NEW GLASGOW – Local artists, authors, musicians and more gathered in Glasgow Square on Wednesday to discuss forming a community arts council.
The Town of New Glasgow approached the province’s Communities, Culture and Heritage Department about potentially forming an umbrella organization for people involved in the arts in Pictou County and existing arts organizations to collaborate in the community.
“The municipality knew that there was artists and arts organizations in the community that wanted to come together to form what they do under one umbrella,” Susan Jeffries, community development officer, said. “We have community arts councils throughout Nova Scotia and this community is one community the currently doesn’t have a formalized community arts council. The interest is there from everybody in the room today, I think. There’s a lot of excitement over taking those next steps to making that happen.”
Carlton Munroe, program and events manager for New Glasgow, said the town wanted to see an arts council created regionally when they saw the number of artists working in isolation.
“It became quite apparent that an organization like a community arts council could really help bring those people together for cumulative events or to help promote themselves, to promote the county as an arts hub and as a networking vehicle,” Munroe said. “There seemed to be a lot of benefits to doing it and there’s certainly economic value when you look at it from the Town’s perspective.”
Jeffries said she was impressed with the number of people in the arts who came to the meeting, which was a preliminary gathering to see what the interest would be in starting up such an arts council in the county.
“I think for everybody it was definitely a highlight to know that maybe the person they’re sitting next to is doing something that is interesting and they may or may not have known that before, so that was really cool,” she said.
Munroe said all areas of Pictou County were well represented with about 30 artists and art promoters in the room.
“As we went around the room with everyone identifying themselves, it represented every corner of Pictou County and every artist discipline,” he said. “It was fantastic.”
Munroe added that even though the Town of New Glasgow took the steps to start an arts council, the town plans on making it a regional effort including people involved in the arts from all over Pictou County. He said the town will keep the community informed with updates on the formation of the council and when people can sign up to be members.