Newfoundland and Labrador is fortunate to have a wealth of artistic talent – be it visual arts, theatre, music, literary arts, dance, textile arts, and on and on it goes. Whatever the reason so many creative souls choose to put down roots, live and work here, we are all the stronger for it.
In addition to all of the skilled and hardworking artists who comprise it, a vibrant arts scene cannot exist without support, and here in this province, we have it in droves. This past spring, ArtsNL honoured those who’ve made an impact on the local arts scene, and contributed to the cultural life of Newfoundland and Labrador, during the 33rd ArtsNL Arts Awards at the Labrador West Arts and Culture Centre in Labrador City.
During the ceremony, ArtsNL also announced the latest recipient of the Patron of the Arts award, which recognizes an ongoing commitment to the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador through innovative, community, or sustained support of artistic activity. This year’s award (which consisted of a piece from visual artist Stefanie Smith) went to Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union (NLCU) – and after a peek at their sponsorship portfolio, it’s easy to see why.
Empowering local artists and arts organizations is one of NLCU’s top priorities, and they accomplish this in a number of ways. For instance, NLCU supports up-and-coming wordsmiths by sponsoring the biennial Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers (one of the country’s most lucrative prizes for unpublished writers), which provides financial support, recognition and professional editing services. They have also helped fund the Piper’s Frith Writer’s Retreat. NLCU has also encouraged and promoted youth access to the arts through sponsorship of the Tuckamore Festival’s Children’s Concert, as well as Kiwanis Music Festivals throughout the province. Other groups and events NLCU supports includes Opera on the Avalon, Stephenville Theatre Festival, Atlantic Light Theatre, Eastern Edge Gallery, The Singing Network and Queen Street Theatre, just to name a few.
“It’s a great honour for NLCU to receive the ArtsNL Patron of the Arts Award. We take pride in being a champion for the arts, both in local communities and on a provincial scale. The arts community has long fostered the creativity, passion and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador and their projects and initiatives speak directly to our corporate values of excellence, empowerment, education and social responsibility,” says Allison Chaytor-Loveys, NLCU CEO.
“We must continue to work together, the business community and the arts community, to ensure that the arts continues to play a significant role in the culture of this province.”
The arts, Chaytor-Loveys says, brings people together, which helps build stronger communities.
“NLCU’s roots run deep in the history of this province and the arts community is one of the best ways of incorporating that rich history into our vibrant culture,” she adds.
“Knowing that NLCU is a supporter of the arts instills a sense of pride in each of us because of where we work. For members of our credit union and the communities where they live, NLCU’s support for the arts communicates our values and helps construct our corporate identity.”