Keep Atlantic Canada creative

How long before our best and brightest authors, film professionals and musicians, and perhaps worse, those we have yet to discover, head west?
Thousands of people took to the streets outside Province House in Halifax on April 15, 2015 to protest cuts to the Nova Scotia film tax credit. Photo by Lenny Mullins

Our creative industries are crucial to a vibrant Atlantic Canada. Add your voice to the chorus of opposition to creative sector cuts

So far, 2015 has been an inspiring time for book lovers. Let’s look back shall we?

In March, thanks in part to vigorous public protest, Nova Scotia cancelled a proposal to add the provincial portion of the HST to book prices, which will help keep books affordable for readers of all incomes.

In May, I attended my first Atlantic Book Awards gala, and was awed by the crowd celebrating our books. Veteran and emerging authors chatted while everyone crowded around Bookmark II Bookstore’s tables discussing their favourite reads.

But wait there’s more! Away From Everywhere, the film based on Newfoundland author Chad Pelley’s novel, began filming in St. John’s and, as I write this, Word on the Street Halifax is preparing for its 20th festival.

Atlantic Canada is a hotbed of creative talent. From our authors and illustrators to our publishers who spread their stories. From our talented film crews who transform words into film to our musicians whose melodies punctuate the action.

If you follow the news in Nova Scotia, you know that the 2015 budget slashed funding to our creative industries. While the film industry has been most vocal, we’re all on high alert. Film professionals are looking to Toronto to sustain their livelihoods, which will mean fewer creative people living here and, let’s be frank, paying taxes and shopping locally. How long before our best and brightest authors and musicians, and perhaps worse, those we have yet to discover, do the same?

Our creative industries – books, music and film – are crucial to a vibrant Atlantic Canada. It’s time to add our voices to the chorus of opposition to creative sector cuts. Call your MLA, write a letter to the editor, or speak out on social media. Our voices establish our strength. When we lose our creative producers, we lose our culture.

Written By

Kim Hart Macneill is a journalist and magazine editor whose work has appeared in This Magazine, Canadian Business, and East Coast Living. She divides her time between Halifax and Moncton.

More from Kim Hart Macneill

Reader’s Corner: A lively novel sure to spark conversation

September’s Reader’s Corner comes from the Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville,...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *