Message from the Chair (Annette Campbell - 2007)
"I am an Island
that dreams and
talks in its sleep and
is there any harm
in that I ask such
stuff as dreams
are made on?”
Elaine Harrison, from “I am an Island that Dreams”, 1974
When I assumed the role of Chair of the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts three years ago, I knew that the potential of the Island arts community was limited only by our dreams. The sheer quantity of talent that exists on Prince Edward Island provides inspiration to us all. That talent, nestled in the Island’s natural beauty, and nurtured by Island pride both at home and away, breeds a caliber of artistry and craftsmanship second to none. In my final year as Chair, I am proud to present the Council’s strategic plan for 2007-2010, a plan which recognizes the importance of the arts on Prince Edward Island and makes possible our dream of The Creative Isle.
When I say our dream, I mean that this strategic plan is more than the product of the hard work of the Board of Directors and the Council staff. This plan represents the collective voices of the arts community across Prince Edward Island. In a series of community consultations held in 2006, Island artists and arts supporters were asked to envision the future success of arts and culture on Prince Edward Island. Ours is a dream of an Island that resounds in creativity, and celebrates its identity through the arts. This strategic plan provides the direction, the goals, and the measures in the realization of this dream. In the past three years, the Council has made great strides in improving accountability and transparency as the provincial public arts funding body. We have revised our governance, and strengthened organizational practices. All of these internal measures were necessary in order to move forward to meet our greatest challenge, making the arts integral to the lives of all Prince Edward Islanders.
Our strategic plan is centred on the five priorities that emerged from the community consultations. The first priority for The Creative Isle is to bring together a united, cohesive arts community with an engaged, supportive public. Our plan will concentrate on community connections, and the strengthening of the arts in communities across Prince Edward Island. The Island is home to a myriad of arts groups, social networks, and organizations, large and small. It is time to work harder to bring these groups together. We need to support and develop collaborative efforts so that collectively, we can increase opportunities for Islanders to experience the arts and engage in existing and new activities.
Our second priority addresses a vision of prosperity and vitality for the professional arts community. Our plan will focus on the professional development of artists and will nurture a supportive environment for creativity, experimentation and innovation. In our dream, this type of environment recognizes the achievements of the arts, demonstrates the role that the arts and artists play in the rich tapestry of the Island, and provides opportunities for artists to build sustainable careers.
Our third priority looks to the future, and recognizes that the arts play a major role in the development of the next generation; those creative individuals who will one day be our leaders and innovators. Of course, ongoing involvement in the arts through education is a valuable experience for all, and the Council will not limit itself to working with youth; however, a lifelong awareness of the arts is best begun in childhood and there are many opportunities to work with educators, teachers, and parents to promote creative education.
Our dream is that the arts on Prince Edward Island will provide important avenues to interpret the world we live in and vital methods for self-expression and lifelong engagement. Arts organizations are the foundation of the Island’s arts and culture community and in our dream, their role is recognized and supported. These organizations face numerous challenges and continuously meet those challenges with vigor and determination. Their successes are a tribute to their inexhaustible commitment. Arts organizations form the Council’s fourth priority as we look to support them both directly with programs and services and indirectly through advocacy and networks.
Lastly, our dream is about partnerships. Our fifth priority seeks to facilitate the coordination of all arts and culture services offered in the province, both inside and outside of government. With resources in short supply, it is pertinent that a shared vision be developed and programs be coordinated to support the arts on Prince Edward Island in manner that befits the excellence in the sector.
This strategic plan represents the final step in a three-year reassessment of the Council, its role in the arts on Prince Edward Island, and a reengagement with the people of this province. We share a vision with
Islanders of an Island that is a model of strong community connections through the arts; of viable, sustainable careers in the arts; of an environment that values and advances the role of the arts in education, and of an infrastructure that provides adequate funding and support.
We look forward to working with you to achieve our dream for The Creative Isle.
Annette Campbell, Chairperson (2006)