Federal government hands money over to ECMA organizers
MEMBERTOU — Having just returned from a trip to Vancouver, Defence Minister Peter MacKay proudly relayed that of the 65 regional houses and pavilions at the 2010 Olympics, Atlantic Canada House ranks number three in popularity.
“ That was in large part because of the musical talent that was going to be on display during the Olympic Games,” he said.
And it’s that same renowned musical talent which will benefit from the $635,000 in funding to the East Coast Music Association announced Friday by MacKay at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. The money is being provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and the Department of Canadian Heritage.
MacKay said the funding will be used in various ways by the ECMA to build on the existing wealth of talent in the region.
“ The government of Canada recognizes the importance of the music sector to Atlantic Canada’s economy and the export potential of the region’s performers,” he said. “ That’s why we support initiatives like the ECMA that promote Atlantic Canada’s talented performers both at home and abroad.”
MacKay noted he was particularly happy to be making the announcement on the eve of the East Coast Music Awards, Festival and Conference, taking place in Sydney, March 4-7.
“Cape Breton is the perfect place to highlight the region’s vibrant music scene,” said MacKay. “I know the streets of Sydney will be alive with the sound of music from March 4-7.”
Su Hutchinson, executive director of the ECMA, was on hand for the announcement Friday and said the money will be put to good use, expanding the reach of the organization and the artists it represents.
“ECMA members are amongst the very best cultural ambassadors for the Atlantic region and Canada, and with this multi-event support, ECMA will be able to serve, promote and support their essential talent,” she said.
Hutchinson noted the March 7 ECMA awards gala will be seen around the world, in a first-of-its-kind web broadcast of the event.