Creative industries trade missions, events and partnerships

In its ongoing commitment to help Canadian creators and creative entrepreneurs explore and take advantage of business opportunities in key global markets, the Government of Canada supports trade missions abroad as part of its Creative Export Strategy.

By helping export ready creative businesses and organizations looking to build business-to-business relationships, trade missions are tailored to provide unparalleled networking opportunities with local businesses, business-to-business meetings with potential partners, foreign market intelligence and troubleshooting and an array of networking opportunities to explore trade and investment possibilities.

Current and upcoming trade missions and events

More information to come.

Past trade missions and events

2021-2022

Canadian Creative Industries Trade Mission to Europe (Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands) – 2022

The Department of Canadian Heritage led its fifth creative industries trade mission under Canada's Creative Export Strategy from May 5 to 13, 2022. This mission with a focus on Europe, specifically Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, was originally planned for May 2020 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delegation included 29 Canadian companies and organizations from a range of creative industry sectors (audiovisual, music, book publishing, interactive and digital media, performing arts, and fashion/design).

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, was present in Germany to officially launch the mission . The program included briefings tailored for the three markets visited, networking activities and site visits. Over 360 one-on-one business-to-business meetings were held between the Canadian delegates and German, Swedish and Dutch participants.

In addition to promoting and helping to extend the reach of Canadian creative industries to new markets and audiences, the mission fostered a greater understanding of the three countries' business environment and its opportunities and challenges.

Canadian Creative Industries Trade Mission to Dubai, UAE – 2022

The fourth creative industries trade mission under Canada's Creative Export Strategy, organized by the Department of Canadian Heritage in close collaboration with the Trade Commissioner Service at the Consulate of Canada in Dubai, took place from February 7 to 9, 2022. The timing of the trade mission was specifically chosen to align with Dubai World Expo. This was the first in-person mission for Canadian creative industries since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business delegation included 18 Canadian companies and organizations in the audiovisual and digital and interactive media sectors.

The program included a visit to Expo Dubai and the Canada Pavilion, market briefings on the opportunities in the UAE, networking activities and site visits in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Over 110 one-on-one business-to-business meetings were held between the Canadian delegates and their Emirati counterparts.

A Canadian Heritage-led government delegation had a follow-up visit to the UAE on March 17-22, 2022. The government delegation’s program coincided with the visit of the Governor General of Canada to Dubai Expo for the National Canada Day. Canadian Heritage and portfolio agencies held bilateral meetings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with the UAE’s key government interlocutors and institutions on fostering further collaboration and business partnerships in the creative industries between our two countries.

Canadian Creative Industries Virtual Trade Mission to Sweden – 2021

Canadian Heritage held its third and final portion of its Creative Industries Virtual Trade Mission to Europe, focused on Sweden, on June 22 and 23, 2021.

The mission provided a Canadian business delegation, comprising 20 companies in 4 subsectors of the creative industries (performing arts, music, audiovisual and, interactive and digital media), with valuable international business development opportunities and networking with Swedish counterparts, paving the way for future business deals.

Over 155 individual business-to-business meetings were set up virtually between Canadian and Swedish delegates, tailored to each company’s profile and objectives.

53 Swedish business delegates (and 3 from other Nordic countries) registered on the dedicated platform and participated in business-to-business meetings with Canadian delegates.

2020-2021

Hot Docs, Toronto, Canada – 2020

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is the largest documentary festival in North America, taking place annually in Toronto. Due to pandemic, the Hot Docs Industry program (usually one week) was held online throughout the month of May 2020.

Canadian Heritage supported matchmaking services provided through the Hot Docs Online B2B Documentary Market events, as well as the technical support required to run the virtual business-to-business (B2B) meetings.

During this event, approximately 515 B2B meetings, with participation from 30 Canadian documentary producers, 46 Canadian buyers and 147 foreign buyers.

gamescom/devcom, Cologne, Germany – 2020

From August 17 to 30, 2020, Canadian Heritage provided support to an initiative led by the Trade Commissioner Service in Munich in collaboration with provincial partners, to support Canadian companies in the video games industry at gamescom/devcom 2020.

A delegation of 80 Canadian companies and organizations representing six provinces participated in the devcom program, the business-to-business sister event of gamescom.

Twenty-two Canadian studios and service providers had the opportunity to pitch to 26 publishers from 20 companies during three virtual pitch sessions.

Edinburgh Fringe, United Kingdom, 2020

The Edinburgh Fringe hosted, on its Fringe Exchange Platform, the virtual Canada Hub Showcase and Pitch Event on August 24, 2020, an initiative led by the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage.

This was an opportunity for eight Canadian dance and theatre companies to pitch their tour-ready work to international presenters and/or potential partners.

Content Canada, Toronto, Canada – 2020

Usually a three-day event held in Toronto, the third annual Content Canada Conference was held in a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Content Canada Digital Summit took place from September 8 to 30, 2020, and featured a mix of digitally delivered sessions, master classes, podcasts, live-streamed keynote interviews and a host of related content.

Canadian Heritage provided financial support for the B2B Development Pitch Market component for the purpose of developing Canadian, screen-based content, concluding business deals, and increasing exportability of Canadian content.

Canada Games Online, Canada – 2020

For the first time, all of Canada’s provincial interactive and digital media associations came together under the banner of the Canadian Interactive Alliance to respond to pandemic realities, by producing, on September 17 and 18, 2020, Canada Games Online 2020.

This event, supported by Canadian Heritage and the Canada Media Fund, provided an opportunity for Canadian video game developers to engage directly with international publishers, partners, and investors at prearranged one-on-one meetings. Using an enhanced business-to-business networking service, companies were connected based on shared goals and desired outcomes.

Virtual Creative Industries Export Seminars, Canada – 2020

As part of its ongoing commitment under the Creative Export Strategy to help creative SMEs maximize their export potential and succeed in foreign markets, Canadian Heritage hosted two virtual creative export seminars in the fall of 2020. These seminars addressed challenges that exporting SMEs in the creative industries face in the COVID-19 environment.

These seminars provided participants with an update on Government of Canada initiatives under the Creative Export Strategy. It also provided them with an opportunity to hear from various partner organizations that provided advice and support to export-ready creative industry SMEs, in order to strengthen their knowledge and skills related to international market expansion strategies.

Linecheck Music Festival, Milan, Italy 2020

Canadian Heritage collaborated with the Embassy of Canada in Italy and the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) to provide business programming for a Canadian delegation of 20 music companies attending the Linecheck music festival from November 17 to 19, 2020.

The program included virtual networking sessions, curated business-to-business meetings, ad hoc matching and panels, leading to more than 200 connections facilitated between Canadian and international music industry experts.

Canadian Creative Industries Virtual Trade Mission to the Netherlands – 2020

In the context of the postponement of the Creative Industries Trade Mission to Europe due to the pandemic, Canadian Heritage held its first virtual trade mission, focused on the Netherlands on November 25 and 26, 2020.

For this pilot initiative, the business delegation included the companies and organizations that were already selected to participate in the Amsterdam portion of the postponed European Mission.

During this virtual trade mission, the Canadian delegates attended over 150 business-to-business meetings and various panel discussions. This virtual event served as a first step towards the full, in person trade mission to Europe, to be held in 2022.

Sydney Festival, Australia – 2021

During the 44th edition of the Sydney Festival from January 20 to 24, 2021, Canadian Heritage collaborated with the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) to facilitate a Canada-Australia exchange between performing arts companies, with an Indigenous focus.

The virtual program allowed Canadian presenters, producers and artists to participate in group discussions and networking sessions, curated business-to-business meetings, and to have access to digital offerings as part of the Sydney Festival.

London Fashion Week/Showroom Canada, United Kingdom – 2021

Canadian Heritage collaborated with the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom (HCC), the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) and the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) to facilitate a project in light of the London Fashion Week, which took place from February 16 to 31, 2021.

This digital trade initiative, Showroom Canada, gave the opportunity to the Canadian delegation, which was comprised of fourteen apparel and accessories designers, to showcase their Fall/Winter 2020’s collection on the digital platform JOOR for six weeks.

As Showroom Canada was hosted on the JOOR digital platform, the creative content of the Canadian delegation was exposed to 450,000 registered retail buyers from 28 different countries.

146 new connections were formed between the Canadian apparel and accessories designers and global retailers, due to the showcasing but also due to the access on JOOR to business-to-business networking and meetings.

Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), Melbourne, Australia – 2021

Canadian Heritage collaborated with the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney to host business-to-business and networking sessions at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) from February 28 to March 3, 2021.

The curated business opportunities allowed the Canadian delegation composed of 23 companies to meet with Australian and international producers, as well as facilitate coproduction opportunities.

AIDC hosted an online Meet the Canadians networking event where 44 AIDC delegates participated. AIDC also offered Cut to the Chase, a curated speed pitching initiative, which resulted in 19 meetings for Canadian delegates.

Canadian Creative Industries Virtual Trade Mission to Germany – 2021

Following a successful delivery of the Creative Industries Virtual Trade Mission to the Netherlands in November 2020, the Department of Canadian Heritage proceeded with its second virtual trade mission in March 2021, with a focus on Germany.

The business delegation included companies and organizations already selected to participate in the Berlin portion of the postponed in-person trade mission to Europe, and represented the audiovisual, music, performing arts, fashion and design, book publishing, and interactive and digital media subsectors.

During this virtual trade mission, 36 Canadian companies attended over 230 business-to-business meetings with 125 German counterparts, in addition to various panel discussions. This virtual event served as a first step towards the full, in-person trade mission to Europe, once travel and health restrictions are lifted.

2019-2020

Hot Docs, Toronto, Canada – 2019

The Hot Docs International Documentary Festival took place from April 25 to May 5, 2019, in Toronto. Canadian Heritage directly supported the Deal Maker program. The Deal Maker program matches preselected projects in development and production, including 20 Canadian filmmakers, with key broadcasters and funders in one-on-one curated meetings. The program held approximately 800 meetings over three days.

Luminato, Toronto, Canada – 2019

From June 7 to 23, 2019, Luminato festival illuminated the city of Toronto with 191 performances across the city. The Illuminating works component of the festival included pitch sessions, networking events, workshop performances and much more.

This event attracted 110 delegates, 22 of them from abroad, and set the stage for business exchanges for Canadian artists and companies.

WOMEX – World Music Expo, Tampere, Finland – 2019

The WOMEX World Music Expo of 2019 took place in Tampere, Finland. Culture Cooperative Uulu, a Tampere-based company specialized in world music education joined forces with the Embassy of Canada in Finland in assisting Canadian delegates taking part in the expo.

A Canada Booth was also set up to provide expert guidance to the attending Canadian music professionals and create contacts between them and Finnish festival, concert halls, radio and club promoters.

Canadian Heritage supported an initiative led by Global Affairs Canada, facilitating a business-to-business matchmaking service and the presence of two Canadian Indigenous musical ensembles, further promoting Canadian music and diversity abroad.

Banff World Media Festival, Canada – 2019

During the Banff World Media Festival from June 9 to 12, 2019, Canadian Heritage collaborated with Trade Commissioner Service to deliver an export-focused program to a delegation of 34 Canadian companies.

This included a business-to-business session, an information session on Canada’s Creative Export Strategy, coproduction roundtables, pitch sessions and a Canada booth that provided market awareness and pitch coaching.

Edinburgh Fringe, United Kingdom – 2019

During the Edinburgh Fringe of August 2019, Canadian Heritage worked with the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom to facilitate the promotion of the Canadian presence in Edinburgh through information sessions, a networking lunch, a business-to-business online meeting platform, and the Pitch my Piece event at the Canada Hub.

Cervantino International Festival, Guanajuato, Mexico – 2019

In Guanajuato, Mexico, 20 Canadian delegates from the performing arts sectors attended the Cervantino International Festival from October 9 to 27, 2019. Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, facilitated business-to-business programming with South American markets through an organized pitch session. Approximately 132 business-to-business meetings were also held between 21 foreign buyers and the Canadian participants.

Incoming Mission of German Book Buyers, Halifax, Canada – 2019

In November 2019, seven German publishers travelled to Halifax and met with Canadian publishers from the Atlantic provinces. Canadian Heritage supported this joint initiative between the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association, Government of Nova Scotia, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Government of New Brunswick, and Global Affairs Canada.

The three-day program included business-to-business meetings, site visits, networking events, market awareness sessions, and a panel on the Frankfurt Book Fair and Canada’s status as country of honour.

Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Canada – 2019

The 2019 Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), which took place from November 14 to 24, 2019, screened 154 films from 47 different countries, and hosted 115 international participants. Canadian Heritage supported a business matchmaking initiative for Canadian companies looking to make new international contacts.

HUB Montréal, Canada – 2019

From November 19 to 22, 2019, HUB Montréal hosted 900 participants and 103 international delegates from 14 countries, some of whom participated in over 350 business-to-business meetings, as part of programming supported by Canadian Heritage.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver, Canada – 2019

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2019 took place from January 21 to February 9, 2020, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadian Heritage supported programming as part of the Industry Series, including a networking reception and business-to-business meetings.

London Fashion Week/Showroom Canada, United Kingdom – 2020

Canadian Heritage contributed to a project led by the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom and the Toronto Fashion Incubator, entitled “A Celebration of Canadian Design”, which took place in London from February 12 to 14, 2020.

The program included a networking event and a fashion showcase at Canada House in London. The Canadian delegation also attended a mentoring session with a UK fashion consultant.

This event provided an opportunity to a group of ten Canadian designers to connect and show their collections to UK and international buyers, sales agents, press and influencers.

Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), Melbourne, Australia – 2020

With the support of Canadian Heritage, the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney hosted business-to-business (B2B) and networking sessions at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), from March 1 to 4, 2020, in Melbourne.

The AIDC brought together documentary filmmakers, factual screen content professionals, new content platforms, XR professionals, distributors, screen agencies, media, as well as public, commercial and subscription broadcasters from 17 countries.

During the B2B session, 14 Canadian companies met with 16 Australian companies totalling 56 curated meetings.

Miami Film Festival, USA – 2020

From March 9 to 11, 2020, the 38th edition of the Miami Film Festival hosted over 45,000 participants and 300 filmmakers from more than 40 countries.

Canadian Heritage provided support to an initiative led by Telefilm Canada and the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, aimed at promoting Canadian audiovisual creations.

Through business-to-business meetings, a delegation of Canadian stakeholders were matched with global buyers and met in the Canada Lounge of the festival.

Kidscreen, Miami, USA – 2020

KidScreen, held every year in Miami, is the biggest event for all types of TV, Film and Digital Media content for children.

In collaboration with the Canadian Consulate in Miami and a third-party service provider, Canadian Heritage supported a business-to-business matchmaking event to provide Canadian participants with the opportunity to meet with potential international buyers.

This initiative also included the hosting of a Canada Stand and a meet-and-greet event, co-hosted by Telefilm Canada and Canadian provincial associations. Like previous years, the Youth Media Alliance supported the Canadian presence in all these endeavours.

Creative Industries Export Seminars: Atlantic Region and Québec City, Canada – 2020

In 2020, export seminars were held in the Atlantic Region and Québec City (other seminars were planned but were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

At these seminars, participants received information on Canadian Heritage initiatives and Canada’s Creative Export Strategy, as well as export support available from various federal and provincial organizations.

2018-2019

Canadian Creative Industries Trade Mission to China – 2018

From April 9 to 13, 2018, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, (former) Minister of Canadian Heritage, traveled to China, accompanied by a Canadian delegation representing 56 companies in a range of creative industry sectors, including film, television, performing arts, gaming, museums, publishing and music, on the very first Canadian creative industries trade mission to China.

The purpose of the mission, which took place during the Canada–China Year of Tourism, was to explore new business opportunities and strengthen Canada's commercial, cultural and diplomatic relations with China.

The China trade mission provided participants with the tools they needed to understand the intricacies of the Chinese business world and its opportunities and challenges. It included, among other activities, a business matching program, information sessions and networking events.

This trade mission resulted in the signature of commercial agreements worth nearly $125 million. In total, 23 collaboration agreements were signed between Canadian and Chinese companies, which will result in additional investments and jobs for Canadians.

The mission also served as a platform for participating organizations to advance ongoing projects, confirm collaboration between cultural institutions and promote Canadian creative industries.

Market, Industry, Film and Audiovisual (MICA), Mexico City, Mexico – 2018

With Canada as its Guest Country, the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) held its third edition of the Market, Industry, Film and Audiovisual 2018 (MICA) from June 5 to 9, 2018, at the Cineteca Nacional of Mexico City.

The Canadian delegation was led by the former Senior Assistant Deputy Minister Jean-Stéphen Piché, responsible for Cultural Affairs at Canadian Heritage and included 10 Canadian producers. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund and Claude Joli-Coeur, Film Commissioner at the National Film Board of Canada were also delegates.

During the event, Canadian delegates held bilateral meeting with key Mexican counterparts, participated in panel discussions, attended master classes and were present for movie screenings, including three Canadian documentaries: Koneline: our land beautiful, Angry Inuk and Rumble.

Edinburgh Fringe and Television Festivals, United Kingdom – 2018

Canadian Heritage worked in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom (HCC) to support and highlight the Canadian participation in Edinburgh in the context of the Edinburgh Fringe and Television Festivals from August 20 to 24, 2018.

The Pitch My Piece initiative allowed 16 participating Canadian organizations in the performing arts sector to pitch to nearly 60 promoters, tour bookers, and presenters from the UK and several other countries (incl. Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Poland). A networking reception was also hosted at the Canada Hub, with close to 200 guests, including Canadian and Scottish officials, stakeholders and companies.

In addition, Canadian Heritage collaborated with the Edinburgh Television Festival to feature a Canadian panel within the official program, to feature Canadian delegates on a special webpage and to be featured as a main partner status as part of ConnectED, the festival’s online portal and meeting space for business-to-business opportunities.

Guadalajara International Book Fair Mexico – 2018

The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) joined Livres Canada Books (LCB) and the Embassy of Canada in Mexico in their collaboration to support a delegation of 16 Canadian book publishers at the 2018 Guadalajara International Book Fair.

The Canadian delegation exhibited on the Canada Stand and used this opportunity to sell and buy rights, generate new contacts, strengthen existing relationships, and discover new business opportunities.

PCH provided support to amplify this event by hosting a networking reception with Mexican and other international stakeholders from the book industry, as well as conducting other initiatives aimed at maximizing business-to-business opportunities.

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is the most important publishing event in Ibero-America, with a strong trade component that provides a platform for generating new business contacts and opportunities to sell and buy rights.

This year, the Fair welcomed over 2,000 exhibitors from 47 countries and 20,000 international publishing industry professionals, including over 600 writers, 2,000 publishing houses and 300 rights agents.

Game Developers Conference (GDC) San Francisco, USA – 2019

Canadian Heritage took part in an initiative led by the Canadian Consulate General in Palo Alto in order to support a Canada Pavilion and the participation of Canadian game developers at the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

Canada was well represented at GDC 2019, with 140 participants making use of the Trade Commissioner Service’s business matchmaking platform to schedule a total of 370 business-to-business meetings at the event. The Canada Pavilion included six meeting rooms and three demo booths.

Canadian Creative Industries Trade Mission to Latin America (Mexico, Colombia and Argentina) – 2019

From February 10 to 19, 2019, Canadian Heritage embarked on its second cross-sectoral departmental trade mission, which focused on Latin America, and more particularly Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.

More than 35 companies, from a range of creative industry sectors including music, film, television, visual effects, animation, gaming, museums, publishing and performing arts, took part in the trade mission, along with portfolio organizations, funding agencies and industry associations, and a Government of Yukon representative.

Organized to allow export-ready, small and medium-sized Canadian companies to enter the Latin American market, the mission allowed creative industry representatives to better understand Latin American business opportunities by taking part in information sessions, pre-arranged business-to-business meetings, networking events and site visits.

During this trade mission, more than 700 business-to-business meetings were arranged, across all three countries, leading to the signing of commercial agreements worth more than $1.2 million.

Leipzig Book Fair, Germany – 2019

In March of 2019, a delegation of 10 Canadian book publishing industry professionals attended the Leipzig Book Fair and were offered business-to-business matchmaking and networking sessions. This allowed to lay the groundwork and build momentum for Canada’s Guest of Honour presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020/2021.

Creative Industries Export Seminars: Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Atlantic Region, Canada – 2018-2019

In 2018-19, Canadian Heritage delivered export seminars in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and in the Atlantic region.

At these seminars, participants received information on export support available at Canadian Heritage and several other organizations such as Global Affairs Canada/Trade Commissioner Service, the Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada, and provincial government/agencies.

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