Arts community mourns

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Edythe Goodridge, a prominent figure in the Newfoundland and Labrador's arts community, has died.

Joshua Jamieson, communications officer with the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC), said Thursday it’s sad news for the arts community in the province. The NLAC issued a news release, offering “heartfelt condolences” to her family.

Among many other roles Goodridge held, she was the first executive director of the province's arts council.

The current executive director, Reg Winsor, said Goodridge worked tirelessly for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, raising the profile of the arts and cultural sector for more than four decades.

“She was the first executive director of the NLAC upon its founding in 1980 and was determined to start building momentum for our mission to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” Winsor said.

A profile on Goodridge from the arts council website ( says she lived in Salvage, where she helped set up the very successful Winterset Festival, staged annually in Eastport.

Goodridge’s experience in the arts and cultural community spanned local, national and international levels. In 1968, she joined Memorial University’s community development division and in 1972 she went to Ottawa to serve on the National Capital Commission.

In 1974, she returned to the province to take over the Memorial University Art Gallery.

She was the first executive director of the Newfoundland Arts Council and went on to work as director of visual arts at the Canada Council in Ottawa.

She also served on the Association of Cultural Industries, the Heritage Association, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization. She was also co-founder and president of the Newfoundland Historic Trust.

She was inducted into the NLAC’s Arts Hall of Honour in 1990 and received a doctor of laws (honoris causa) from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1998.

“Edythe Goodridge worked with determination and used her political savvy to ensure the arts and cultural community of Newfoundland and Labrador was brought to the attention of everyone she met,” the NLAC news release said.

“Goodridge aimed to inspire national respect and local pride for the distinctive culture from which she came with intense confidence."

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