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Arts Council Act

BILL NO. 82

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
56 Elizabeth II, 2007



Private Member's Bill



Arts Council Act



Michele Raymond
Halifax Atlantic



First Reading: December 6, 2007

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act to Recognize the Central Role
of the Arts in Nova Scotia by
Re-establishing an Arms-length Arts Council

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Arts Council Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "arts" includes theatre, music, dance, literature, visual arts, crafts, film, electronic media and other similar creative and interpretive activities, and combinations of them;

(b) "by-law" means a resolution of the Council designated by the Council as a by-law and passed by a majority of at least two thirds of the members of the Council;

(c) "Council" means the Nova Scotia Arts Council - Conseil des arts de la Nouvelle-Écosse established by this Act;

(d) "Endowment Fund" means the Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund established pursuant to this Act;

(e) "member" means a member of the Council;

(f) "Minister" means the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage;

(g) "Nominating Committee" means the Nominating Committee of the Council.

3 The Minister has the general supervision and management of this Act.

4 There is hereby established a body corporate to be known as the Nova Scotia Arts Council - Conseil des arts de la Nouvelle-Écosse.

5 The Council is an agent of Her Majesty in right of the Province.

6 The objects of the Council are to

(a) make the arts integral to the lives of all Nova Scotians;

(b) foster artistic excellence throughout the Province;

(c) encourage creative expression by funding activity in the arts;

(d) utilize peer assessment in the determination of artistic merit and the allocation of funding;

(e) educate the public regarding the cultural, social and economic importance of the arts;

(f) strive for regional, cultural and developmental equity in the distribution of funding;

(g) carry out research on matters relating to the arts; and

(h) advise the Government, through the Minister, on matters of arts policy.

7 (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint such persons as the Governor in Council thinks are suitable as the first members of the Council.

(2) There shall be a Nominating Committee of the Council consisting of

(a) two members of the Council appointed by the Council;

(b) two persons who are not members of the Council appointed by the Minister; and

(c) two persons who are not members of the Council appointed by the Chair of the Council and the Minister jointly.

(3) Subject to subsection (1), the Council consists of fifteen members, each of whom is appointed for a term not exceeding three years by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister from lists of nominees provided from time to time by the Nominating Committee.

(4) The Minister may, at any time, request further lists of nominees from the Nominating Committee.

(5) The membership of the Council shall reflect the cultural, ethnic, arts discipline and generational diversity of the Province, be representative of both men and women and shall include at least one member from each of the African Nova Scotian, Mi'kmaq and Acadian communities.

(6) The Governor in Council shall make reasonable efforts to have the terms of office of one third of the members expire each year.

(7) A member may be re-appointed except that no person may be appointed as a member for more than two consecutive terms.

(8) Where a member fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Council without an excuse acceptable to the Council, that member's appointment shall be revoked by the Council.

(9) The Council may, by a resolution passed by at least two thirds of its members, fill a vacancy on the Council by appointing to the Council one of the persons whose name is included in a list of persons nominated by the Nominating Committee for the unexpired period of the term of office of the person who ceased to be a member of the Council.

8 (1) The Minister, after consultation with the Council, shall appoint a Chair and Vice-chair of the Council from among the members.

(2) The Council may appoint such other officers as the Council considers necessary or advisable for the effective attainment of the objects of the Council and the exercise of its powers.

9 (1) The Council shall meet at least four times a year on such dates and at such times and places as are determined by the Council.

(2) A majority of the members constitutes a quorum.

(3) A vacancy on the Council does not impair the right of the remaining members to act.

(4) A member is entitled to such remuneration as the Governor in Council may determine.

(5) Subject to Section 21, a member or a person serving on a committee of the Council is entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses necessarily incurred as a member or a person serving on a committee of the Council, in accordance with a policy adopted by the Council.

10 Where a member has a direct or indirect interest in an application to the Council for funding or other assistance, that member shall

(a) declare to the Council, at the earliest opportunity, the nature of that member's interest in the application;

(b) absent himself or herself from any discussion or evaluation of the application and from the selection of the jury or other review procedure by which the application is reviewed; and

(c) not vote on any aspect of the application.

11 (1) Subject to Section 21, the Council may employ such persons as it may require for the purpose of attaining its objects.

(2) The Council shall establish a fair-hiring policy for the hiring of its staff and hire staff in accordance with that policy.

12 (1) The Council may carry on such activities and exercise such powers as may be necessary or conducive to the attainment of its objects and the exercise of its powers and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may

(a) make by-laws to

(i) regulate its proceedings and provide for the conduct and management of its activities,

(ii) establish such committees as it considers necessary to assist in carrying out its objects;

(b) award such grants and render such financial or other assistance as may be required in the furtherance of its objects;

(c) engage in fund-raising activities;

(d) with the approval of the Governor in Council, acquire real property by purchase or lease;

(e) acquire personal property by purchase or lease;

(f) acquire real or personal property by gift, endowment, devise or bequest;

(g) subject to subsection (2), sell, convey or lease its real and personal property.

(2) The Council may not, without the approval of the Governor in Council, sell, convey or lease real or personal property of a value in excess of the amount prescribed by the regulations.

13 The Council shall

(a) establish guidelines for the appointment, terms of reference and procedures of peer assessment juries;

(b) establish the policies and programs through which its objects shall be attained; and

(c) perform the functions and duties conferred or imposed on it by this Act or the regulations.

14 The fiscal year of the Council is the same as the fiscal year of the Province.

15 (1) The Council shall establish an endowment fund to be known as the Nova Scotia Arts Endowment Fund.

(2) All money received from the sale or lease by the Council of real or personal property of a value in excess of the amount prescribed by the regulations shall be paid into and becomes part of the Endowment Fund unless the Minister otherwise agrees.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Council is not required to pay into the Endowment Fund money received from the lease of real or personal property to the extent that the money is used to maintain the property.

(4) Neither the person who acquires any real or personal property as the result of a sale, conveyance or lease of the real and personal property by the Council nor any successor in title of that person is bound to inquire as to whether or not subsection (2) has been complied with.

(5) The Endowment Fund and the proceeds therefrom shall be used for the purpose of this Act.

(6) The Council shall administer the Endowment Fund in such manner as is prescribed by the regulations.

16 The Governor in Council, upon the recommendation of the Minister, may, from time to time, transfer to the Council and to the Endowment Fund such amounts as the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purpose of this Act, upon such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council may determine.

17 The Council shall submit to the Minister

(a) no later than June 30th of each year,

(i) an audited financial statement setting forth the assets and liabilities of the Council and the income and expenditures of the Council for the previous fiscal year, and

(ii) a report concerning the program and activities of the Council during the previous fiscal year; and

(b) no later than August 31st of each year, a proposed budget of expenditures for the next fiscal year, together with a three-year plan setting out the policies and programs by which the Council will pursue its objects.

18 The system of accounting and the books and records of the Council are subject to the approval of the Minister of Finance and subject to audit by the Auditor General or any other person designated by the Governor in Council.

19 (1) The Council shall annually appoint a person who is a licensed public accountant or a firm in which a member of the firm is a licensed public accountant to be the auditor of the Council.

(2) Where the Council fails, neglects or refuses to appoint an auditor in accordance with subsection (1), the Minister may appoint one on behalf of the Council.

20 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing a limit on the value of real or personal property that may be sold, conveyed or leased by the Council without the approval of the Governor in Council;

(b) prescribing a limit on the value of real or personal property of which the money received from its sale or lease need not be paid into the Endowment Fund;

(c) prescribing the manner in which the Endowment Fund shall be administered;

(d) defining any word or expression used in this Act but not defined in this Act;

(e) respecting any matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) may be of general or specific application.

(3) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

21 The moneys required for the purpose of this Act shall be paid out of moneys appropriate for that purpose by the Legislature.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2007 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created December 6, 2007. Send comments to legc.office@gov.ns.ca.