In a world without borders and evolving technology, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, outlined how the Government of Canada is supporting Canada’s creative industries to reach new audiences during a discussion today at the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal (CORIM). Minister Joly defined three goals the government has set: to re-establish its presence internationally, to put in place the expertise required to promote Canada’s creative industries, and to enhance funding for international events so that Canadian creators and cultural entrepreneurs can take advantage of export opportunities.
Re-establish our International Presence
The Government is re-establishing its presence on the international cultural scene to open new markets, opportunities and collaborations for our creative industries. In her speech, Minister Joly highlighted the importance of re-establishing Canada’s place in multilateral cultural forums, such as UNESCO and the G7 of Culture, and restore longstanding bilateral relationships with key partners.
She also underscored the Government of Canada’s recent achievements in the film sector. In 2016, Canada signed new coproduction treaties with Ireland, China, New Zealand and Jordan. Canada has also become the first country outside Europe to join Eurimages, the Council of Europe’s film coproduction fund, which will deepen Canada’s relationship with its European partners and help further promote Canadian coproductions abroad.
Develop In-Market Expertise
Canada has committed to put in place the in-market capacity needed in target markets. This means hiring at key missions around the world and providing funding to increase the promotion of Canadian artists and creative industries. Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service will offer in-market support at select offices abroad to help Canadian companies in the creative industry identify and benefit from export opportunities.
To support this goal, Minister Joly also announced that the Canada Music Fund and Canada Book Fund will receive $4.15 million and $1 million respectively to promote Canadian creators in foreign markets through touring, marketing, showcases and access to events to get Canadian artists in front of international audiences.
Support Key Opportunities
The Government is enhancing funding to key international events so that our creators can make the most of important market opportunities.
Minister Joly announced that Canada will participate as the partner country in the Gamescom international trade fair in Cologne, Germany, from August 22 to 26, 2017. As partner country, Canadian creators will be front and centre at this international trade fair. Canada will have an opportunity to showcase its digital media and creative brand in Europe, position itself as an investment destination, and develop new business opportunities and partnerships.
Minister Joly also reminded the crowd that Canada has accepted the invitation to be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.
Strengthening ties in China
To show how this approach is at work, in January 2017 Minister Joly travelled to Beijing and Shanghai to establish strong working relationships with political and business leaders interested in supporting Canadian cultural exports in China.
During the visit, Minister Joly met with Luo Shugang, China’s Minister of Culture, and they agreed to form the Canada–China Joint Committee on Culture.The committee will position culture as one of the key areas of ongoing governmental engagement with China, leading the way to opening new market opportunities.
Minister Joly also participated in the inaugural meeting of the Creative Industries Advisory Group, a group of experts with in-market expertise who will help identify challenges and opportunities in China as the Canadian government seeks to further support the promotion of its creative industries to access this market.
Input and support from both of these groups will be instrumental in considering a possible future cultural trade mission to China.
The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadian cultural industries represent a key sector of our economy. Opening new markets for creators and cultural industries will contribute to inclusive growth, create jobs and strengthen the middle class and helping those working hard to join it.