Maine signs agreement on cultural initiatives with New Brunswick

By Ramona du Houx- July 12th, 2010 ·

 During the 34th Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers being held in Lenox, Massachusetts on July 12-13, 2010 Governor John E. Baldacci signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham to establish a Maine-New Brunswick Cultural Initiative.

The Premier and Maine Governor established a strong relationship when they first agreed to share educational opportunities accross boarders, when Graham was first elected.

Specifically, the MOU recognizes the strong and deep historical, cultural and artistic ties between Maine and New Brunswick. The agreement calls for further exploration of collaborative cross-border cultural projects, as well as business and cultural trade opportunities. Among the specific projects that the Cultural Initiative will provide support to is the upcoming 2014 World Acadian Congress. That event will be held in an area encompassing northern Maine, Témiscouata, Quebec and northwestern New Brunswick.

“Maine’s ties with our friends in New Brunswick are strong. I am pleased that in the past few years we have expanded our partnerships, especially in the areas of education, energy and the economy,” said Governor Baldacci. “The agreement we sign today builds on these ties and will enhance our creative economies.”

“This initiative builds on the long tradition of friendship New Brunswickers have enjoyed with the people of Maine,” said Premier Graham. “We look forward to sharing the rich culture of our communities and artists with our neighbors and identifying new opportunities for cooperation in the promotion of arts and culture.”

As part of the agreement, Maine and New Brunswick will each appoint one person to serve as the point of contact for the tasks outlined in the MOU. Governor Baldacci has appointed Donna McNeil, the Director of the Maine Arts Commission, to fill this role for the State. The points of contact will report back to both governments by Dec. 1, 2010, to provide initial assessment of priorities after collecting input from cultural industry stakeholders.