YELLOWKNIFE, June 20, 2018 – Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for culture and heritage held their annual meeting to share priorities for 2018–2019. The Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, co-hosted the event in Yellowknife on June 20.
Maintaining efficient intergovernmental relations is important for the preservation, growth and development of our culture sector. It ensures governments work together on common challenges and opportunities related to arts, culture and heritage.
The ministers agreed that everyone working in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors is entitled to a respectful work environment free from any form of harassment, abuse and discrimination, and they agreed to work together to promote safe workplaces and to strengthen collaboration between jurisdictions through sharing of models and approaches.
Newly released trade data show that the international market for cultural products offers great potential for economic growth and job creation. Ministers reaffirmed the need to stimulate and grow international export opportunities for Canada’s cultural businesses, organizations and artists.
The ministers agreed that the digital transformation affecting cultural industries present many challenges and opportunities for content creators, and that a legislative and regulatory copyright framework should provide them with opportunities to obtain fair value for their work and ensure the protection and sound management of their copyrights.
Ministers will continue to closely monitor the progress of the statutory review of the Copyright Act, currently being conducted by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC).
Exchanging best practices was also at the centre of discussions, with a focus on modernizing cultural policies to adapt to today’s digital reality. Exploring common solutions will help all governments navigate the challenges that the culture industry faces in our global economy.
Danny Gaudet, an Indigenous self-government negotiator, shared his perspective on including language and culture in self-government negotiations in Délı̨nę, Northwest Territories. Meeting attendees learned about the NWT’s unique political environment, including the land claims and self-government agreements, and how these consider issues of language and culture as key priorities.
Minister Cochrane reported on the provincial and territorial ministers’ meeting of June 19, where they discussed the recommendations made in the report Preserving Canada’s Heritage: The Foundation for Tomorrow by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Parks Canada has committed to considering each of the recommendations made in the report, in collaboration with provincial and territorial jurisdictions, in order to inform a federal government response.
Ministers also agreed to establish Canada Historic Places Day—which will take place this year on July 7—as a pan-Canadian initiative. This day will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance and diversity of historic places across Canada, and increase visibility and visitation to these treasured places.
During the meeting, provincial and territorial ministers hosted a keynote speech from the chair of the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC), Connie Wyatt Anderson. Ms. Anderson provided the history of the GNBC and provided details of the Board’s current focus on Indigenous place naming in Canada as part of reconciliation.
Before the FPT meeting, ministers met with leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The session focused on a dialogue on the current work respecting the protection, promotion and revitalization of Indigenous Peoples’ languages; on museums and on repatriation; and on how to help foster cultural exchanges with Indigenous peoples and communities. The ongoing exchange of information and dialogue is valuable for all parties and for creating a better relationship moving forward.
Nova Scotia will host the next ministers’ meeting in 2019.
Due to the impending swearing in of a new government, Ontario officials participated in this meeting as observers and are not party to the communiqué.
“This annual meeting ensures that our governments remain connected through arts, culture and heritage, and that we continue to focus on what is most important for Canadians and for our industries from coast to coast to coast. Coming together in Yellowknife is also a great opportunity for all of us to experience once again the unique, rich and diverse culture of our great North.”
—Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“The cultures, heritage and languages of the Northwest Territories are vital to our identity as a region and as individuals. Our partnerships across governments and communities are critically important to our objectives of building a future that honours where we come from, celebrates where we live and those who live here, and builds on the strengths we have to offer.”
—Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories
- Culture brings wide benefits to Canadians and their communities, while making significant contribution to the nation’s economy. Culture GDP in Canada in 2016 was $53.8 billion, with culture jobs totalling 652,406.
- Canada exported $16 billion of culture products in 2016. This represented 2.5 percent of total economy exports and almost 30 percent of culture GDP ($53.8 billion).
- The inaugural Canada Historic Places Day took place on July 8, 2017. This day was an initiative led by Parks Canada, in collaboration with the National Trust for Canada and provincial, territorial, municipal and non-governmental partners in the historic places community. It recognizes the contributions to heritage conservation and commemoration by all levels of government, Indigenous communities, not-for-profit organizations and volunteers.
- Canada Historic Places Day will also showcase cultural heritage preservation, including the contributions of those who work in the sector, and the value and importance that different governments place on commemoration of our nation’s historic places.
Culture Satellite Account – Trade of Culture and Sport Products for 2010-2016
Culture Satellite Account – The Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators for 2010-2016
Partout, la culture – Politique québécoise de la culture (available in English on request)
Statutory review of the Copyright Act
Canada Historic Places Day
Culture Satellite Account
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9140 x 11092