Challenges and Opportunities Faced by Small Communities in New Brunswick:

An Introduction

Lauren Beck
Mount Allison University
Christina Ionescu
Mount Allison University

1 Because this is the first of two special issues of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies entirely devoted to the issues, prospects, and risks currently faced by small communities in this province, it is necessary to qualify and contextualize not only what is meant by the appellation “small communities,” but also what gave rise to the project that brought together such a diverse and interdisciplinary group of scholars to focus on this topic. The articles contained in this issue are fruit borne from research projects attached to the grant “Small Communities in the Twenty-First Century: Understanding the Role of Identity and Representation in Reflecting and Shaping the Livablility of Maritime Communities” (2011–14), which was awarded to Mount Allison University by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through its Aid to Small Universities Program.1

2 As demonstrated throughout the articles contained in this issue, the concept of small community varies greatly in constitution and scope. From a geographic perspective, a small community is characterized as rural, as opposed to urban, because it lacks the extent of development and resources typically found in a city. New Brunswick’s Municipalities Act (1973) defines towns as possessing a population greater than 1,500 (Art. 15a) and cities as having a population exceeding 10,000 (Art. 16), while a study published by Statistics Canada defines all populations of fewer than 10,000 people as belonging to “rural and small towns” (Beshiri and He 3). The urbanized areas in New Brunswick are furthermore smaller and more tight-knit than their larger Canadian counterparts, such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. New Brunswick also possesses, according to the Census of 2011, a population division between the urban (52%) and the rural (48%) areas of the province. This division, which emerges from the geographic distribution of the population across the land, is noteworthy and suggests the importance of the small geographic communities that weave the fabric of the province. Community can moreover refer to a group possessing some commonality or sharing some sense of sameness or togetherness, be it demographic, economic, ethnic, linguistic, professional, or religious. Minority or small communities of this variety may not necessarily attach themselves to a geographic region or separate themselves along the urban-rural divide that exists within the province; instead, they are likely bound together by some other means and confront their own problems. Interestingly, more than one definition of small community can apply, and this is exemplified by the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet First Nations. The establishment and development of geographic and non-geographic small communities often can go hand in hand.

3 Whether of the urban or rural variety, New Brunswick communities trace their origins to a time when they were hamlets or towns that had to build their identities, unite to face challenges, and find ways to prosper. From their inception, they had to overcome a variety of obstacles emerging from planning, building, and sustaining infrastructure and industries. To become prosperous, small communities had to connect to a larger economic, political, and, in the early stages of their development, colonial network that spread throughout an increasingly globalized world. To survive, these communities were forced to interact with the geographic landscape and its maritime analogue while facing the long and inhospitable winter climate that marks this region (Vaillancourt et al. 75–91). Throughout their history, these New Brunswick communities invariably confronted demographic issues that impacted the economy, the family unit, as well as social institutions. Concerns about education, health care, family values, the legal system, and the disenfranchised often rose to the forefront and at times inspired the individuals affected to form smaller communities in order to address them, which vanished or thrived through time. All these antecedents are imprinted upon the identities and, in many cases, the fundamental organization of the contemporary communities that form New Brunswick.

4 Saint John, for example, situated along the river of that name, was explored by the French in the early seventeenth century. In his Histoire de la Nouvelle France, originally published in 1609, Marc Lescarbot relates his exploration of the Bay of Fundy and recalls how Cape Saint John was named:

Depuis ledit jour jusques au vint-quatriéme du mois qui étoit la féte de saint Iean, fumes battus de la tempéte & du vent contraire: & survint telle obscurité que nous ne peumes avoir conoissance d’aucune terre jusques audit jour saint Iean, que nous découvrimes un Cap qui restoit vers Surouest, distant du Cap Royal environ trente cinque lieuës: mais en ce jour le brouillas fut si épais, & le temps si mauvais, que nous ne peumes approcher de terre. Et d’autant qu’en ce jour l’on celebroit la féte de saint Iean Baptiste, nous le nommames Cap de sainct Iean. (Lescarbot 241)

5 The map accompanying Lescarbot’s report of the reconnaissance exploration conducted along the shores of the Bay of Fundy features two architectural vignettes at the mouth of the Saint John River (inscribed with a beautiful flourish as “R[ivière] S[aint] Jean”), which are similar to the one designating the French travellers’ habitation nearby at Saint Croix. These figurative architectural structures, which likely suggest the potential for future development rather than the existence of any settlements, would later appear on early maps as “Saint Jean” and then “Saint John.” This vignette probably constitutes, nonetheless, the earliest surviving cartographic depiction of Saint John as a settlement. Curiously, Samuel de Champlain, who took part in the exploration of this area, did not describe Saint John as a settlement in his own writings, providing instead observations about the indigenous peoples located at the mouth of the river (Champlain 28, 30; Marquis 33–34).

6 The first permanent settlement was established in 1630 when Charles de La Tour built a fort at the site of present-day Saint John. The settlement expanded slowly and in the 1760s it became a home for immigrants from New England. From that decade on, time would add layers upon layers of historical significance that continue to mark the harbour community living there. In 1783, this community greatly expanded with the arrival of the Loyalists and, shortly after, it became the first incorporated city in Canada (Hamilton 129–30). A small city established in a remote corner of the world, Saint John faced numerous challenges: waves of disease that affected its population at critical times; three catastrophic fires that decimated homes, infrastructure, and businesses during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; and a shift in industry in the twentieth century that continues to impede Saint John’s ability to function effectively and at its full potential as a port and locus of commerce (Goss 7–8). One of the regrettable consequences of this shift has been the necessity for Atlantic Canadians to seek employment opportunities in faraway places—most frequently today, in the western provinces of the country. In spite of the many challenges that plague Saint John, its residents—and arguably those of the Maritimes more broadly—maintain a profound attachment to their hometown. This “umbilical connection,” in the words of Saint John–born actor Donald Sutherland, tethers Atlantic Canadians to their small communities no matter where they are in the world (Telescope 4:35).

Figure 1. Cartographic representation of the Saint John River and settlements at the entry of the waterway into the Bay of Fundy (map fragment). From the third edition of Marc Lescarbot’s Histoire de la Nouvelle France (Paris: Adrian Perier, 1617). Executed by I. Millot and engraved by I. Sevelinck. 17 × 21 cm.2
Thumbnail of Figure 1Display large image of Figure 1
Sackville, Mount Allison University, The Davidson Collection 78.

7 This profound connection to place and people reflects a sense of va-et-vient that in part defines our communities: what washes in with the tidal bore will just as easily be effaced with its retreat. Although they do not necessarily stand out, residuals from these tidal bores almost never completely disappear, as demonstrated by the toponyms that appear on past and contemporary maps of New Brunswick. When French explorers came to this region, they named places before erecting habitations or small settlements where they lived while taking advantage of the natural bounty of this land. The Mi’kmaq and Maliseet had their own designations for places, and the French borrowed or altered some of them. When the region was ceded to the British in the eighteenth century, these place names were translated, adapted, or altogether rechristened while, in the backdrop, cultural, social, and political changes transformed the urban and rural communities that formed New Brunswick. Although cities such as Bathurst, Edmundston, Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John appeared prominently on these maps, just as they do today, new rural communities emerged and were woven into a culturally and socially complex New Brunswick tapestry. The rich history of these small communities is above all defined by the tidal bore effect, which translates into resilience in the face of change. Strong connections to the past and to the land, however, are also important characteristics of the identity of these small communities.

8 Until recent times, the promise of land ownership and employment opportunities in the agricultural or industrial sectors of the New Brunswick economy enticed immigrants to settle in this province. Today, migration to our cities by people from other areas of Canada and the rest of the world is encouraged more by the fact that they are accessible to English and French speakers (Andrew 66). When Patrick Campbell arrived in Saint John from Scotland in 1791, he expected to face tough winters, but he was also keenly aware of the abundance of economic and commercial opportunities that he would subsequently observe with his own eyes and carefully record in his travelogue. The building and operation of farms for livestock and land cultivation, beekeeping, fishing, the fur trade, and shipbuilding were all thriving enterprises in New Brunswick at that time. By publishing his travel narrative, Campbell hoped to convince fellow Scots to move to New Brunswick and its neighbouring regions (Morris 136). In his journal, the Scottish traveller also captured the rural and urban landscape of the region. For example, Campbell remarked how his first glimpse of Saint John and its harbour was preceded by a tumultuous storm that nearly capsized the vessel on which he arrived, and his words betray the occasion’s momentousness after the long journey spent ship-bound during the transatlantic crossing:

The city of St. John’s lies on the east side of the grand river of that name, where it enters the Bay of Fundy, situated on a broad point, more than half surrounded by a Bay on the eastward. The town is well planned; the streets cut at right angles; but from the unevenness and ruggedness of the sloping ground on which it is built, does not appear regular to the eye. It consists of about five hundred houses, all of timber, well painted. They have a neat appearance, and some of them even elegant; generally consisting of two stories high. The shops, stores, and wharfs, numerous and commodious. They have two churches, also of wood; the largest not yet finished; but when it is, may contain a numerous congregation; and so well painted on the outside is this church, that, without a strict examination, any spectator would conclude it to be built of stone and lime. (Campbell 20–21)

As this evocative description shows, Saint John had grown into an elaborate town since Lescarbot first set eyes on its dramatic setting from his reconnaissance vessel travelling through the Bay of Fundy. Campbell, who subsequently embarked on a voyage to explore New Brunswick and parts of the Canadian interior, encountered communities and constituencies of various ethnic backgrounds or origins (including American, British, French, and Maliseet), which shows the ethnically diverse composition of New Brunswick in its formative stage. Down the Miramichi River, for example, Campbell met Mr. Le Dernier who spoke about the high salmon yield on his property (67). Their exchange leaves the reader wondering how much of a barrier language was in that time frame, as Campbell did not speak French, although he did meet with unidentified natives who knew French but not English or English but not French.

9 If language serves primarily a communicative function and brings people together, it can also divide populations and create linguistic enclaves. Remnants not only of first impressions but also of conflict and loss, the proper names that are inscribed on maps of the province often immortalize political power. For example, it cannot be forgotten that in New Brunswick the names of cities celebrate leaders in the European colonizing efforts of the area, who ordered or commandeered military might to a land in which the indigenous populations were not necessarily the principal barriers to settlement and prosperity. Fredericton memorializes British commander and Prince Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (1763–1827), while Bathurst has as its namesake Henry Bathurst (1762–1834), the British earl and colonial Secretary of State. Sir Edmund Walker Head (1805–68), whose name was given to the settlement of Edmundston in 1851, was a British baron, colonial administrator, and Governor General to Canada. In 1765, the township of Moncton was named for General Robert Monckton (1726–82) in recognition of the 1755 British surge led by him into present-day southeastern New Brunswick. Saint John as a British colonial city anglicized its predecessor, Saint-Jean, named after Jesus’ evangelizing disciple by the French explorers of the area, one of whom was the aforementioned Lescarbot. As the history of New Brunswick place names attests, the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet influences on colonial settlements, the transfer of French to English control of the region, and subsequently the restoration of the Acadian presence resonate today across the province and provide the communities living in various areas with strong historical anchors.

10 The landscape of small community life in New Brunswick is fundamentally shaped by a wealth of historical roots, which in turn impact the identity of any given town and its residents. The Acadian expulsion (1755–64), an important historical event in the history of New Brunswick, resulted in the forced transmigration of the first European settlers in the area, who were uprooted from their Acadian homes and relocated to France and parts of North America. New Anglophone communities took their place and were sometimes built upon the remains of Acadian ones, including those of Sackville in the 1760s and Dorchester in the 1780s. The Acadian Renaissance—the resurgence of Acadie in the nineteenth century—etched an ineffaceable sense of identity upon this part of Canada that distinguishes it from other Canadian provinces. In southeastern New Brunswick, where before their expulsion Acadians were interned at the British-controlled Fort Beauséjour, a fortification originally built by the French, the Acadian Renaissance reanimated the predominantly Francophone communities of Memramcook and Shediac. In present-day New Brunswick, this sprinkling of English and French towns composes a unique cultural admixture anchored in a colonial past that continues to impact interactions among individuals and communities in subtle ways. It seems that, be they large or small, New Brunswick communities have not quite come to terms with what it means to share a space and an identity, despite the roads that have been built to link them, which often delineate separations instead of connections. In the eighteenth century, it was by design that Acadian communities lived apart from British ones, dispersed throughout the area and in rural locations, following the wishes of the colonial authorities. The long-term impact of this geographically isolating arrangement was that the Francophone community would survive the challenges facing it over the centuries that followed. In spite of restrictions concerning French-language content in schools during the nineteenth century and after, when English served as the language of instruction, French remained the language of communication at home and in religious institutions, which rendered it the language of the Acadian community (Landry and Allard 183). It is a truism that the close connection between community and language remains particularly important in New Brunswick.

11 The language politics that define this province and the linguistic communities inhabiting it reveal another consequential characteristic of small community identity that was forged from this colonial past. While acknowledging that an examination of indigenous language communities in relation to rural life deserves equal attention, we will confine ourselves here to Anglophone and Francophone communities. Two important documents present an official response to this issue: the New Brunswick Official Languages Act (1969, rev. 2002) and An Act Recognizing the Equality of the Two Official Linguistic Communities in New Brunswick (1981). Through time, the coexistence of two linguistic populations had given rise to questions about accessibility and equality in various geographic contexts and to the possibility that certain communities could be disadvantaged based on the provision of services offered in one language rather than the other. Nowhere are these concerns more prominently addressed than in the revised act of 2002. This bilingual document, which was co-drafted and not merely translated (Keating 7), provides parallel columns of English- and French-language renderings of the Act. The primary purpose of this document is to lay out the responsibilities and obligations of the provincial government in order to “to ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of New Brunswick” (Art. 1.1.a) and “to ensure that English and French have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Province” (Art. 1.1.b). The parallel text similarly notes these two objectives: “d’assurer le respect du français et de l’anglais à titre de langues officielles du Nouveau-Brunswick” and “d’assurer l’égalité de statut et l’égalité de droits et de privilèges du français et de l’anglais quant à leur usage dans toutes les institutions de la province.” The inversion of English and French in the second column, as opposed to an alphabetical ordering (anglais and then français), betrays a deliberate desire on the part of the authorities who drew up and put forward this legislation that each language must have prominence within the section of the act written in that same language. The language of Article 1.1.b was subsequently inscribed in Article 16.2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982 (rev. 1993). Over time, these protections for both languages have yielded an increase in bilingualism in New Brunswick, from 19 percent of the population in 1961 to 33.2 percent in 2011, though the latter percentage is in fact a slight decrease from 2001, when it reached 34.2 percent (Lepage and Corbeil 2). It is important to add that the percentage of bilingual Francophones is significantly higher than that of bilingual Anglophones, and that there remains significant isolation of one language community from the other (Grenier 292).

12 The continued assertion of language inequality demonstrates another trait marking the politics of small community identity in New Brunswick. Scholars have noted that the “English-only movement,” which manifests itself in countries like Spain as the “Spanish-only movement” against minority languages such as Basque and Catalan, can be defined as “the tendency for insecure language majorities to support moves to limit the use, promotion, and salience of minority languages in institutional settings” (Barker et al. 4). Proponents of the English-only position perceive an inequality that they believe will disadvantage them and affect the delivery of education (i.e., its quality and costs, and more specifically arising from support for bilingualism), the accessibility of services (such as health care, law enforcement, and the legal system), as well as the ability of a unilingual English speaker to compete in a labour market in which bilingualism is a key asset. These beliefs have given rise to the phenomenon of anti-bilingualism and the active protection of monolingualism. As stated on its website, the Anglo Society of New Brunswick, for instance, has as its mandate to attempt “through the power of the citizens, to reestablish the connection between the daily lives of the people and their heritage” (Anglo Society). While referencing the past and linking it to a sense of identity, its members insist, at one extreme, that because French is not spoken in their small communities, their children should not need to learn it and their job prospects should not be unduly influenced because they cannot communicate in French. At the other extreme are individuals who see allegiances between one’s native language, on one hand, and, on the other, the decisions made and actions performed by law enforcement officers, politicians, and teachers. In other words, they maintain that native French-speaking officials would favour French-speaking citizens, and, by extension, that native French-speaking authorities would disadvantage English speakers. This seemingly ethnocentric rejection of one language underlines a fear of its encroachment upon the speakers of the other language, which reminds us that language has always been a fundamental instrument in the conqueror’s toolbox.

13 As the aforementioned legislation clearly states, it is the responsibility of the provincial and federal governments to ensure equality and respect for English and French, as well as to provide access to services in both official languages spoken in New Brunswick. Small communities, however, are also participatory agents in this enterprise of making services and activities linguistically accessible, in breaking down language barriers to allow access to those who would otherwise be excluded. At the municipal level, however, bilingual services are not always offered according to the linguistic admixture of Anglophone and Francophone populations coexisting in the community. In fact, the minority language community must constitute at least 20 percent of the total population of the municipality in order to warrant linguistic representation that ensures it full access to municipal services and activities. In practice, some municipalities do not comply with this requirement, which means that the status of a bilingual community is, in those cases, “un acte surtout ‘symbolique’ [an act above all ‘symbolic’]” (Bourgeois and Bourgeois 790–91, 801). It is this symbolism of bilingualism ideals that, one might argue, becomes a salve or even a superficial remedy for the historical conflicts between two linguistic communities that continue to manifest themselves in discrete ways today. Due to historical injustices and divisive politics, relationships between some constituencies remain strained instead of showing signs of reconciliation, while the awareness of va-et-vient, that what comes may well go, maintains an uncertainty nourishing the fear or expectation that change will, one way or another, come once again.

14 Furthermore, small communities are concerned with a larger demographic reality: the population of New Brunswick is rapidly aging and the province has suffered from the considerable outmigration of its young adult population, which is combined with the in-migration of New Brunswickers who return home from other parts of Canada to enjoy retirement. The limited influx of immigrants, a solution in other Canadian provinces, is not compensating for the decrease in the overall population of the province (Passaris 4). In the balance, and particularly at the level of the small community, are numerous challenges: how to offer social services in new and expanded ways; how to deliver high quality health care to all of the demographic strata of the population; how to provide education in the two official languages (and, in particular, how to strive toward those ideals of bilingualism); how to face the realities of a diminishing tax base. The economic impact of this last factor is coupled with the employment challenges facing New Brunswickers. The labour market based on natural resources has shifted, resulting in a loss of long-term employers in Dalhousie and Nackawic, to name but two communities most severely affected in recent years. Seasonal employment remains a reality and federal changes to unemployment are detrimental to families living in small communities who depend on that income. As the population of the province is spread out in small, rural communities, or otherwise in several small urban communities, the smallness of place renders collective challenges more difficult to face at the community level. A recent demographic phenomenon needs to be singled out: the migration of rural inhabitants to the southern cities of the province, which is leaving their original communities less equipped to sustain themselves and to exert a voice in the affairs and direction of the province (Passaris 6).

15 The ancestors of present-day New Brunswickers settled in this region centuries ago and were drawn here by the prospect of a better life. They toiled in the face of hardship and challenge, demonstrating an extraordinary perseverance and desire to thrive. New Brunswick occupies a strategic position in the geography of Canada: it is the region connecting the provinces located to its west to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and its long coastal area links it to a large body of water, the Atlantic. Rich in natural resources, it contains unspoiled stretches of beautiful landscape that are a source of pride for its inhabitants. Its future, and that of its small communities, can indeed be promising. Present and future avenues of prosperity are limitless: the development of tourism (and by extension of arts-related and cultural industries), of commercial ventures dependent on transportation and logistics, of communication-related industries involving information technology and call centres (which make use of the uniquely bilingual labour market), and of light manufacturing and service sector industries. Further exploitation of natural resources, and new and responsible approaches of extracting those resources, will rely on innovative technologies and bring, it is hoped, high quality work opportunities to the province and, along with them, a future for young families and the stimulation of the provincial economy. In light of the need to increase immigration in order to demographically sustain the province in the future, how can New Brunswick become a more welcoming place for newcomers? And, looking inward, how might tensions remaining between Anglophone and Francophone communities undermine this goal of increasing immigrant residency in the province?

16 In a recent study, Leyla Sall and Mathieu Wade have shown that on an annual basis Canada receives on average between 250,000 and 260,000 permanent immigrants, 80 percent of whom settle in large cities located in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia (Sall and Wade 24). For the 20 percent who are left, New Brunswick competes with the three territories and the other six provinces in a fierce contest that it does not appear to be winning. Recognizing how important immigrants can be to the growth of the province, the government of New Brunswick has recently put in place a number of initiatives. One is the Immigrant Settlement Support Funding Program, a program that can be accessed by non-profit organizations to assist with the settlement, integration, and retention of newcomers in New Brunswick’s communities. It aims to facilitate the integration of newcomers into the local labour force and to promote awareness of the benefits of attracting newcomers to New Brunswick for the economy, cultural sphere, and overall social lives of its inhabitants. In addition, the province has been exercising its constitutional right to select immigrant entrepreneurs in the hope of boosting its gloomy economy. Although the face of New Brunswick is indeed slowly changing, in its urban centres at least, this transformation is occurring too slowly and it is certainly not having the desired effect on the economy. A better solution could involve, once again, small communities, which should be encouraged to play a more active role in the integration of newcomers. Relatively homogenous, self-reliant, and tight-knit communities, however, do not necessarily value or embrace diversity. Yet at critical points in its history, New Brunswick welcomed its share of immigrants who succeeded in establishing a home for themselves in its rural and urban communities. Two notable examples should suffice: in the 1760s, Moncton saw the arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants from Philadelphia and became an urban centre; between 1815 and 1867, more than 150,000 immigrants from Ireland flooded into Saint John. Perhaps it is the political rhetoric concerning newcomers that needs to change from its current emphasis on presenting them as stimulants for economic growth to the promotion of the community’s exposure to difference at the local level as a vehicle to enrichment and innovation.

17 An interdisciplinary study of small communities that exist within New Brunswick provides an opportunity to map out operational and organizational linkages, while identifying and reflecting upon specific issues, challenges, and opportunities. This investigation inevitably involves ecological, economic, linguistic, political, and social communities and minorities. As an important type of small community in New Brunswick, rural populations deserve particular attention, and their examination brings attention to the significance of regional identities throughout the province. The Morris Center for Small Towns at the University of Minnesota today serves similar rural constituencies dispersed throughout Minnesota by recognizing, first, the prominence of the demographic distribution of its population, and second, that changing that distribution does not need to become the means of resolving demographic, economic, and social issues confronting the state today and in the years to come. Because small communities form an integral part of the history and development of New Brunswick, it is worth arguing that a similar approach would privilege the decision made by New Brunswickers to live and operate primarily in small communities, instead of problematizing this choice while seeking fundamental change.

18 It is this approach that the contributors to this special issue devoted to small communities of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies have collectively adopted in their studies that focus on how to address challenges and seize opportunities to shape the future of the province. Daniel Delong and Michael J. Fox examine the environmental impact assessment process through a case study investigating how the community of McKee’s Mills mobilized to deal with an important infrastructure issue of great environmental consequences at the local level—the replacement of a bridge and causeway over the Little Bouctouche River. Their investigation highlights the community’s strength as a well-organized and united entity capable of asserting its views and defending what it values most. In another case study, David J. Lieske, along with his co-authors, Lori Ann Roness, Emily A. Phillips, and Michael J. Fox, consider the impact of climate change on the Sackville community and the consultative process through which public awareness about this problem was raised. Their method, findings, and recommendations for dealing with climate change in small coastal communities constitute an important contribution to the literature on this topic. In the third contribution, Frank Strain addresses an issue that is increasingly visible throughout the world by examining the rise in dementia that will be affecting the aging population of New Brunswick in the near future. The researcher proposes important policy adjustments that must be adopted in order to deal more effectively with the challenges ahead, which are otherwise bound to have nefarious effects on families and small communities. In the fourth article, Morgan Poteet and Bianca Gomez, consider the realities facing international students who come to reside in small and often alien communities for the purpose of pursuing a university degree in Atlantic Canada. Utilizing a series of focus groups as the basis for their investigation, the authors suggest ways through which this cohort of students can become better integrated in the domestic student population as well as into the relatively homogenous communities of this region. The fifth contribution to this special issue takes the reader into a different realm, artistic production, by focusing on “rural readymades”—those familiar but surprising creations often found in hamlets, towns, or natural locations, which imbue ordinary objects and elements of everyday life with new meaning. The final contribution, which features contextualized interviews with Suzanne Dallaire and Thaddeus Holownia, opens a window into the fascinating world of artistic production while accentuating the considerable challenges today faced by artists in New Brunswick.

19 Altogether, these studies constitute an important contribution to research on the topic of small communities in New Brunswick in that they highlight ways in which individuals work effectively as collective entities to enact change that does not fundamentally damage the social and cultural fabric of the province, raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by those suffering from mental illness or living with disabilities in small constituencies throughout the province, reflect upon the cultural integration of newcomers, and underline what makes this part of Canada special—a deep appreciation for nature and landscape, great resilience in the face of hardship, widespread creative fervour, cemented links to a layered past, and a prevalent sense of community.

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Passaris, Constantine E. “New Brunswick’s Perfect Demographic Storm.” Journal of New Brunswick Studies 3 (2012): 1–13. <http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/20080/23109>. Accessed 25 February 2015. Web.
Sall, Leyla, and Mathieu Wade. “L’attraction d’immigrants entrepreneurs est-il le meilleur moyen de changer le destin économique provincial?” Journal of New Brunswick Studies 5 (2014). 24–40. <http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/22336>. Accessed 25 February 2015. Web.
Telescope: Donald Sutherland. Hosted by Ken Cavanaugh. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Broadcasted 15 September 1970. <http://www.cbc.ca/archives/discover/programs/t/telescope/the-thoughtful-donald-sutherland.html>. Accessed 25 February 2015. Web.
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1 The editors of this special issue would like to thank David Bruce, the Director of the Office of Research Services at Mount Allison University, who managed the SSHRC grant that funded this project and greatly facilitated the publication of this special issue. They are also indebted to Tony Tremblay and the JNBS Editorial Board for enthusiastically welcoming this collaboration.
2 We would like to thank David Mawhinney, University Archivist at Mount Allison University, for providing us with a copy of this image.