Minister Joly Co-Chairs the First Meeting of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture

News Release

Official photograph of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture Government Delegations

OTTAWA, February 2, 2018

China is an important market for creative Canadian products and services, and that is why the Government of Canada is looking to further develop its presence. Opening new markets for creators and creative entrepreneurs will contribute to growth that works for everyone, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class and those working hard to join it.

In this context, on February 1 and 2, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, hosted His Excellency Luo Shugang, Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, in Ottawa, where they co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture.

The committee aims to strengthen cooperation between our two countries in the areas of culture, creative industries, heritage and the arts. Last July, both countries signed an agreement to formally establish the Committee. During the two-day event, each minister led a delegation of senior officials from major cultural institutions and representatives of various creative industries. The delegates expanded relations and dialogue between the Joint Committee as a forum for expanding relations and dialogue between the ministries of culture and the cultural institutions of the two countries.

The program was built to encourage cooperation, exchanges, high-level dialogue and sharing of expertise in a broad range of cultural areas. The joint meeting also served as a platform for organizations to advance specific projects and confirm collaboration between cultural institutions, artists and people. Minister Joly and Minister Luo took part in a signing ceremony for the following agreements:

  • A letter of intent between China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) and Cirque du Soleil, Inc;
  • A Cooperation Framework Agreement between the Organizing Committee of China International Chorus Festival and the Organizing Committee of Canada Ottawa International Choral Festival;
  • A Memorandum of Understanding of Cooperation between Shanghai Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens;
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between Groupe Samajam Inc. and Zhejiang Grand Boat Culture Development Co. Ltd.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between Toon Boom Animation Inc. and WeKids Time Culture (Shenzhen) Ltd.; and
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between Nelvana Limited, WeKids Time Culture (Shenzhen) Ltd. and Toon Boom Animation Inc.

Cultural exchange has always been an important aspect of diplomacy, deepening mutual understanding and facilitating collaboration. These collaboration efforts will continue through Canada’s first creative industries trade mission to China, which will be led by Minister Joly from April 9 to 13, 2018.

The Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China will host the next meeting of the Joint Committee in 2020.


“This historic first meeting of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture is an exceptional opportunity to strengthen the government-to-government and people-to-people connections between our two countries. There are few tools as effective at bringing people together as sharing one’s culture. We are working to open new markets and opportunities for Canada’s artists and creative industries to expand their presence in the Chinese market and create good jobs for the middle class here at home. Through the Joint Committee, we have helped strengthen ties between our two countries, and helped build a strong foundation for the upcoming creative industries trade mission to China that I will lead in April of this year.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

  • In 2016, Canada and China agreed to designate 2018 the Canada-China Year of Tourism, which includes initiatives to increase the flow of tourists and promote cultural activities.

  • China is Canada’s second largest trading partner, as well as the largest and fastest growing source market for international students, and the third largest source of tourists.

  • Chinese is Canada’s third most spoken language after English and French, and immigrants born in China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) form one of the largest groups within Canada’s immigrant population.

  • Canada’s merchandise exports to China were almost $21 billion in 2016, an increase of four percent over 2015, with top exports being forest and agricultural products, copper and iron ores, and motor vehicles.

  • This year, Canada will celebrate the 48th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China. We will celebrate 50 years in 2020.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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