The federal government laid out its strategy Thursday to support Canada’s creative industries.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly has employed quiet diplomacy to welcome the expansion of global Internet platforms into Canada with the proviso that our creative industries have access to and co-venture opportunities with them.
Culture has a significant economic impact; it provides 630,000 jobs for Canadians and contributes $54.6 billion per year in economic activity.
Canada’s legislative framework for culture and national cultural institutions is archaic and needs reforming.
Blueprint Points to Know
1) There are to be no new taxes on streaming services, Internet service providers, or over-the-airwave broadcasters.
2) Increasing the federal contribution to the Canada Media Fund (a key funding mechanism for TV and digital productions), to compensate for the decline in levies from cable and satellite distributors. No figure is available, but Joly says top-ups from Ottawa will start next year to cover the shortfall.
3) $125-million in new funding over five years for a Creative Export Strategy to boost the sales of CanCon around the world that includes a new fund to promote Canadian creators abroad, and a new Creative Industries Council to help guide promotion efforts. Updates will be introduced within two years for programs such as the Canada Music Fund.
4) Refreshing the CBC’s mandate with the new senior executive team to be appointed next year.
5) Reviewing the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and Copyright Act, and modernizing the Copyright Board of Canada.
— Netflix will spend $500 million over five years for the creation of original content produced in Canada.
— Audible, an affiliated company of Amazon, which offers audiobooks on a subscription basis, has launched its Canadian bilingual site with 100 Canadian titles in English and French.
— Spotify Canada has started an initiative called “Spotify Sessions” which provides Canadian artists with opportunities to record live versions of their songs to attract greater audiences on the platform.
—In a global first, YouTube launched “Spotlight Canada,” a new channel showcasing Canadian creators, including English, French and Indigenous artists. The company has also launched “Creator on the Rise” on its Canadian platform, a new feature which highlights an emerging Canadian creator each week. YouTube estimates that 90 percent of Canadian video viewership comes from outside of the country.
To view the Creative Canada Policy Framework in its entirety