Saint John will benefit from improved tourism offerings to attract visitors to the region

News release

Left to right Jon O'Kane, Chair of the Board of Directors, Sculpture Saint John; Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor; Diana Alexander, Executive Director, Sculpture Saint John with Sculpture Interns looking on.

August 12, 2022 · Saint John, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canada has much to offer visitors: breathtaking landscapes and wide-open spaces; diverse and inclusive experiences; and welcoming people from coast to coast to coast who provide outstanding service. Combined with a strong focus on health and safety and high COVID-19 vaccination rates, Canada is among the most alluring and smartest destination choices.  

The pandemic has had an undeniable impact on Canada’s tourism sector. The Government of Canada continues to help tourism businesses recover and position the industry for strong future growth. 

Federal government helps Sculpture Saint John shape new opportunities          

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced an investment of $181,535 for Sculpture Saint John through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

This support is helping Sculpture Saint John host an international symposium from August 11 to September 10, 2022 that has attracted renowned stone sculptors to the Saint John waterfront.  These artists are publicly creating eight world-class sculptures that will be permanently placed in communities throughout New Brunswick, including Moncton, Dieppe, Oromocto, Deer Island, Grand Bay – Westfield, and Saint John. The event is a major tourism draw, expected to attract 32,000 visitors to the area. The increased traffic will help businesses and other tourism operators in the area, providing a boost to the local economy.

Launched in July 2021, the TRF was created to help organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, offer innovative products and services to visitors and prepare to welcome back travellers. The TRF is administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).


“As we recover from the pandemic, we are focused on being there for the tourism sector. With the support announced today, Sculpture Saint John is complementing current tourism offerings in communities, while increasing economic opportunities throughout the province. This is an important step in the recovery effort as visitors rediscover the world-class tourism experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer.”

-       The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Canadian tourism sector continues to be one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting businesses and organizations through these challenging times, keeping safety as the top priority while ensuring they get support to quickly recover, innovate their products and services, and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements, and be ready to welcome back guests. It also feeds into a broader strategy to help the sector survive the pandemic, recover and grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”

-       The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

"This fifth and final Sculpture Symposium completes what will be a prime tourism asset for New Brunswick.  The eight new sculptures created in the 2022 Symposium will be placed in communities throughout the province to make a total of 38 sculptures designed to encourage locals, visitors, and international artists to journey and experience each of these monumental pieces. We wish to sincerely thank ACOA for its support of tourism in our province and the public art created by this symposium that will leave a legacy that will last for generations.”

-       Diana Alexander, Executive Director, Sculpture Saint John

Quick facts

  • Sculpture Saint John is an incorporated, non-profit organization that manages the International Sculpture Symposium. In total, past symposiums have attracted more than 125,000 visitors to the Sculpture Saint John site.

  • The 2022 symposium is the fifth and final event of the organization’s mandate.

  • The tourism sector is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2019, tourism generated over $104 billion in revenue and directly employed 692,000 people, including those in underrepresented groups like women, students, racialized people, and Indigenous populations.

  • With a national budget of $500 million, including $485 million for regional priorities administered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies and $15 million for national priorities administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Tourism Relief Fund is part of the billion dollars in tourism support announced in Budget 2021.

    o   A minimum of $50 million of the fund’s budget has been earmarked for Indigenous tourism projects. Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

    o   $48.5 million from the Tourism Relief Fund has been allocated to ACOA to administer the fund in the Atlantic region.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Ann Kenney
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Diana Alexander
Executive Director
Sculpture Saint John

Stay connected

Follow ACOA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: