The City of St. John's works to support the advancement of several strategic sectors as identified in Roadmap 2021: A Strategic Economic Plan for St. John's.
As a port city with a long maritime history, St. John’s has developed particular strengths and skills in ocean and related industries. From the fishery to offshore energy and ocean technology, local companies and institutions have transformed St. John’s into a City of Ocean Excellence.
To further promote the ocean sector, the City organizes Ocean Week each October to highlight the importance of the ocean and ocean industries and to acknowledge the innovative and specialized work being undertaken in the city.
Other activities undertaken with partners to advance the ocean sector include: the Ocean Technology Media Program aimed at generating international editorial coverage of the ocean technology cluster; the Ocean Technology Speaker Series, which is a regular forum for the exchange of information and ideas in the local ocean technology cluster; and the Ocean Technology Conference Initiative aimed at attracting meetings and conferences related to ocean industries.
St. John’s offers visitors an intriguing blend of history, culture and natural experiences, all within an urban setting. The city has emerged as a very unique and compelling destination and the tourism sector holds much potential for future growth. The City works with partners to ensure we offer the infrastructure, amenities and products necessary to enhance the visitor experience and support the continued development of tourism.
The City operates a year-round Visitor Information Centre at 348 Water Street in the heart of the downtown, a seasonal Visitor Information Centre located in Quidi Vidi Village and partners with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the St. John's International Airport Authority on a year-round Visitor Information Centre at St. John's International Airport. The City also administers the annual Special Events and Festivals Fund for the purposes of supporting not-for-profit events which have broad participation, established or potential large audiences, and identifiable community and economic impacts. In addition, the City works with partners to develop and promote St. John's as a cruise destination, produces several special and annual events, works with international travel media and produces a variety of tourism related statistical reports.
The offshore energy sector plays a critical role in the City’s economy. St. John’s has a strong base of companies, research facilities and expertise related to offshore petroleum development and ocean engineering and technology. This, in combination with a strategic location, enables St. John’s to position itself as a gateway to the Arctic and other northern regions.
The City of St. John's works with partners and stakeholders to promote the local industry and participates in trade shows and related events. St. John's is a member of the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP) , an organization of 19 energy cities from around the world, which allows for engagement and exchange of knowledge and expertise among cities, as well as facilitating business connections.
Each February, Oil & Gas Week is celebrated in Newfoundland and Labrador with a number of activities held in St. John’s. The week highlights the important contributions and opportunities this sector provides.
The Business Information Centre at 348 Water Street, provides information and displays relevant to the local offshore energy industry and is open to the public during regular business hours.
Arts and Culture
The arts are an essential component to a liveable city, but require support to ensure their sustainability. To that end the City provides the following programs:
Grants to Artists and Arts Organizations
This annual fund is set at $1.50 per capita and provides grants to arts organizations and individual artists. Applications are received and allocated through a peer assessed process. Consideration is given to proposals of high artistic merit that provide opportunities for public engagement with the arts.
Every year the City sends an open call to St. John’s artists to submit up to three pieces of art work to be considered as possible acquisitions for the City’s Civic Art Collection. This is a juried process that follows Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) acquisition guidelines. Beyond the obvious benefit of being purchased, there is an added benefit to the artist of being included in a Public Art Collection.
Municipal Arts Plan
After extensive consultation with the arts community, the City of St. John's prepared a Municipal Arts Plan. The plan has five strategic directions that are primarily concerned with providing support to the local arts community and developing opportunities for public engagement with the arts. The plan was adopted by City Council in 2010. It is a living document that serves as a foundation for continued collaboration between City departments, as well as the arts and business communities.