Federal Government Announces 'Creative Canada,' Overhauls Support for Arts Industries

[![Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly at the Economic Club of Canada](/content/images/2017/09/Melanie-Joly-300x216.jpg)](/content/images/2017/09/Melanie-Joly.jpg)Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly at the Economic Club of Canada
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced yesterday, Sept. 28, the creation of  Creative Canada, which is the federal government’s plan for Canada’s cultural and creative industries in the digital world.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa, Minister Joly outlined Canada’s new strategy for the creative economy and a renewed policy approach to strengthen Canada’s  creative sector. With digital technologies rapidly transforming Canada’s cultural landscape, Joly says Creative Canada offers a roadmap for the future of Canada’s creative industries.

The arts and culture sector is a $54.6-billion industry and a cornerstone of Canada’s economy, Joly said. It employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians in various fields across the country, in addition to the countless spin-off jobs in local communities created as a result of production. These high-value jobs are essential to the economy and, with Creative Canada, according to Joly, the Government of Canada will ensure they remain sustainable well into the future.

Creative Canada focuses on investing in Canadian creators and cultural entrepreneurs, promoting the discovery and distribution of content at home and globally, and working to strengthen public broadcasting and support local news. Information on the policy measures and initiatives announced during the speech can be found online.

Minister Joly also announced a $500 million agreement with Netflix, a first of its kind in the world.

“Canadians are fiercely proud of our creators and cultural entrepreneurs. The benefits that Canadian culture brings to the economy and to building identity, pride and a shared sense of values are undeniable,” says Minister Joly. “Canada’s creative sector supports countless high-quality jobs that help grow our middle class and support families right across the country. Through Creative Canada, we will enact policies that help our creators and cultural entrepreneurs address the challenges of today’s digital reality, and ensure that Canada’s voice will be heard loud and strong on the world stage.”

Among the other key points in Joly’s announcement is that the Government of Canada will increase its contribution to the Canada Media Fund. A specific dollar amount on the funding increase was not announced, but Joly said the purpose is to makeup for the decline in levies from cable and satellite distributors and top-ups from Ottawa will start next year .

There will also be $125 million put towards Canada’s Creative Export Strategy to promote and facilitate the export of Canadian content. The government will also create a Creative Industries Council (CIC), which will advise the government on ways to enhance collaboration between industries and spur growth in the creative industries.

The government has also promised to modernize the Canada Music Fund within two years. Joly says the governement will support Canadian music artists and entrepreneurs to develop specialized business, promotion, and performing skills so they can break into international markets. Funding will also support entrepreneurs in developing competitive, modern marketing strategies to help Canadian music stand out among the wealth of choices available to listeners.

For more information, a detailed policy framework for Creative Canada is available online.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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