The Liberal Party campaigned on increased arts funding in the last federal election. While the Liberals have fulfilled that promise to date, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has bigger and bolder plans to improve the prospects of Canadian content.
Joly has a pair of ultimate goals in the quest to fix the current model where Canadian content is involved:
- foster the creation of Canadian content across the country
- increase the international audience for Canadian creators
Music, film, and television to our ears.
The cultural industries account for more than 600,000 jobs and generate $47.7 billion annually for 3 percent of the GDP. According to Canadian Heritage, that output is double the size of the agricultural, fisheries, and forestry sectors combined.
"Canada's cultural and creative industries are important drivers of innovation and a vibrant part of our economy," Joly said.
Increasing international audiences for Canadian content also perk up tourism numbers. Ask the folks in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island if Anne of Green Gables affects tourism numbers. Or how many people go to Paris after seeing the city on the big screen.
How you can get involved
You can participate in the pre-questionnaire here. You don't have to be Canadian or live in Canada to participate. You are given an opportunity to mark "outside of Canada" in the survey.
You will be given the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire as a stakeholder in an element of Canadian content or as a consumer of Canadian content.
The questionnaire is supposed to take 10 to 30 minutes. There are a few essay questions with a 250-word maximum. The rest of the questions mostly involve selecting 3-5 choices, including a chance to offer up a choice that is not listed.
One essay question you should consider in advance is "How important is it for you to have access to Canadian content in a digital world?" That question should require careful consideration.
The questionnaire will be available online until May 20. I will share my answer to that question after the survey period.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage will take the summer to lead public, stakeholder and online consultations on Strengthening Canadian Content Creation, Discovery and Export in a Digital World. Public hearings are scheduled to happen after Labour Day.