Skip to main content

Catching Up with Trevor Holder!

As the provincial minister for Wellness, Culture, Sport, Parks and Tourism in New Brunswick, Trevor Holder has his hands full. Recently the life-long resident of Saint John stopped just long enough to speak with Arts East about the state of the arts in his home province.

AE: Why do you think that your province enjoys such a strong arts community?
TH: New Brunswick has so many positive assets when it comes to our involvement in the arts. Not only do we have a privileged position within Canada as the only bilingual province in the country, but we also boast four universities, one of which is francophone, as well as the NB College of Craft and Design. We are also fortunate to have many nationally and internationally recognized arts institutions here, like the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Symphony New Brunswick, and acclaimed artists such as Measha Brueggergosman, Herménégilde Chiasson, Shirley Bear, Edith Butler, Antonine Maillet, and many more. I also have to commend the leadership of the Acadian community, especially in the cultural sector. In New Brunswick, we also recognize the importance of culture at the municipal level. Many New Brunswick cities have developed cultural policies and public art programs. Some municipalities have been named Canadian Cultural Capitals by the government of Canada - Caraquet in 2002 and 2009, Sackville in 2008, Fredericton in 2009, and Saint John in 2010.

AE: In your opinion, why is arts and culture important to the people of your province?
TH: Culture helps us define who we are as a people and permeates the daily lives of New Brunswickers. We take pride in our roots, natural environment, cultural heritage, diversity of contemporary cultures, and the creative work of our artists.

AE: What is your government doing to support and promote the arts?
TH: Along with maintaining our focus on current initiatives, our government is committed to developing new programs that encourage and support New Brunswick artists and musicians, including partnerships with public schools. We will also recognize the professional status of New Brunswick Artists, renew the provincial cultural policy, and put in place tax incentives for artists.
AE: What more can be done in this regard on a provincial level?
TH: We need to keep encouraging and supporting the arts and culture because they play a crucial role in our communities. We will be promoting careers in the arts as a viable career path and encouraging partnerships with community colleges and universities. Of course, we also need to support the continued development of strategic partnerships between the province, regions and municipalities.

AE: In your estimation, what more can be done in this regard on a regional level?
TH: Partnerships, initiatives and collaborations between arts organizations and institutions, industry and governments are very important, as well as export and training opportunities and tools for online training and education. We also need an augmented Atlantic profile for cultural tourism.

AE: Who are your favourite local and provincial artists?
TH: It’s hard to pick just a few, but some that I greatly admire are David Adams Richards, Flo Greig, Wayne Curtis, and Richard Flynn. I’ve also recently become familiar with the francophone group La Virée, and attend the Saint John Theatre Company’s performances on a regular basis. There is certainly no shortage of talent here in New Brunswick.

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…


Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…