This report was prepared following consultation across the federal government, as well as with portfolio agencies within the Department of Canadian Heritage. We also sought input from our provincial and territorial government colleagues, as well as a group of civil society organizations. More specifically, an electronic form was designed and used to gather information and data related to best practices in the themes prescribed by the operational directives.
Note that the Québec report, which focuses on the province’s specific experiences, can be found in Appendix 2. This report is the result of close cooperation between the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec [Québec Ministry of Culture and Communications] under the Canada-Québec Agreement on UNESCO. This agreement, ratified in 2006, entitles the Government of Québec to be represented as a full member within all Canadian delegations to UNESCO proceedings, meetings and conferences whenever it so wishes.
A consultation with civil society was also carried out through the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE), a Canadian association that serves as the voice of the country’s main cultural sector unions and professional associations in debates on issues related to the Convention. In total, the Coalition’s 40 members represent more than 200,000 creators as well as 2000 companies and non-profit organizations in all cultural fields (books, cinema, television, new media, music, performing arts and visual arts) in all regions of the country. The Coalition prepared the text in the section focusing on civil society-led activities. For more information on the Coalition and its activities, please visit https://cdec-cdce.org/.
Since the release of its last quadrennial report in 2016, Canada has continued to advance policies and measures that support the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Over the past four years, Canada has consolidated and strengthened its commitment to an international strategy to promote the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital age. This has been done, among other ways, through the Digital Citizen Initiative, a new multi-component strategy that aims to support democracy and social cohesion in Canada by building citizen resilience against online disinformation and building partnerships to support a healthy information ecosystem.
The measures taken by Canada’s provinces and territories are also at the heart of Canada’s cultural policy framework, and the programs implemented, such as Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan, the Creative Saskatchewan Investment Fund or the Partout, la culture cultural policy, reflect the country’s regional needs and specificities, while ensuring ongoing and sustainable support for the arts and culture sector.
From a regulatory perspective, the publication in January 2020 of the final report on the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review is of critical importance, since it paves the way for the use of new tools and new regulatory approaches to support the production and promotion of audiovisual content in the digital age.
In line with the Convention’s third objective, the June 2018 launch of the Creative Export Strategy, funded with $125 million over five years, also reinforces the Government of Canada’s belief that creative industries are at the heart of Canada’s competitive advantage on the international scene. This initiative, which has supported more than 1,000 Canadian businesses since 2018, will help accelerate the country’s economic growth.
The role of civil society is also vital, particularly CDCE’s representation and advocacy work. In 2019, Canada reiterated its financial commitment to CDCE by allocating 375,000 over five years to the Coalition, as well as $375,000 over five years to UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity. This monetary support will help, among other things, to facilitate the adoption of cultural policies that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, and to support the implementation of the Convention by encouraging the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector in developing countries.
In considering the future of the Canadian cultural sector, we project that the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis will have a significant impact on creative industries in the coming years. The Canadian government has taken major steps to better support artists affected by the current crisis. These include the announcement of $500 million to help alleviate the financial pressures on cultural, heritage and sports organizations as they manage the challenges and impacts of this pandemic.
As this report illustrates, the past four years have been marked by fundamental changes in Canada’s cultural sector, and the complex issues that have emerged demonstrate how crucial the 2005 Convention is in guiding the strategy for the presence, enrichment and outreach of the national cultural offerings in the digital environment for the purposes of promoting a diversity of cultural expressions.
Québec Ministry of Culture and Communications
Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture
Alberta Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport
Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Culture and Heritage Division of the Northwest Territories
Department of Culture and Tourism of Yukon
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture of Prince Edward Island
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE)
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
National Arts Centre
National Film Board of Canada
Goal 1 - Support Sustainable Systems of Governance for Culture
Cultural and Creative Sectors
Amounts for 2017 (in millions of Canadian dollars)
Audio-visual and interactive
Visual and applied arts
Written and published works
Heritage and libraries
Education and training
Governance, funding, and professional support
Total cultural industries
Figure 1.1.Disaggregated data by sector and sex, 2015
Creative and artistic production
Heritage collection and preservation
Technical and operational
Total cultural occupations
Figure 1.2. Disaggregated data by age group, 2015
65 years and over
Figure 1.3. Disaggregated data by employment status, 2015
Part-time (<30 hrs/wk)
Full time (>30 hrs/wk)
Creative and artistic production
Heritage collection and preservation
Technical and operational
Total cultural sector
Total Canadian economy
Amounts in millions of dollars, 2018
Recreation, culture and religion
CAD 19 283
CAD 6 157
Broadcasting and publishing services
CAD 3 976
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) – Support to Creative Hubs
Budget 2017 invested $230 million (CAD 300 million) over 10 years starting in 2018-19 $23 million/year (CAD 30 million /year), to continue support to cultural spaces with a focus on creative hubs.
Canada Council Arts Granting Programs
2017-18: USD 155.4 million (CAD 202.7 million)
2018-19: USD 186.0 million (CAD 242.7 million)
It should be noted that as part of the 2016 federal budget, the Canadian government announced that the Canada Council for the Arts will see its annual budget of $182 million double over five years to reach $360 million in 2021.
Creation of the National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre
Indigenous Action Plan
Fifteen percent of all NFB production spending is allocated to projects by Indigenous artists. This performance indicator is an integral part of annual reporting at the NFB.
There is one year left before the Indigenous Action Plan is completed. However, it is clear that the NFB wants to ensure that these commitments are an integral part of its culture and methods in future years. There will be constant work to ensure the diversity of Canadian society is represented both in front of and behind the camera.
Your Stories, Taken to Heart
USD 0.89 billion (CAD 1.2 billion) in 2019
Talent to Watch Program
In 2018-2019, the Talent to Watch Program provided USD 4 million (CAD 5.5 million) in production funding for 44 projects.
Alberta Media Fund
Between 2015-16 to 2018-19, the Alberta Media Fund's combined annual expenses totalled approximately USD 142,024,159 (CAD 185,507,000).
Creative Futures – Cultural Policy (2014-2019)
At the time of launch, Government provided an increased budget of $5 million annually (for 5 years)
Arts and Cultural Institutions require greater financial funding to thrive and to continue to enrich all communities; The policy elements must be achieved by working in collaboration with partners; Using digital resources and technology is required to achieve the actions in the policy; the policy contains many important and relevant actions that will continue to be the basis of decision-making for Gov't for years to come.
Culture Innovation Fund
(Program launched in 2018) Approx. CAD 3.7 million from in the period covered by this report; est. USD 2.8 million
Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan
The Culture Action Plan guides the work of the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage under six key themes: Promote Mi'kmaw Culture; Promote Creativity and Innovation; Strengthen Education, Partnerships, and Understanding; Advance Cultural Diversity; Excellence in Cultural Stewardship; Drive Awareness and Economic Growth of the Culture Sector.
Partout, la culture [Culture Everywhere] cultural policy
The cultural policy is operationalized through an action plan covering the 2018-2023 period. The action plan includes 41 measures that address the policy's objectives and directions and provides for investments of USD 435.8 million (CAD 600.9 million) over five years.
Plan d’action gouvernemenal en culture 2018–2023 [2018–2023 Government Action Plan for Culture]
The 2018-2023 government action plan for culture contains 41 measures addressing the objectives and directions of Quebec's cultural policy, Partout, la culture, and provides for investments of USD 435.8 million (CAD 600.9 million) over five years.
Québec’s International Vision
Local Journalism Initiative
USD 38.3 million over five years
A better reflection of Indigenous peoples and official language minority communities in Canadian productions
Each broadcaster must, as a condition of its licence, spend a certain percentage of the previous year's gross revenues on the acquisition or creation of Canadian programming to contribute to the development of programming and support for Canadian creators. These percentages are predetermined by the CRTC at the time of each licence renewal. The incentives are part of a broadcaster's Canadian programming expenditure obligations.
Granting a licence to a national multilingual and multi-ethnic discretionary service
The OMNI Regional service must be distributed in the basic packages of all cable or satellite companies and receive a royalty. From September 1, 2020, to August 31, 2023, the rate paid shall be USD 0.14 (CAD 0.19) per month per subscriber.
Diversity Film Fund
USD 3.3 million (CAD $4.5 million or CAD $1.5 million per year in each of 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20)
News media assistance plan
In 2019-2020, more than USD 9.2 million (CAD12.7 million) was disbursed through media assistance programs under the responsibility of MCC.
Policy framework for local and community television
Most BDUs are required to make an annual contribution of 5% of its previous year's gross revenues to the creation and production of Canadian programming. Of this amount, cable companies must contribute a maximum of 1.5% to local expression while satellite companies must contribute a maximum of 0.6% to local news.
BDUs must contribute 0.3% of their 5% contribution to Canadian programming from the previous year's broadcast revenues to the ILNF.
The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review (BTLR)
Diversity of Content Online Initiative
Part of the digital citizenship initiative, announced in Budget 2019, with funding amounting to CAD 3.4 million (USD 2.4 million) over 4 years.
Digital Citizen Initiative
USD 9.9 million (CAD 13.4 million)
Canada Media Fund (CMF)
For 2019-2020, CMF anticipates it will invest USD 270.5 million (USD 121 million from the Government of Canada and USD 150 million from private distributors) in Canadian production. The Government of Canada annually provides USD 103 million to the CMF. In addition, the Canadian Government has agreed to provide an additional supplement of USD 132 million over a five-year period, totaling USD 18 million for 2019-2020.
The Canada Media Fund also obtains financial contributions from cable, satellite and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Canadian distributors. Under regulatory obligations, broadcast distributors are required to make an annual contribution of 5% of their annual broadcasting revenues to Canadian programming, most of which goes to the CMF.
The first (and only) Summative Evaluation of the CMF program focused on the period from 2010-11 to 2013-14. It addressed the core issues of relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy.
The evaluation found that the CMF acts to strengthen Canada's capacity to become a leader in the digital economy through its support for Canadian digital content and applications.
All seven of the evaluation recommendations have been fully addressed, which enable PCH to work with the CMF to improve both the Convergent and the Experimental streams and gave the Fund the necessary flexibility, for example, to start funding Web series.
The next summative evaluation of the program is to be completed by summer 2020, covering the five-year period from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
Canada Council Digital Strategy Fund
Between 2017 and 2021, the Canada Council will invest $88.5 million through the Digital Strategy Fund.
The Arts in a Digital World Summit (March 2017)
USD 666 thousand (CAD 870 thousand)
A post-event survey was administered, and a recap is available on the Canada Council website:
Most of the participants expressed the desire to collaborate with people they met at the Summit in the future. Becoming "ambassadors" and bringing back info and messaging from the Summit to their communities were also noted as important for many participants.
This event gathered people together to discuss the countless changes brought about by the digital age; the philosophical, ethical and organizational transformations needed to adapt to it; the issue of digital literacy in the arts sector; and the endless potential of digital technologies to reach new audiences. The Summit also helped validate the approach the Canada Council would take with the Digital Strategy Fund, which was launched later in 2017
Québec’s Digital Cultural Plan (QDCP)
This plan initially called for an investment of USD 80 million (CAD 110 million) over seven years. The action plan for Quebec's cultural policy put an additional USD 11 million (CAD 15 million) into the QDCP and extended it for two additional years, bringing the total investment to USD 91 million (CAD 125 million) over nine years (2014-2023).
For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, USD 13.2 million (CAD 18.2 million) was invested.
The implementation is currently being evaluated.
Action plan for data on Québec cultural content - Measure 111 of the Québec Digital Cultural Plan
For 2019-2020, USD 554,854 (CAD765,000)
Establish and staff a network of digital cultural development agents – Measure 120 of the Québec Digital Cultural Plan
Approximately USD 5 million (CAD 7 million) for the duration of the measure, from 2019 to 2022.
France-Quebéc mission on the discoverability of Francophone cultural content online
Plan d’action pour la musique (PAM [Music Action Plan])
Between 2017 and 2019, MCC allocated CAD 8.6 million to its effort to support all players in the Quebec music industry.
Partnering with Civil Society
Support for projects of civil society organizations working in the field of the diversity of cultural expressions
NB The amounts shown below represent the total funding by the Government of Quebec (MCC and MRIF).
* Production, release and translation of the Study on International Cooperation with French-speaking African Countries for the Implementation of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in the Digital Environment: USD 23,572 (CAD 32,500)
* International study days on discoverability: USD 14, 528 (CAD 20,030)
* International seminar entitled "An Inventory of Integrated Approaches to the Protection of Cultural and Natural Resources in National and International Law": USD 4,351 (CAD 6,000)
* Support for the participation of speakers at an event organized by the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) in Togo (November 2019): USD 3,094.27 (CAD 4,266.19)
* Production of the Guide to the Negotiation of Cultural Clauses in Trade Agreements, launch of the Guide and seminar entitled "Prendre en compte la nature specifique de la culture dans la negociation et la mise en oeuvre d'engagements en matiere de commerce electronique : Pourquoi? Comment?" [Consideration of the specific nature of culture in the negotiation and implementation of e-commerce commitments: why? how?] (January 31, 2020): USD 22,847 (CAD 31,500)
Goal 2 - Achieve a Balanced Flow of Cultural Goods and Services and Increase the Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals
Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals
Creative Export Strategy - Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF)
CAPF has been provided 383,000 (CAD 500,000) per year from 2017-18 to 2022-23.
Canada Council Granting Programs: Arts Across Canada and Arts Abroad
2017-18: USD 9.8 million (CAD 12.8 million )
2018-19: USD 12.3 million (CAD 16 million)
Arts Across Canada
2017-18: USD 14.3 million (CAD 18.6 million )
2018-19: USD 17.2 million (CAD 22.5 million)
Ontario-Québec Cultural Exchange Program
USD 44,715 (CAD $60,000) per year for each of 2017-18 and 2018-19
Development of markets outside Québec and international promotion of Québec culture
The total funding planned for Measure 40 is USD 10 million (CAD 14 million) over five years (2018-2023).
International culture commitments between the Government of Quebec and foreign partners
Specific commitments of agencies and Crown corporations reporting to the Minister of Culture and Communications
Flow of Cultural Goods and Services
Creative Export Strategy
Starting in June 2018, the Government of Canada provides USD 18 million (CAD 25 million) a year for five years, to fund the Creative Export Strategy.
The Creative Saskatchewan Investment Fund
$23 million (USD) since 2013
The most recent comprehensive review of Creative Saskatchewan took place in 2015.
The consultations led to the implementation by Creative Saskatchewan of several recommendations, including a new communications plan, a new website and an online application system, a review of program policies and procedures, an examination of funding equity, and a review of board governance.
Indicators used to assess successes of the Crown Agency included: alignment with Saskatchewan's cultural policy and with sister agencies that support arts (Saskatchewan Arts Board) and culture (SaskCulture); alignment with government direction; compliance with agency legislation; progress toward agency goals; and achievements in sector development, communications and client services.
For more information on the consultation report, please see: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/public-consultations/creative-sas...
Creative Industries Fund
Approximately CAD 7.8 million during this period, estimated USD 5.85 million
Nova Scotia Culture Trade Strategies
est. $202,000 in 2019
Treaties and agreements
Cultural industries exception in Canada's free trade agreements
No specific financial resources are dedicated to this the measure. The Canadian government supports its cultural industries through various measures that are possible because of the exception included in Canada's trade agreements.
The cultural industries exception represent a longstanding approach in the context of Canada's trade negotiations. To date Canada has maintained this provision with little or no changes from its original iteration in 1989. One of the strength of this provision relies on its adaptability over time. Its current wording is deemed to be adequate to protect policy space both in the analog and digital environment.
WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce
No financial resources have been allocated other than those required to ensure that cultural experts actively participate in these negotiations
Audiovisual treaty coproduction modernization: Seven treaties signed since 2016
The implementation of Canada's Policy on Audiovisual Treaty Coproduction does not require the investment of financial resources, other than human resource expenditures by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Maine/New Brunswick Cultural MOU
Both jurisdictions continue to see value in the MOU so the relationship continues to be nurtured through monthly conference calls, and yearly in-person meetings and conference opportunities for Task force members.
Cultural initiative between New Brunswick and Louisiana
To be determined according to the budget allocated for 2020/2021.
The first assessment is scheduled to take place in 2024.
Goal 3 - Integrate Culture in Sustainable Development Frameworks
National Sustainable Development Policies & Plans
Building a Foundation for Change : Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, 2019–2022
USD 33.1 million (CAD 45 million)
Initiative on Canadian Accessible Digital Books
USD 17.5 million over five years
Telefilm Canada committed to providing increased support for Indigenous filmmakers by increasing the feature film financing support made available for creators from Canada’s Indigenous communities to $4 million annually, over the next five years
USD 3.9 million
The multi-pronged approach to better supporting Indigenous creators is bearing positive results. There is an increased presence of Indigenous creators in the pipeline. In addition, there is a stronger more positive working rapport with Indigenous creators. In addition, Telefilm has begun prioritizing Indigenous representation in its workforce.
Lastly, Telefilm is committed to supporting the Indigenous Screen Office - a sustainable autonomous entity that will help indigenous creators amplify their voices and ensure a vibrant indigenous screen-based industry.
Engagement with the Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD) and Nova Scotia’s “Count Us In” Action Plan for DPAD
Est. CAD 59,000 during the reporting period or est. USD 44,000
Youth Culture Camps
CAD 2.5 million (or USD 1.8 million) annually
Government initiative to integrate culture into sustainable development under the Government Sustainable Development Strategy (2015-2020)
Measure 3 of the 2018–2023 government action plan for culture: Expand the range of activities and services offered by cultural Crown corporations that address the needs of people with disabilities, immigrants and people living in poverty
A total of USD 1.8 million (CAD 2.5 million) over the 2018-2023 period is earmarked for the implementation of this measure, for all of the Crown corporations involved.
* Three cycles of photography workshops and exhibitions: USD 21,759 (CAD 30,000)
* Introductory workshops in the Jardins Gamelin: USD 725 (CAD 1,000)
* Haiku workshops and the art installation entitled "structure Poemes d'un jour" (3 years): USD 54,398 (CAD 75,000)
* "Self-service poetry" workshops: USD 2,176 (CAD 3,000)
* "La ruche de poesie" workshops: USD 2,901 (CAD 4,000)
International Cooperation for Sustainable Development
Cooperation by Québec in international organizations
Between 2016 and 2020, Quebec contributed USD 108,795 (CAD 150,000) to the IFCD, for a total contribution of USD 290,120 (CAD 400,000) since 2008.
In 2019-2020, MRIF contributed USD 2,223,272 (CAD 3,065,314) to IOF programming (other than operating programs). The IOF estimates that 18.65% of its programming funds are devoted to its French Culture and Language mission. As a result, we estimate that Quebec contributed USD 413,915 (CAD 571,681) to IOF programming in the area of French culture and language.
In 2019-2020, MRIF contributed USD 406,168 (CAD 560,000) to AUF programming (other than operating programs). An undetermined portion of this funding is devoted to programming in the field of French culture and/or language.
The Government of Quebec announced at the meeting of senior officials of donor governments in December 2019 that, for 2020, it would maintain its contribution based on the one-ninth benchmark, which is EU8,257,000, i.e. EU3,302,080 for the Government of Quebec (40% of one ninth). The Government of Quebec's contribution is split evenly between MCC and MRIF.
International cooperation by Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)
Fonds pour la jeune création francophone [Young Francophone Creation Fund]
MCC makes an annual contribution of USD 14,506 (CAD 20,000).
Goal 4 - Promote Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Women in Production Summit (an initiative involving the voluntary participation of engaged partners)
The financial resources allocated to the implementation of this initiative are at the discretion of the volunteer participants. The Commission expects the industry to invest its own resources to facilitate women's access to key creative roles in production.
However, the expenses related to the organization of the December 2018 Summit were assumed by the Commission as host of the event.
Commitment to Parity
Parity* in NFB production budgets is allocated to works produced by women. This performance indicator is an integral part of annual reporting at the NFB.
*Parity refers to equal representation between men and women. It is important to understand that the goal is not exactly 50 percent, but a degree of parity that is close to the indicator for works completed by the NFB.
Despite the end of the three-year commitment to parity, it is clear that the NFB wants to ensure that these commitments are an integral part of its culture and methods in future years. There will be constant work to ensure the diversity of Canadian society is represented both in front of and behind the camera.
Telefilm, with the support of the industry, commitment: to build, by 2020, a representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects Canada’s population.
Telefilm's commitment is for both volume and dollars, and by budget level. Detailed budget breakdowns are available on the Telefilm website.
Progress and improvement is being made in achieving greater parity in the feature film pipeline.
Measure 18 of the 2018–2023 government action plan for culture: Implement actions to ensure gender equality and equity in the cultural sector
Measures and Initiatives reported by Civil Society Organizations
‘‘Save Our Culture” campaign – 2019
Organized the 6th Congress of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), October 9 to 11, 2019, in Lomé, Togo – 2019
Provided support to other coalitions for diversity and civil society organizations in other countries (2016–2019)
Encouraged civil society concerted action in the context of the review of broadcasting and telecommunications laws, 2018–2019
Examined the impacts of artificial intelligence on diversity of cultural expressions – 2018
Monitored the treatment of culture in trade agreements and the framework for e-commerce on a global scale – (2018–2019)
Outreach activities about the issues related to the 2005 Convention in the digital era – 2017
Emerging Transversal Issues
Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Culture of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples
2017-18: USD 7.2 million (CAD 9.4 million)
2018-19: USD 9.35 million (CAD 12.2 million)