Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Real Feather in Our Cap

Nanaimo Designated a Cultural
Capital of
Canada for 2008

NANAIMO, British Columbia, June 25, 2007 - On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, Dr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Alberni, today announced that the municipality of Nanaimo has been designated the 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada in the 50 000 to 125 000 population category.

"Nanaimo recognizes that arts and culture are important to making a community stronger by contributing to the economy and quality of life of its citizens," said Minister Oda. "Thanks to programming created through a dynamic partnership between the city's diverse cultural communities, the First Nations, and artists, in 2008, Nanaimo will offer both citizens and visitors a year of cultural discovery, particularly through such events as exhibitions about the region's industrial history and the Multicultural Arts Festival."

"I'm delighted that Nanaimo has received this prestigious award, which recognizes that arts and culture have a very special place in this beautiful part of our country," said Dr. Lunney. "Canada's New Government is proud to support communities like Nanaimo, which have a vibrant cultural scene where the arts and culture invigorate the economy and enrich their citizens' quality of life."

"On behalf of the people of Nanaimo, in the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nations people, it is a great honour for me to accept the designation of Cultural Capital of Canada for 2008," said Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan. "As a Cultural Capital, Nanaimo has a wonderful opportunity to Live Our Culture by celebrating our cultural diversity and showcasing our energetic, creative, and artistic people."

The Cultural Capital of Canada designation is awarded for merit, which is determined by the quality of a candidate community's proposed project as well as earlier achievements of that community which demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture.

An independent advisory committee of experts in the field of arts and culture reviewed the applications and presented Minister Oda with unanimous recommendations on the communities chosen.

The funding provided helps support special projects celebrating the arts and culture and the amount varies according to the size of the municipality. With a population of between 50 000 and 125 000, Nanaimo may be awarded up to $750,000. The funds will be used to produce, among other activities, a series of concerts, workshops and contests that will showcase and celebrate Nanaimo's rich musical heritage.


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