Sectoral arts organizations collectively highlight importance and economic impact of our diverse arts and cultural industry.


Consortium gathered to identify key common messages, and call for professional artists and groups to stand with public to protect investment in arts and culture

February 18, 2016 (St. John’s, NL) – The provincial sectoral organizations representing visual art, music, film and television, dance, writing, publishing, theatre, and craft recently met in response to the ongoing government renewal initiative. The groups gathered to share their collective experiences with one another, having attended public engagement sessions, and to outline a series of key points on the importance of the arts and cultural sector.

Each sectoral organization’s executive director or designate presented the points they had made during the public engagement sessions they attended. Professional artists who are members of the organizations also attended the sessions to echo the importance and value of the arts and cultural sector in general, and as an economic driver.

Many highlighted the fact that financial investment in the arts and cultural sector is already low, especially when compared to similarly sized populations, and the impact of the professional output of the arts and cultural sector goes far beyond that investment in terms of returned provincial revenue.

Given how strategically stretched existing budgets in the arts and cultural sector already are, any further reductions would inevitably result in a spike of out-migration that would swiftly shrink our provincial professional artistic talent, drying up Newfoundland and Labrador cultural identity.

Emerging artistic talent must be nurtured in this province, otherwise those professionals will shift to other parts of Canada and the world where they will be supported with a network of people and resources that recognize and understand their significant value to industry development and society as a whole.

Emerging and established artistic professionals charged with the preservation, creation, and appreciation of Newfoundland and Labrador culture at home and abroad will move on to other places and fulfill those roles elsewhere – contributing to the growth of industry in other jurisdictions.

The export and recognition of Newfoundland and Labrador artistic talent has an indelible effect on our province’s tourism industry, which as of 2011 was worth over $1 billion according to the provincial government. As of 2010, the Department of Finance estimated that tourism activity supported $204 million in labour income (or 1.8% of all provincial labour income for that year) for 10,760 people. Much of that tourism industry activity is catalyzed by the hard work and efforts of the arts and culture sector.

One of the reasons people come to Newfoundland and Labrador is because they read about it in a book, saw it on the big screen or television, enjoyed visual exhibitions or music by its artists, or saw a stage show about it in another country. All of that professional artistic content needs to be conceived, workshopped, created, and ultimately produced in a final version before distribution or export.

Once that arts and cultural product is out, it works for Newfoundland and Labrador – attracting local populations to explore new parts of the province, many others from afar to discover it, and assisting corporations in attracting and retaining professionals in various industry sectors.

The sectoral organizations support large memberships as they strive to create and share their artistic work, and agencies like ArtsNL are the research and development arm for our arts and cultural sector.

If sectoral organizations and ArtsNL are ill-equipped to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts, then a constantly renewable resource’s potential will be limited and wither, leaving potential revenue and growth within other sectors stunted as a result.

The arts and cultural sector also has strong connections with sectors such as health and business. Partnerships that see arts-based creative and innovative approaches to team building, increased productivity, and sound management in the corporate community already exist. There are direct connections between an individual’s quality of life and their health, both mental and physical, relative to their level of engagement with the arts. When the general public interacts with artistic content, it leads to a happier, healthier community and a stronger sense of identity.

The arts and cultural sector is a driver of provincial economic activity and revenue, and an industry in and of itself. An industry that is labour intensive, provides opportunity for youth, and creates job diversification in the province.

The consortium of provincial sectoral organizations calls upon their collective membership in partnership with the public to ensure these seven key points are brought to the forefront as the government renewal initiative continues to unfold:

1. Financial investment in the arts and cultural sector is already low and the impact of the professional work and output of the arts and cultural sector goes far beyond that investment in terms of returned provincial revenue.
2. Retention of our province’s arts and cultural professionals, especially young emerging artists, is necessary to further economic development.
3. Leveraging organizational partnerships is important.
4. Export and recognition of Newfoundland and Labrador artistic talent and the impact it has on supplementing tourism is directly tied to the level of revenue tourism generates for the province.
5. Links between the arts and cultural sector and other sectors can and should be made to improve levels of efficiency and success in those other sectors.
6. Dollars directed to the arts and cultural sector are investments.
7. ArtsNL is the research and development agency for the arts and cultural sector. 
(And, in the case of music, MusicNL)



These key points should be communicated to government representatives, and in response to the renewal strategy’s opportunities for feedback whenever possible. Members of the provincial sectoral organizations and the general public are encouraged to visit for information on how to forward their concerns that the arts and cultural sector be protected, or email, call 1-844-805-3494, tweet @OPE_GovNL, or contact their MHA directly.

Media enquiries:

Dave Andrews, Executive Director
Phone: (709) 738-7303

Megan Coles
Publishers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Phone: (709) 743-0585

Alison Dyer, Executive Director
Writers Alliance of Newfoundland
and Labrador
Phone: (709) 739-5215

Patrick Foran
Association of Professional Theatres of Newfoundland and Labrador
Phone: (709) 693-0224

Anne Manuel, Executive Director
Craft Council of Newfoundland
and Labrador
Phone: (709) 753-2749

Jennice Ripley
Producers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-Operative
Phone: (709) 727-6045

Rebekah Robbins, Program and Communications Officer
Phone: (709) 754-2574

Sharon King-Campbell, 
Executive Director
Phone: (709) 743-4130


RIDDLE FENCE PUBLISHING INC. seeks a new Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the promotion and sale of Riddle Fence journal, for coordinating the organization's various fundraising activities, and for the general business management of Riddle Fence Publishing Inc. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will identify and pursue new promotional venues and maintain current venues. S/he is responsible for maintaining Riddle Fence Publishing Inc.’s financial records and its subscription database, for selling advertising, and for expanding the journal’s subscription base. The Executive Director is responsible for maintaining communication with the members of the Board of Directors, and for managing Riddle Fence, its employees and volunteer editors. S/he will oversee the workflow of the journal, act as liaison between volunteer editors and managing editor, and ensures a working editorial board is in place.


This position is currently half time (20 hours/week).

Applications should be received by December 31, 2015.

Send WORD or PDF files with covering letter to:

Riddle Fence has come of age!

And we’re celebrating issue 21 with a 21 day subscription drive. Every day from 01.10.15 to 21.10.15, we will announce a new prize right here on the Interwebs. Buy a subscription to ensure you are eligible to win all 21 prizes. That’s correct. 1 lucky subscriber will be awarded all the loot on 22.10.15. Ba bam! So let’s get started.

01.10.15 | Joel Plaskett Tickets | ACC | Value $70


See contest details for more information.

Here comes Issue 20!

We want you to join us on Sunday, May 10th at Gallery 24 from 5 p.m. to 7p.m.
71 Casey Street - Get Directions

Issue 20 is hot off the presses, and we are overjoyed to bring you a night of songs, stories, drinks, dancing, and merchandise to mark its release.

Music from Ian Foster

Readings from author Craig Francis Power

Hosted by George Murray, Poet Laureate

This issue is chock full of amazing local, national, and international artists, poets and authors. Our printers are hard pressed to fit it all in!


Riddle Fence Nominates Tracey Waddleton for National Short Story Award

The editors of Riddle Fence magazine have nominated "Old Ben Walsh" by Tracey Waddleton for the 2015 Journey Prize for short fiction.

The story, about a young woman trying to cope with the aftermath of sexual abuse, appears in Riddle Fence #18.

In an appreciation of the story, editor Alexandra Gilbert writes that it powerfully explores "the way in which trauma is sublimated when victims are ignored, how it is destined to reappear in some very ugly ways if it is not confronted."

Tracey Waddleton lives in St. John's, and is working on a debut story collection, Send More Tourists, the Last Ones Were Delicious

The Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize is awarded annually to a new and developing writer for a short story published in a Canadian literary publication. The 2015 winner will be announced next fall.

Subscribe to Riddle Fence by visiting our Subscription Page.

Cover Art Contest!


Announcing the Riddle Fence Cover Contest Sponsored by The Leyton Gallery of Fine Arts

Riddle Fence Publishing Inc. is holding its first cover contest, sponsored exclusively by The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art.


The winning pieces will be published in Riddle Fence #20, Winter 2015.

The first place winner’s art will be featured on the front and back cover of the journal and they will receive a one-year subscription (3 issues) to Riddle Fence, be featured in an article inside #20, and will receive $500.

The second place winner’s art will be featured on a full-page inside the journal and the third place finalist’s work will be on a half-page.


Images entered in the contest must be unpublished and not submitted to any other publication or contest until the close of the WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED contest (February 28th, 2015). Contest is open to all artists aged 19 or older, anywhere fine artmaking is done. There is a minimum of two (2) entries and a maximum of five (5) entries per participant. Images must be 300dpi and at least 2400x3000pxls. Images can be black & white or colour. Images will be judged blind, so include the title of your work, but NOT the artist’s name or any revealing data on the image itself. Include a cover letter or cover email with your name, mailing address, phone number, title, medium, dimensions (inches), year, a short biography (3-5 sentences), and a short paragraph about the work (3-5 sentences). We accept a variety of art media including painting, drawing, print making, sculpture, photography, installation images, performance and video stills. Do not send originals. Work will not be returned. Riddle Fence Art Editors, Candace Fulford, Mike Gough, and Hillary Winter will judge the contest.

Entry fee (including a one-year subscription to Riddle Fence, 3 issues): $50 in Canada; $55 elsewhere. Outside Canada, please send a money order in Canadian funds for $55CAD. Already receiving Riddle Fence? Let us know in your cover letter/email whether you want to extend or give this subscription as a gift.

Contest opens September 18, 2014. Contest closes February 28, 2015. 

Artists are being asked to email their dazzling work to or mail it to: Riddle Fence, PO Box 7092, St. John's, NL A1E 3Y3

Artwork will not be returned. Do not mail originals.

Past Riddle Fence cover artists: Scott Walden, Michael Pittman, John Haney, Jennifer Barrett, Terrence Howell, Grant Boland, Gerri-Lynn Mackey, Kevin Yates, Peter Wilkins, Kym Greeley, Dave Sheppard, Graham Blair, Ned Pratt, Jennah Turpin, Will Gill, Kathy Oke, and Andrea Cooper

 Thank you and good luck!


Seeking endorsements

Are you a past contributor to Riddle Fence? A fan of our l'il journal? If so, we want you! That is, we want you to endorse us. Whether you like our rad design, our brilliant content, or our outstanding contribution to arts & letters, we want to hear from you. 

Your endorsements will be used on our website, in social media, in funding grants, in informational packages, in press kits, and so on. By sending us an endorsement, you would agree to granting Riddle Fence Publishing Inc. full permissions with regard to the use of your quotation.

Email your endorsement to 

Thanks for your support!


Pottery Smashing and Poetry Reading with Ann Shin, Iain McCurdy and Sharon King-Campbell

Smash pottery! Hear poetry!

On Friday, March 14, join Riddle Fence proofreader Iain McCurdy and Riddle Fence volunteer extraordinaire Sharon King-Campbell along with Toronto poet Ann Shin and the cast and crew of Riddle Fence Publishing Inc. and the St. John's International Women's Film Festival at Eastern Edge Gallery at 8:00 PM to explore and obliterate.


The blurb:

Toronto poet and filmmaker Ann Shin will read from her award-winning collection The Family China (Brick Books). The book explores her family history, with a focus on its treasured heirlooms -- the family china. 

Audience members will be invited to explore (and obliterate) their own family chains by smashing a piece of china or an heirloom of their own.

Further shattering of conventions provided by St. John's-based writers Iain McCurdy and Sharon King-Campbell.

Prepare to be liberated. Eastern Edge has a concrete floor, after all.

Presented in partnership by The St. John's International Women's Film festival and Riddle Fence.


Introducing a new column

Riddle Fence is ever so deeply pleased to present a new column; introducing The Drift!

The Drift is an editor’s response to a piece published in the current issue of the journal. It is not a review, but more of an appreciation or interpretation of a poem, short story, or work of visual art. This new column, edited by poetry editor extraordinaire and Riddle Fence editorial board member, James Langer, allows us to take part in and create a discussion around the art we publish.

Check out the inaugural column, On Karen Solie's "The Living Option" in Riddle Fence #16.


New library-inspired exhibition at Eastern Edge!

Riddle Fence Inc. is excited to share with you a new, library-inspired exhibition at Eastern Edge Gallery based on The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges!


"Disruptions" by Juan Ortiz Apuy (Montreal)

Opening Saturday, December 7, 8PM 

at Eastern Edge Gallery (72 Harbour Drive)


From Eastern Edge:

Presenting a body of work that ranges from wood cabinetry to drawing, photography and video, "Disruptions" is an exhibition that seeks to propose alternative possibilities to the library as idea and space. 

Loosely based on Jorge Luis Borges’ short story The Library of Babel, a video follows an anonymous character who begins to make a series of disruptions to the library system. In addition, photographs line the gallery walls that document the artist's library interventions re-shelving our own ideas of what a library can be.

Exhibition runs until February 1, 2014 

Eastern Edge:  | Artist website

Juan Ortiz-Apuy was born in Costa Rica and currently lives in Montreal. Ortiz-Apuy has a BFA from Concordia University, a post-graduate diploma from the Glasgow School of Art, and a MFA from NSCAD University. Recent exhibitions include the MacLaren Arts Centre, Sporobole Contemporary Art Centre, ARPRIM, and Gallery Birch Libralato. In 2011, he was the winner of the Halifax Regional Municipality Contemporary Visual Art Award, and in 2013 he completed a residency at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Ortiz-Apuy’s work has been reviewed in Canadian Art, Le Devoir, the Montreal Gazette, and the Barrie Advance, as well as in Marc James Léger’s book The Brave New Avant Garde.

Eastern Edge, 72 Harbour Drive, is open 12-5 Tuesdays to Saturdays and in the evenings on special occasions. Admission is free. 

It's GivingTuesday!

Today is GivingTuesday, a National Giving Day

Today, you can give back, support your favourite cause (like, say, a journal of arts & culture based in St. John's, for example), and think about others. 

You're cordially invited to:

DONATE: Any amount you choose is most welcome and appreciated. Go here to donate online to our secure Canada Help’s/GivingTuesday donation page. You can also mail cash, cheque, or money order to: Riddle Fence Inc  |   PO Box 7092  | St. John’s, NL A1E 3Y3

SUBSCRIBE (or buy a gift subscription; Christmas is in 22 days after all)

VOLUNTEER: Send us a message 

ADVERTISE: Here's our you can reach our subscribers

Thank you for the support you show Riddle Fence Inc. throughout the year!

GivingTuesday is December 3, 2013 | Save the date!

December 3 is GivingTuesday, a National Giving Day

Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On December 3, 2013, GivingTuesday is coming to Canada. 

Join this new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, which marks the “opening day of the giving season,” when charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

Riddle Fence invites you to be part of GivingTuesday!

Get involved by volunteering, making a donation, or subscribing to our journal. 

DONATIONS accepted in any amount: Go here to donate online to our secure Canada Help’s/GivingTuesday donation page. You can also mail cash, cheque, or money order to: Riddle Fence Inc  |   PO Box 7092  | St. John’s, NL A1E 3Y3

You can SUBSCRIBE here:

To VOLUNTEER, send us a message here 

Giving Tuesday is a unique and new way to show your support! Riddle Fence Inc. is grateful for the support you show us throughout the year. Thank you!