Showcasing Canada’s Arts and Television Industries on the World Stage in Edinburgh

News release

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom, August 24, 2018

Canada boasts a thriving arts and culture industry that employs more than 650,000 Canadians. Canadian arts and culture exports added $16 billion to the Canadian economy in 2016, helping create good jobs for Canada and strengthen the middle class.

Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, led the Canadian delegation to promote a strong Canadian presence from the performing arts and television sectors this week in Edinburgh. This was in support of the Creative Export Strategy to expand Canada’s presence in important global markets, create business opportunities and grow exports.

Mr. Casey also attended the Commonwealth Culture Ministers’ meeting on international cooperation in protecting and preserving cultural heritage, and held several bilateral meetings with international counterparts to discuss the strength and export capacity of Canada’s creative sector and the development of cultural policy.

Close to 30 Canadian companies and organizations attended various activities in Edinburgh. Canadian delegates at the Edinburgh Television Festival were able to establish or deepen their connections in the U.K. market. They could also benefit from increased visibility and a higher profile, thanks to promotional features for Canada and a panel session on working with Canada.

A group of delegates from the performing arts sector had the opportunity to pitch their work to international presenters at a session organized by the High Commission of Canada in the U.K. and the Ontario Arts Council in order to develop new global partnerships and secure international project support, international representation, touring opportunities, performance engagements, international exposure and premieres.

The week culminated in a gathering of culture ministers, policy makers and delegations from around the world at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. At the fourth edition of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit (EICS) from August 22 to 24, they discussed how culture can encourage international dialogue, drive economic growth and inspire positive change in cultural policy.


“It was an honour to take part in the Summit on behalf of Pablo Rodriguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and work with other countries to support our arts and culture sectors. I am pleased to lead a strong Canadian delegation that promotes the immense talent of our creative industries, opens new markets, and creates good, well-paying jobs for Canadians.”

—Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • Canada’s first-ever Creative Export Strategy promotes Canadian creative industries by strengthening Canada’s presence in international markets where the business relationships are being built, the deals are being made, and the jobs are being created. The Strategy also equips Canadian exporters with the tools they need to successfully export their projects. The new investment of $125 million over five years will be divided among the following three key pillars: boosting export funding in existing Canadian Heritage programs, establishing a new creative export funding program, and building the relationships needed to make business deals and strengthen the presence of Canadian creative industries abroad.

  • The U.K. was Canada’s third largest trading partner for culture products in 2016, after the United States and China. The largest contributors to creative exports to the U.K. were visual and applied arts and the audiovisual and interactive media sectors, followed by live performance and publishing.

  • The U.K. signed an audiovisual coproduction treaty with Canada in 1975 and is one of Canada’s most important coproduction partners. From 2007 to 2016, there were 185 Canada–U.K. coproductions, totalling more than $1 billion in combined budgets. The vast majority of these were television coproductions (86 percent).

  • Edinburgh is a major cultural destination for people from around the world. Most of Edinburgh’s 11 major international festivals are staged in August: Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Television Festival and Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

  • The Edinburgh Television Festival is a high-profile annual media event bringing together the television and digital world to celebrate creativity, diversity and talent, and to discuss the major issues facing the industry. The Television Festival includes more than 70 sessions and draws around 2,000 delegates from major networks and production companies, with a large proportion coming from the UK and from elsewhere in Europe and North America.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Multiculturalism

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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