Periodic Report Canada

Executive summary

Canada has established an extensive network of cultural policies and measures to create an environment that promotes the diversity of cultural expressions on its territory. Implemented by various tiers of government, these measures take several forms (policies, laws, regulations, grant schemes, tax credits and so on) and complement one another, thus supporting all stages of cultural expression (creation, production, distribution, dissemination and participation). This report presents a small sample of the measures adopted for each of the fields highlighted in the Operational Guidelines.

Cultural policies and measures: The Government of Canada and the governments of its provinces and territories have adopted strategic plans and cultural policies to ensure good planning and accountability in the field of arts and culture. Each tier of government has put in place a range of institutions (such as funding agencies, arts councils and public broadcasters) to implement its cultural measures effectively.

International cooperation: The Government of Canada has established grants and special arrangements in its work permit scheme to ensure the mobility of culture professionals. In addition, it has signed bilateral cultural cooperation agreements and maintained audiovisual coproduction treaties with several partners worldwide. Some Canadian provinces and territories have also signed bilateral agreements and introduced measures to promote international cooperation in the field of culture.

Sustainable development: In 2008, the Government of Canada hosted the Ignite the Americas Youth Arts Policy Forum, which brought young arts sector leaders from several countries together in Toronto to discuss culture as a tool for youth inclusion and economic growth. The Government of Quebec adopted an Agenda 21 for Culture, which is a framework that defines principles and goals to be pursued in order to give culture a major cross-cutting role in sustainable development; the Government of Saskatchewan has, for its part, launched a policy that places culture at the heart of its action.

Participation of civil society: In 2008, the Government of Canada financed the organization of an International Forum on the Creative Economy to improve understanding of the value of culture as a cornerstone of the creative economy. It also organized large-scale consultations on copyright, making use of information technology (through an online discussion forum, public meetings via webcast and so on) to give citizens throughout the country the opportunity to express their views. Likewise, the provincial and territorial governments have established many platforms where the ideas of civil society can be heard and discussed. Lastly, the Governments of Canada and Quebec have supported the Coalition for Cultural Diversity in order to promote the goals and principles of the Convention at home and abroad.

Main outcomes achieved and challenges encountered: Nationally, Canada has modernized many programmes to meet the challenges posed by the increasing number of digital platforms and by changes in the practices of Canadian consumers of cultural goods and services. Internationally, Canada has promoted the ratification and implementation of the Convention in many international forums and through cultural cooperation agreements and commercial accords.