RELEASE: Year of the Arts Senior Artist Program grants announced

Mar 11, 2024


March 11, 2024  (St. John’s, NL) – ArtsNL has invested $200,000 in 10 artistic projects through the Year of the Arts Senior Artist Program. In collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation and Celebrate NL, ArtsNL received an additional $2M in 2023 as part of the Year of the Arts Initiative. This significant contribution enables ArtsNL to further its commitment to investing in the artists of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“This is a program the ArtsNL team was very passionate about piloting. It’s been a privilege to see firsthand how these artists spanned an entire career by starting with the very raw seed of an idea and sculpting it into art for the enjoyment of all,” said Executive Director of ArtsNL, Melanie Martin. “This program is about giving back to our senior artists and providing some economic relief so they can focus solely on their practice for the next two years.”

The successful applicants are:

Vessela Brakalova (Portugal Cove–St. Philip’s), Visual Arts $20,000
Barbara Doran (St. John’s), Film $20,000
Jerry Evans (Conne River), Visual Arts $20,000
Kenneth J. Harvey (St. John’s), Multidiscipline – Film/Writing $20,000
Edward Riche (St. John’s), Writing $20,000
Kelly Russell (St. John’s), Music $20,000
Wallace Ryan (St. John’s), Visual Arts $20,000
Hugh Scott (St. John’s), Music $20,000
Bernadine Stapleton (St. John’s), Theatre $20,000
Agnes Walsh (St. John’s), Writing $20,000

The Senior Artist Program has a $400,000 funding envelope and spans two fiscal years with $200,000 awarded in 2024 and again in 2025 to 10 senior artists. This program is for established professional artists (age 60+) who do not have full-time employment outside their artistic practice and have maintained an artistic practice for at least 25 years. These senior artists have made a significant contribution to the artistic landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador throughout their artistic journey, have an extensive body of work behind them, and a proven track record in their discipline, spanning decades. This one-time, multi-year program provides senior artists with financial stability and security to focus on their artistic practice over a two-year period without interruption.

Media Enquiries
Charlene Jackson
Communications Officer
(709) 726-2212 ext. 3

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (now known as ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; two community representatives (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual allocation of $5.2 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.



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