The Canadian Arts Coalition commends the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, for having undertaken a monumental policy review and for delivering an equally ambitious vision. This policy review, although not stipulated in the Minister’s mandate letter, was long awaited and sorely needed.
Within today’s exhaustive vision, the Coalition welcomes two announcements that will be particularly beneficial to the arts sector.
First, the Minister announced that part of the $300 million investment in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will will be made available for creative hubs across the country. These hubs will help nurture and incubate the next generation of artists and cultural entrepreneurs. This announcement directly responds to one of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s recommendations during the #DigiCanCon and infrastructure consultations.
Second, the Minister addressed the importance of international market access for Canadian artists. The Coalition was pleased to see a plan for the return of cultural attaches abroad and cultural trade missions with the government’s initial $35 million investment in showcasing Canada. Today’s $125 million Creative Export Strategies will sustain and expand these initiatives over the next five years. Although this had been requested by the Coalition, in the current fiscal environment such an investment was not given. Canadian arts organizations are eager to share their creativity internationally and represent Canada with pride.
The Canadian Arts Coalition will now eagerly await the review of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act. The arts sector will expect to see legislative and regulatory measures to ensure fair and sustainable contributions from all internet distributors – not just those with which agreements are struck. Specifically, the Coalition hopes that the review will consider spectrum as a valuable resource and move forward on a levy of spectrum licence owners. During this review, the Coalition intends to keep the lines of communication open with the Minister of Canadian Heritage in order to discuss investment in Canadian content creators.
Finally, although today’s announcements and agreements are bound to benefit many Canadian creators, the Coalition will be paying particular attention to considerations given to Indigenous, disabled, racialized and Francophone minority artists. The Canadian Arts Coalition intends to continue to partner with equity-seeking organizations to ensure that all artists can derive tangible benefits from the Creative Canada policies.