Annual Report 2019 Highlights

A guest stops to admire the artwork of Vessela Brakalova at St. John’s International Airport.

At Business & Arts NL, our mission has always been to foster a mutually beneficial, long term relationship between the business and arts communities throughout our province. Our newly released Annual Report highlights the strides we’ve taken to make this happen. Both of these sectors have so much to offer each other and when they unite to support one another, great things can happen. A rising tide does indeed lift all boats.

Some numbers of note from the past year include:

  • $119,920 – Amount delivered in support of artists (including training, pro bono assistance, in-kind support, and cash).
  • $60,400 – Value of support given as part of our ArtSupport NL program.
  • 10 – Number of organizations that participated in the ArtSupport NL program.
  • $38,620 – Total paid to artists through our brokering service.
  • $18,800 – Total value of contribution through our Business Volunteers for the Arts program.
  • $2,100 – Total value of volunteer time given through our Business Workshops for Artists series.
  • 41 – Number of articles we published on partnerships between businesses and artists in this province.
  • 6 – We launched our sixth #ComePlayWithMeNL public piano (this year saw three launches of pianos sponsored by Coast 101.1, Clayton Hospitality, and Memorial University).
Representatives from local arts groups attended the kick-off of ArtSupport NL at Rocket Bakery last March.

When we have a vibrant and flourishing arts community, everyone benefits. Our ArtSupport NL program saw lead staff and board representatives from 10 arts organizations attend a fundraising bootcamp in March 2018. Since then, participants have been working with a professional development consultant from RBR Development Associates (Halifax/Toronto) to help enhance their fundraising processes.

“ArtSupport NL is our most ambitious capacity-building program to date. Thanks to support from Canadian Heritage and the Government of Newfoundland, we were able to give 10 nonprofit organizations professional support building their fundraising portfolios for the entire year. ArtSupport will continue into the spring, and these groups will be capitalizing on this learning for a long time to come,” says Amy Henderson, Executive Director of Business & Arts NL.

Through our Business Volunteers for the Arts program, artists availed of 60 hours of help (worth $9,200) from volunteers who did everything from read over contracts to help formulate budgets. The program has also helped grow professional and creative connections between the artists and volunteers.

“I believe that the program is not just about the one-time help, it’s about the after effect for both parties and how they can take this learning and apply it to their own businesses,” says Jane Furneaux, Program Coordinator.

Our Business Workshops for Artists series delivered three sessions focused on the legal and financial side of running an arts-based business, and featured $2,100 worth of pro bono services from the business community. The series, Furneaux adds, “is a great way for people who may have similar questions to get together and learn, and provides a way for artists to connect with each other and to use these connections in the future when new questions may arise.”

From upper left: Newdock piano at Atlantic Place (artist Sarah O’Rourke-Whelan); Jud Haynes artwork to accompany the MUN Piano at the Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus; Comfort Inn (Clayton Hospitality) Piano at the Health Sciences Centre (artist Louise Markus); Jag Piano at the St. John’s International Airport (artist Cara Kansala); Coast 101.1 Piano at the MUN UC Food Court (artist Mark Benson); and the Humber Motors Piano at the Deer Lake Airport (artist Jackie Alcock).

Things like our #ComePlayWithMeNL Public Piano Program and brokering service have helped build and strengthen relationships between the business and arts sectors, while adding to the vibrancy of our communities.

“Helping support the St. John’s International Airport’s work to source and install the gorgeous digital murals by Vessela Brakalova was one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on in this job so far,” Henderson says.

“In our first meeting with the team at YYT, we saw the architect’s drawings with big blank rectangles in the wall and now we see a beautiful, modern, one-of-a-kind seascape by one of our province’s most established artists when we come through that corridor.”

With the help of our 43 business members, 109 arts members and 18-member Board of Directors, we look forward to continuing to strengthen ties between the business and arts communities, contributing to a colourful, lively and innovative province.

“It’s encouraging and inspiring how the insight divide is closing between the business and arts communities. More and more, each appreciates the potential and important role in the mutual success/growth/health equation. Entrepreneurs ‘get it’ on how valuable our creative sector is for all of us, in every way. Artists appreciate the vital need for a prospering business environment,” says Pete Soucy, Director of Collaborations.

“The more enlightened each perspective, the easier the conversation, and the stronger the grasp of our interdependence. Reciprocal respect leads to more collaboration, and that’s when true quantum leaps can result. It’s powerful.”

To read the complete Annual Report, click here.