Libraries Inspire! Celebrating Canadian Library Month

Posted October 20th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

The Canadian Library Association has officially proclaimed October as Canadian Library Month, and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate Canada’s many wonderful libraries and the value they bring to our communities. Canada’s libraries are among the best in the world, with Edmonton’s own Public Library winning the prestigious Library of the Year award for 2014.

Academic libraries help provide students with the trusted resources they need for their studies. Public libraries help inspire the youth and adults who peruse the shelves. Professional libraries help professionals find the knowledge they need to assist their clients. The list goes on. And that’s not to mention the librarians, who guide us when we get overwhelmed.

But more than the knowledge found within the pages of the books on the shelves, libraries provide an endless list of services that contribute to the wellbeing of the community. Writing workshops, ESL programs, community and cultural events, tutoring and coaching, charity programs, and kids’ activities are all among the valuable services libraries offer to their patrons.

Libraries inspire, they spark a sense of wonder, and they help communities grow. I encourage you to pay a visit to your local library this month (and every month!) as we celebrate the lifelong learning that Canadian libraries support.

For more information about Canadian Library Month, visit

October is Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month

Culture Days 2014: A valuable contribution to communities across the nation

Posted September 22nd, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

Culture Days will be upon us again soon, and it’s a great time to celebrate some wonderful artistic and cultural activities across the country. 1.7 million Canadians participated in over 7,500 free activities nation-wide in 2013, and there’s more to come this year. Culture Days is taking place September 26, 27, and 28, 2014.

It’s no secret that culture and the arts contribute to more vibrant communities. Performance arts in Alberta alone provided $133.2 million in revenue to the economy in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. Arts and culture increase the quality of life in communities across the country, and it’s great to see movements like this making culture more accessible to Canadians.

Culture Days provides an opportunity for Canadians to engage in the arts  and culture in new and exciting ways. It fosters a fun, welcoming, and informative environment for artists, participants, and viewers alike. Help carve a totem pole, take some acting lessons, conduct an orchestra, or just observe as the streets fill with wonderful artistic projects over the weekend.

All the activities are free, open to the public, and encourage engagement in the arts. You can browse the entire list of activities here.

Culture Days

The arts is a thriving industry in Alberta

Posted April 9th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

Alberta BalletRevenues for performing arts in Alberta are up 40 per cent compared to eight years ago, according to an article by Todd Hirsch, the chief economist for ATB Financial.

According to Statistics Canada, this revenue amounted to $133.2 million in 2012. This demonstrates how arts organizations and businesses play a significant role in our economy by attracting and retaining talent from around the world and adding to the quality of life in our cities and communities. Continue Reading »

Winners Announced for Governor General Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Posted March 8th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

Canada Council for the Arts logo

Last Tuesday, the Canada Council for the Arts announced the winners of the 2014 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Created in 1999, the awards celebrate Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognize remarkable careers in the visual and media arts.

The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the winners of the 2014 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. This year’s winners are:

Congratulations to this year’s winners for their outstanding contributions to our art and culture scene.

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Statement in the Senate – Alice Munro Wins the Nobel Prize

Posted December 7th, 2013 in blog, Statement by Doug Black

Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Canadian author Alice Munro reaffirms Canada’s status as a literary nation full of wonderful authors and artists. Last month I had the honour of delivering a statement in the Senate about Ms. Munro’s tremendous achievement.  You can listen to my statement below.