How is arts and culture supported in Saint John?

From PlanSJ documentation: Saint John is the oldest incorporated City in Canada and marks its 225th anniversary in 2010. This significant milestone is an opportunity for the “Original City” to celebrate its creativity, arts, culture and heritage.

Historic and cultural resources like the Imperial Theatre, Saint John Arts Centre and New Brunswick Museum are some of the City’s major assets.

Saint John has a wealth of distindive architecture and heritage buildings. The City began a program of historic building preservation in the late 1970s by creating the Preservation Review Board (now the Heritage Development Board) with a role to advise and approve changes to the exterior of buildings within heritage preservation areas.

In 1981, the Saint John Heritage Preservation Areas Bylaw was approved. Today, 770 properties are designated in heritage conservation areas such as Trinity Royal Preservation Area, Orange Street, Princess Street, Quinton Farmhouse, portions of Douglas Avenue and portions of King Street East and West, among others.

The new Provincial Heritage Conservation Act gives municipalities more flexibility to tailor bylaws to meet community interests. Future provincial heritage designations will be known as “Provincial Heritage Places” and will also include areas of archaeological and paleontological significance.

In spite of its rich built heritage, it is the people of Saint John that are the City’s strongest asset. Saint John has a strong culture of people who work in the arts, music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film and writing.

The Francophone community has a strong presence in Saint John due to enhanced community pride and development, as well as legislative requirements regarding bilingualism. The increased number of French immersion programs in Greater Saint John has fostered an appreciation of the Francophone community as an asset that will continue to shape Saint John’s cultural landscape.

The same can be said of other cultural communities. More than one in four people who are visible minorities (28.5%) in the Province call the Saint John Region home. The City of Saint John is becoming increasingly multicultural as multiple ethnic groups become more pronounced within the community.

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