I am always reluctant to wade into areas where I have limited knowledge but I am trying to understand this broader link between ‘pride of place’ and economic development – or lack thereof.
So like most folks, I suspect, when I read this I was initially angered. The National Art Gallery purchases 400 pieces of art over a three year period and not a single piece from New Brunswick. Only one piece from all of Atlantic Canada made the cut according to this article.
Is New Brunswick marginalized and irrelevant – even in relation to our size? Does it matter?
But then there is the broader narrative about no New Brunswickers making the Olympics, New Brunswickers always underperforming relative to size in the music biz and a dozen other examples. I have written in the past about the topic of ‘excellence’ and if it is important to promote it in a place such as this.
The small province argument gets thrown back whenever a discussion like this takes place – but even relative to size, we still tend to underperform. Good old Matt Stairs is hanging in there but other than that….
There has got to be a right way to marry these issues of the drive for equality and the need to strive for excellence.
Maybe we need to set a baseline of equality and then support excellence above than – and I’m not just talking about arts and sports. Think about entrepreneurship too and other aspects of our society.
It’s a ramble here to be sure but think about the pride that Monctonians felt when they hosted a relatively trivial CFL game last year. As a culture, we need symbols – we need to feel that this place can produce world – class – fill in the blank. It helps reinforce this pride of place idea and I think that will be even more importatnt in the coming years.
I realize this topic is well outside the band of normal discussion here but I think it matters.