Canada Reaffirms Its Commitment to the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

News release

OTTAWA, May 21, 2019

Canada places great importance on the diversity of cultural content available to Canadians. The government’s efforts to promote a wide range of content and viewpoints across multiple platforms reflect our respect for cultural diversity and its enriching impact on individuals, society and economic prosperity.

Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, underscored that commitment by allocating $375,000 over five years to the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDEC), and $375,000 over five years to UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). This financial commitment, delivered in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, is a concrete gesture that reiterates the government’s desire to support cultural diversity, a driving force for economic growth and development.

The CDEC brings together 30 Canadian cultural associations that represent artists, creators and businesses in the fields of literature, audiovisual production, music, visual arts and performing arts.

The CDEC is very active, having played an important role in the development of the UNESCO Convention adopted in 2005. Among other things, it closely follows trade negotiations; organizes symposia; carries out studies on topical subjects, such as the discoverability of local content in the digital space; and participates as a civil partnership in the meetings and work of the Convention.

Besides helping the CDEC carry out these activities and define its future priorities, the funding will allow the organization to continue to host the secretariat of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) and to maintain the activities of the Federation in Montréal.

The IFCCD’s mandate, which is to defend the right of states to apply policies in support of cultural diversity in a global context, is consistent with the Government of Canada’s vision for an international strategy to promote cultural diversity in a digital world and to advance the objectives of the UNESCO Convention.

The International Fund for Cultural Diversity helps facilitate the adoption of cultural policies that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. It is also a way to support the implementation of the Convention by encouraging the emergence of a vibrant cultural sector in developing countries.

The Government of Canada is pleased with the work accomplished with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which ensures—through consultation, research and collaboration—that the promotion of UNESCO’s values and priorities flourishes in Canada, while allowing Canada’s voice to be heard on a global scale.

Quotes

“Our government is concerned with the economic health of cultural industries, as well as the vitality of cultural creation. We are proud to support and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Coalition, to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies, stay abreast of the treatment of culture in commercial treaties, and explore the impact of the digital environment on the diversity of cultural expressions.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“The 2005 UNESCO Convention Secretariat welcomes Canada’s contribution to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. Thanks to the valuable assistance of the Government of Canada and other Parties to the Convention, the IFCD will pursue its goal of promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries that are Parties to the 2005 Convention.”

—Danielle Cliche, Secretary of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and Chief of Section of Diversity of Cultural Expressions

“The diversity of cultural expressions is not only important for creators, producers and presenters: it is essential for personal development and social cohesion. We, the members of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, applaud the commitment of the federal government, which through this funding will help us continue our work of protecting and promoting our culture.”

—Solange Drouin, Co-Chair, Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Quick facts

  • On November 17, 2017, the CDCE received one-time funding of $100,000 to maintain the Federation’s headquarters in Montréal and for related activities. Civil society can play an important role in the international engagement strategy to promote the diversity of expressions in the digital age. The CDCE was founded in 1998 and has its headquarters in Montréal. It brings together 30 Canadian cultural associations representing independent producers, distributors, publishers and artists.

  • On December 13, 2016, UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity received a contribution of $100,000 to promote cultural projects in developing countries. The IFCD is a multi-donor voluntary fund that promotes the emergence of a vibrant cultural sector while improving economic and social conditions in developing countries that are Parties to the 2005 Convention.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
819-997-7788

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
pch.media-media.pch@canada.ca


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