recognition that it gives to its Francophone heritage and its diverse cultural communities. The Intercultural Celebrations: Past, Present and Future project makes use of public consultations and a partnership with the local First Nation. This project is a perfect example of the role that a municipality can play in stimulating cultural development and a feeling of belonging among all residents.

Coquitlam recognizes the important contribution of culture to community identity, quality of life, and economic development. Its cultural strategy supports community cultural groups, while integrating culture into municipal planning and development of the community, the economy, and tourism. As a Cultural Capital, Coquitlam will be able to achieve its goals: to plan and develop a vibrant culture in its community, to strengthen its partnerships with cultural groups, and to re-establish its role as a centre of cultural activity.


Whistler, British Columbia

Category: population under 50 000

Maximum contribution: $500,000

Whistler is planning a project that shows its commitment to culture and supports a wide range of arts and cultural activities. While involving First Nations, the Francophone community, and young residents, the project will also encourage professional artists, budding creators, and members of the public to participate in the scheduled celebrations, workshops, and activities.

Both ambitious and original, its project, Celebration 2020: A Natural Step Towards Cultural Sustainability, benefits from the staunch support of many parties. It is also important to highlight the integration of ecology and the environment in the project, as well as the use of non-traditional sites to hold festivals. By integrating a number of activities already in place, Whistler is providing a legacy that will benefit the community by encouraging development of the arts and culture, intercultural awareness, participation of artists with disabilities, lasting ties, and growth in tourism.


Fredericton, New Brunswick

Category: population under 50 000

Maximum contribution: $500,000

Fredericton's cultural policy highlights the city's three founding cultures and recognizes the role played by culture in affirming community identity, social cohesion, and economic development. In line with this policy, Fredericton is planning a wide variety of programming with no fewer than 16 different activities. Its project, Exposing Our Culture, makes use of the community's historical features and artistic traditions and calls for the participation of various cultural partners. The public art and artists-in-residence programs and the celebratory activities will promote a greater presence for art in public areas and increased participation of residents. The proposal gives particular attention to young people, First Nations people, and Francophones.

Fredericton's project will create a lasting legacy by fostering the community's cultural growth and involving cultural groups. It will also encourage the participation of Francophones and First Nations people in promoting valuable exchanges.


Caraquet, New Brunswick

Category: population under 50 000

Maximum contribution: $500,000

The Town of Caraquet's proposal is ambitious and proposes activities to attract a large audience drawn from many of the communities on the Acadian Peninsula. While stressing its Acadian heritage, Caraquet will support various forms of art, including poetry, performing and visual arts, film, and theatre. Its project, "Caraquet, ville lumiere 2009" (Caraquet, 2009 City of Light), demonstrates an impressive commitment to culture and growing financial support for the arts and cultural sector-support far above the per-resident average for communities in this category.

Caraquet has made great efforts to develop and implement policies that link economic growth and cultural tourism. These projects are a source of pride for the community and contribute to its vitality. This is the second time that Caraquet has been designated a Cultural Capital; the first was in 2003.


BACKGROUNDER

Candidate Communities for Cultural Capitals of Canada 2009


Over 125 000 population

Kitchener, Ontario

Saguenay, Quebec

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec


50 000 to 125 000 population

Coquitlam, British Columbia

Guelph, Ontario

Lethbridge, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta

Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec


Under 50 000 population

Caraquet, New Brunswick

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Victoria County, Nova Scotia

Whistler, British Columbia

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Status of Women and Official Languages
    Dominic Gosselin
    Press Secretary
    819-997-7788
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101