2024 will be the 'Year of the Arts' as Furey promises new theatre in St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey announced Wednesday evening that 2024 will be a year of celebrating the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador, and started festivities early with the promise of a new theatre to be built in St. John's.
Speaking at The Rooms in St. John's, Furey said 2024 will be called the Year of The Arts, and will be a celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador's rich arts and culture sector and the 75th anniversary of the province joining Canada in 1949.
"It will be a big year. A celebration of our province's artists, writers, musicians, poets, playwrights and many, many more," Furey told a crowd of guests Wednesday. "Even beyond that, it will be about the protection, and the all-too- important stewardship of the arts throughout Newfoundland and Labrador."
The Year of the Arts will include investments in infrastructure, artistic creation and events across the province, a news release from the province said, along with one-time funding for artists to support new work ahead of 2024.
Furey announced the province will begin construction on a new mid-size theatre in St. John's as part of the Year of the Arts, which he says will "support and broaden the province's professional theatre landscape."
The news release didn't say when construction could begin, or give a dollar amount as to what the project will cost, but said more announcements will come in the months ahead.
"Legendary moments should have legacy monuments," Furey said. "My friends, your audiences are waiting...Lets make this Year of the Arts our master work."
Furey credited the work of Newfoundland and Labrador comedian Rick Mercer among others for their help in crafting the Year of the Arts. Mercer said the initiative is a great step forward for arts in the province.
"The arts community in Newfoundland and Labrador have long been such incredible ambassadors for the province," Mercer said.
"This mid-size theatre is desperately needed for producers who create new theatre. So it's just so important, and I'm just so proud, to be part of this announcement...Everyone knows we need this space."
The designation of 2024 as the Year of the Arts marks the second time in the last three years Furey has launched a year-long provincial campaign after he designated 2022 as Come Home Year.