Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan
Digital technology has reconstructed artistic disciplines, opened markets and fragmented audiences, multiplied methods of production and dissemination, changed consumer habits and shaken up traditional business models. Aware of this evolving reality, the Ministere de la Culture et des Communications (MCC) began a vast consultation process in 2010 to determine the first steps to take in the digital transformation of culture in Quebec.
In the quadrennial periodic report on measures to protect and promote cultural diversity submitted in 2012, Quebec announced that digital cultural content would be a priority focus for the coming years and that a strategy would be developed for digital cultural content development and access.
The work begun by the MCC therefore led to the development of Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan in collaboration with the network of state-owned enterprises and organizations, as well as stakeholders in the cultural and communications field. The Plan was unveiled in 2014 and spans seven years. lt helps ensure the vitality of Quebec culture and make its influence felt in local, national and international markets. lt provides a basis for helping cultural environments to make a smooth transition to digital technologies so that Quebec can continue to count on that significant support for its economy and remain competitive in world markets.
Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan is based on three key strategies:
- creating digital cultural content;
- innovating to adapt to digital culture;
- disseminating digital cultural content to ensure its accessibility.
The purpose of the plan is to:
- provide cultural stakeholders with the means to create and innovate in a rapidly growing technological environment;
- disseminate "Our culture, here, everywhere" with preference given to disseminating Quebec culture to the largest number of people in local, national and international markets.
Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan (available online in French only) proposes over 50 measures for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. Digital technology is changing quickly, and measures for later years will be specified at a later time.
The measures are grouped by main cultural sectors. The following are examples of measures by sector:
- Drama and performing arts: help acquire digital equipment for multidisciplinary and specialized publicists.
- Arts and literature: support artists, writers, artists' or writers' collectives and artistic organizations in their efforts to integrate new creation tools by funding the creation and development of original, digital cultural content.
- Film: help regional theatre operators to disseminate cultural works using current digital technologies to provide regional public access to Quebec cultural works that are unavailable in the region.
- Reading and books: support an update of Quebec's public libraries' digital collections to reach a wider readership.
- Media: organize a one-day conference on the impacts and perspectives of changes in the media.
- Museology: create a digital platform (EducArt) to disseminate thematic content based on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' collections that is adapted to needs of various audiences.
- Music: increase support for music industry businesses in adjusting to digital technologies and enriching content.
- Heritage: develop a collaborative platform to analyze and disseminate Quebec's archeological reference collections.
- All sectors: coordinate and host a space to exchange ideas on the rise of digital technologies in culture (Lab culturel, available online in French only).
Through Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan, the MCC is supporting cultural communities by taking account of the importance of the changes underway stemming from digital technologies and ensuring that Quebec's cultural works and products are available on digital platforms, which now knows no bounds. The Plan therefore encourages the dissemination of Quebec culture to a wide audience in local, national and international markets.
The MCC must ensure that future investments reflect needs as much as possible. As a result, the MCC is part of an ongoing conversation with cultural and digital communities and paying attention to the problems and observations noted through the various consultation processes or events related to digital technologies.
In order to face the various challenges presented by digital technologies, Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan must expand the scope of its actions to reach as many stakeholders as possible in cultural, academic and other sectors for more of the cultural network to adopt digital technologies across the board.
The cultural networks', artists' and public's digital skills also need to be improved.
A total of $CAD 110M has been budgeted over seven years to implement Quebec's Digital Cultural Plan. A total of $CAD 36M has been invested for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 to implement 51 measures in the following sectors:
- Drama and performing arts (1.1 $CAD M)
- Arts and literature (6.3 $CAD M)
- Film (2.45 $CAD M) - Reading and books (2.525 $CAD M)
- Media (2.05 $CAD M)
- Fine craft (0.2 $CAD M)
- Museology (10.9 $CAD M)
- Music (3.0 $CAD M)
- Heritage (5.125 $CAD M)
- All sectors (2.35 $CAD M)
TOTAL (36.0 $CAD M)
An addition $CAD 10.23M was announced in 2013-2014 to fund five digital infrastructure initiatives in Quebec's various regions.