Canada’s Culture Planners Meet in St. John’s this Fall

October 3 – 5, 2023
St. John’s Convention Centre, Newfoundland
Purchase in-person or virtual tickets

Colourful buildings with fall foliage against a blue sky with white clouds.

St. John’s, NL. Photo courtesy of Destination St. John’s.

You’re all invited!

The Creative City Network of Canada and City of St. John’s welcomes municipal culture professionals to Newfoundland next week for three spectacular days of culture sector speakers, peer-to-peer learning, regional study tours, and the very best of St. John’s: the Creative City Summit. This year’s program is themed: You Are Here: At the Intersections of Creativity, Culture, and Place.

And what a place it is! Hosts from the City St. John’s have thrown themselves into showing off the incredible cultural landscape of their community and province.

Since Time Immemorial

The island of Ktaqmkuk [uk-dah-hum-gook] (Newfoundland) is the unceded, traditional territory of the Beothuk — whose culture has now been erased forever — and the Mi’kmaq [mee-gum-maq]. Labrador is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Innu [in-new] of Nitassinan [ne-tass-eh-nen], the Inuit [in-new-eet] of Nunatsiavut [nu-nat-see-ah- vut], and the Inuit of NunatuKavut [nu-nah-tuhk-ah-vut].

A great example of the intersections of culture and place, the First Light Friendship Centre’s Land Acknowledgement states, “As First Peoples have done since time immemorial, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land and to respect the cultures, ceremonies, and traditions of all who call it home. As we open our hearts and minds to the past, we commit ourselves to working in a spirit of truth and reconciliation to make a better future for all.”

Study Tours

Summit delegates will be introduced to the people and work of the First Light Friendship Centre during the Summit study tours as well as the provincial culture centre, The Rooms, perched high on the hill overlooking St. John’s harbour. This facility houses the provincial archives, a gallery, museum, and a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Another ocean view not to be missed is the one from Signal Hill, one of the stops on the National Historic Sites tour. From the quaint historical village of Quidi Vidi to the bustling sites of Water Street to the midtown heritage farm and more, the sights of St. John’s will be enjoyed by delegates on the first two days of programming.

Colourful buildings and fishing boats line a small harbour. Rock cliffs in the background stand in front of an overcast sky.

Quidi Vidi Village is a must-see destination that includes a brewery, local eateries, an artisan hub, and some of the prettiest sights in St. John’s.

Heading Back

Every year, the Creative City Summit is hosted somewhere new in Canada — until this year. This is the first year CCNC returns to a city for their annual Summit! The last time Summit goers flew this far east was twenty years ago in 2003. It’s to absolutely no one’s disappointment that we return. “The arts are a pillar of our identity in St. John’s,” says Mayor Danny Breen. “With its strong cultural heartbeat, our city has long been considered a hotspot for creativity.” The hospitality, unique cultural heritage, and lively city streets offered by St. John’s is a perfect setting for cultural planners.

The remoteness of the city is also a topic that many delegates will be familiar with. Culture work takes many shapes and forms from coast to coast to coast, and the size and distance of Canada’s municipalities make our local cultures into snowflakes. Those who attend (in person and online) will be able to identify and connect with colleagues whose unique cultural needs and policies intersect with their own.

“Arts and culture improves quality of life, drives innovation and tourism, and contributes to that feeling in St. John’s that this is where exciting things happen.” – Mayor Breen

An aerial view of a downtown street. Heritage buildings line the road and pedestrians wander. In the bottom right, yellow writing on the side of a grey stone building read “Yellow Belly Brewery Public House”.

Water Street in St. John’s is lined with heritage, including the Yellow Belly Brewery. Photo courtesy of Destination St. John’s.

St. John’s, NL

If you’ve never been to St. John’s before, now is the time to go. If you have, you already know the reasons to go back. The colours of Jelly Bean Row, the sounds of fiddles and cheers, the smell of sea air, the flavours of fresh food, and sights that range from the smallest puffin to the biggest whale. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

“We can’t wait to welcome you all to our capital city for the Creative City Summit!”

The Creative City Summit will take place from Oct 3–5, 2023 at the St. John’s Convention Centre in St. John’s, NL and online. The SJCC is an accessible venue.

St. John’s Convention Centre (SJCC)
50 New Gower Street
St. John’s, NL A1C 1J3

To purchase in-person or virtual tickets, please click here.

Contact for more information.

Find us online:
Facebook: @creativecity
Twitter: @creativecity

St. John’s Creative City Summit 2023 from October 3–5 in St. John’s, NL. Theme: You Are Here: At the Intersections of Creativity, Culture, and Place