For Immediate Release: Feb. 15, 2017
Fredericton Business Community Launches Creative Sector Task Force
FREDERICTON, N.B. - The Fredericton business community and its local economic development organizations have their sights set on taking the creative sector’s economic impact to the next level. To that end, stakeholders have struck a new Creative Sector Task Force to better align efforts in growing the sector and promoting its impact in the region.
“With many popular festivals, an array of galleries, emerging artists, and a history of performing arts excellence, Fredericton has a reputation as a cultural centre. We want to both recognize the economic impact of the sector and encourage growth,” said Ryan Boyer, task force chair. “By viewing the sector through an economic lens and strategically coordinating stakeholders, we hope to more easily provide support and remove barriers to growth.”
The creative sector produced $670.5 million GDP in 2014 in New Brunswick, accounting for 2.3 per cent of the province’s total GDP while creating 9,688 jobs. The music industry alone in New Brunswick is responsible for 954 full-time equivalent jobs (in addition to 676 artists), $41.2 million in labour income, and $65.2 million in GDP.
“Arts and culture was identified as a high-value industry in Vision2020, Fredericton’s economic development plan,” added Larry Shaw, Ignite Fredericton CEO. “The community has been doing well in this sector, but this task force will formalize our efforts and will allow us to be laser-focused on identifying and removing barriers.”
The number of young people seeking to enter the sector is growing, presenting an opportunity to create jobs and retain more youth in the community both directly and indirectly. By invigorating the creative sector’s economic contribution to our city, the breadth and depth of Fredericton’s reputation as a choice place to build a career and be part of the community will continue to expand.
“We are continuing to see strong evidence that many young New Brunswickers are pursuing viable career opportunities throughout the creative sector. For example, in September 2017, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design experienced 18 per cent growth in student enrolment for studio training programs. Just as exciting, applications for September 2018 continue to increase by more than 10 per cent compared to this time last year. More of our graduates are now employed in New Brunswick’s creative sector than ever before working as artisans, business owners, and employees designing creative solutions to complex challenges faced by communities and businesses,” said Marc Braithwaite, College Director of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.
The task force was officially launched on Feb. 15, 2018, at Planet Hatch, New Brunswick’s premier collaboration centre and entrepreneurial hub. Speakers included:
· Larry Shaw, CEO, Ignite Fredericton, Planet Hatch, Knowledge Park
· Ryan Boyer, Chairperson, Creative Sector Task Force
· Kate Rogers, Deputy Mayor, City of Fredericton
· Zach Atkinson, Capital Complex General Manager; Shivering Songs Organizer
· Marc Braithwaite, College Director, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design
· Ignite Fredericton
· City of Fredericton
· Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
· New Brunswick College of Craft and Design
· University of New Brunswick
· Fredericton Playhouse
· Gallery 78
· Capital Complex
· Shivering Songs
· Goose Lane Editions
· The Black Arcs
About Ignite Fredericton
As the community’s economic development catalyst agency, Ignite Fredericton is focused on business growth and attraction, population growth (student retention, immigration, repatriation), and various strategic initiatives to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
About Creative Sector Taskforce
The Creative Sector Taskforce aims to act as a catalyst to support, strengthen and grow Fredericton’s creative sector, allowing it to reach its full potential and achieve economic results. The Creative Sector Taskforce is dedicated to positioning Fredericton as the destination of choice for creative enterprises, and to bring awareness to the sector's economic importance and impact.
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Ryan Boyer, Committee Chair
Tahlia Ferlatte, Ignite Fredericton