In September 2016, The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage launched a cultural policy review to explore how to strengthen the creation, discovery and export of Canadian content in a digital world.
Approximately 30,000 Canadians demonstrated an interest in the Government of Canada's #DigiCanCon consultations, engaging through in-person events, a web portal and on social media – vital input that helped Canada launch its Creative Canada Policy Framework earlier this autumn.
The Winnipeg Chamber is an enthusiastic supporter of our city’s and country’s creative sectors. The arts, culture and heritage industries contribute almost $55 billion to the Canadian economy each year, and there are more than 630,000 people working in those sectors right now across Canada. To put that in perspective, that is roughly equivalent to the entire size of Manitoba’s economy, both in terms of economic output and in terms of workers.
Our Manitoba BOLD featured several recommendations on how to grow those sectors. One of those recommendations was for our province to join the federal government in reviewing and modernizing arts and culture policies – a move announced in late March 2017 that The Chamber engaged with a submission.
In our submission, we advocate for STEAM not STEM education in our schools. (STEAM standing for science, technology, engineering, arts and math). We encouraged the development of the West Exchange district as a creative cluster – a neighbourhood that has great potential to grow as a creative hub, especially as the federal government has indicated they will be increasing investments into creative hubs going forward as part of the Creative Canada Policy Framework.
The framework is quite comprehensive. In addition to creative hub funding, a new Creative Export Fund will be launched in 2018, joining Canada’s first cultural trade mission in an effort to export our cultural products to the world.
There is lots of change at the federal and provincial levels (not mention the City of Winnipeg) in regards to cultural policy and we urge Winnipeggers to join us on Tuesday, November 14 when Minister Joly comes to Winnipeg for a special luncheon and fireside chat to discuss Creative Canada: Vision for Canada's Creative Industries in the Digital Age. Now is the time for all three levels of government to work together so we can leverage our many strengths and build the creative economy here in Winnipeg.