Cultural Policies and Measures from Other Provinces and Territories

Alberta Ministry of Culture, Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, British Columbia Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, i.a.
Key objectives of the measure:

Canadian provinces and territories establish their own cultural objectives through the mechanisms that are best suited to their needs. These mechanisms can include cultural policies, strategic plans and the mandate of public organizations.

For example, Alberta adopted, in 2008, a cultural policy titled “The Spirit of Alberta”. This policy establishes four overarching goals, namely to: a) Ensure Albertans, throughout the province, have access to a wide range of cultural experiences and opportunities; b) Enhance community capacity to support and promote cultural activity; c) Encourage excellence in the work of Alberta’s cultural professionals  and organizations; and d) Foster growth, sustainability and  investment in Alberta’s  cultural industries.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories, for its part, adopted in 2005 a ten-year Strategic Plan titled « Building on Our Success ». This Plan lists three objectives under its « Pride in our culture » goal, namely:  a) preservation and knowledge of our heritage; b) promotion of the arts; and c) support and promote our official languages.  

More information on the mechanisms used by provinces and territories is available under the section “Books and documents” of the “Sources and Statistics” Annex.

Scope of the measure:
Local, Regional, National, International
Main feature of the measure:

Each province and territory possesses its own set of institutions to implement its cultural measures.

For example, Ontario, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport provides policy, program and funding support to Ontario’s cultural community directly and through its twenty-one culture and tourism agencies and attractions:
- It promotes and supports cultural mapping and planning by Ontario municipalities and Aboriginal communities through advisory services, tools and resources;
- Through its agency, the Ontario Arts Council, it makes strategic investments in Ontario’s artists and art organizations that represent a range of artistic disciplines (e.g. literature, music, theatre, media, visual arts, etc.) in communities across Ontario (e.g. Franco-Ontarian, Aboriginal);
- Through its agency, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, it supports strong and healthy community initiatives in arts and culture, environment, human and social services, and sport and recreation.

Measures implemented by provincial and territorial organizations are numerous and cover all the stages of cultural expression. A short sample of four examples is provided below.

From 2007 to 2010, British Columbia's Arts Partners in Creative Development (APCD) invested more than CA$6 million in 84 projects in 16 BC communities. APCD was a strategic investment partnership assisting the province's organizations in creating and developing new works with the intent of producing or exhibiting them at the highest standard. Through its investments, APCD facilitated the creation of new work to showcase both locally and worldwide. Organizations were funded to create, commission and develop original work in the performing, visual, media and literary arts. Further information can be gathered at:

The Cultural Opportunities for Youth Program was created by the Government of Nova Scotia in 2007 to promote artistic development and community cultural development. The program supports special or pilot projects that foster artistic skills development for youth, foster audience development, and contribute to knowledge and experience in the community. More information on the program can be found at:

The New Brunswick Book Policy, titled "Creating a Culture of Books and Reading", was launched in September 2009. This Policy outlines the government's objectives and strategies to strengthen the publishing industry, to increase access to New Brunswick books, and to promote and foster reading. The book policy outlines six objectives with specific strategies to be addressed in the three-year action plan.  More information about the policy can be found at:

Finally, Culture On The Go is a pilot program that supports greater access for Saskatchewan artists and cultural products through touring and marketing opportunities. It is a research-focused, application-driven and peer-adjudicated pilot program that tests new and innovative ideas to deliver funding to touring Saskatchewan artists, Saskatchewan presenters, and  ‘run-out' performances by artists (i.e. no overnight stays). The CA$800,000 pilot program is administered by the Saskatchewan Arts Board. A Touring Advisory Panel has been be formed to make sure that the program complements existing touring programs.  Preference is given to project proposals that incorporate the following seven elements: a spectrum of engagement from emerging to professional; youth engagement; access; Saskatchewan content; Aboriginal content; community legacy; and new media. More information about the pilot program can be found at:

Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

Each province and territory evaluates the impact of its cultural measures according to its own accountability system. To build on one of the examples cited above, Alberta published in 2010 a report titled “The Sprit of Alberta 2010 Progress Report”. This report details the initiatives implemented to meet each of the four overarching goals of the Policy. The report among others describes how a new measure, the Alberta Arts Days, contributed to the objective to ensure all Albertans have access to cultural experiences and opportunities. Alberta Arts Days began in 2008 as a one-day event and have since been expanded into a vibrant, three day, province-wide celebration. In 2009, the Arts Days were held from September 18-20 with five flagship events in the cities of Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Olds, Calgary and Medicine Hat. In total, over 571 events took place in more than 116 communities.

Indicators used to determine impact:
The Northwest Territories also published, in 2009, a progress report on the implementation of their “Building on Our Success” strategy. This report notably uses concrete performance indicators, such as the degree to which the regional distribution of Arts Council applications matches the population distribution, to evaluate the degree of progress under each objective. It also highlight specific achievements, such as an increase in funding for artists and arts organizations from CA$426,000 in 2007-08 to CA$541,000 in 2008-09 through the Support to Northern Performers and Northwest Territories Arts Council programs.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)