Terms of reference for the Expert Advisory Group - Canadian content in a digital world


This document outlines the parameters of the involvement of the Expert Advisory Group that will support the Minister of Canadian Heritage in her consultations on strengthening Canadian content creation, discovery and export in a digital world.

Overview of the consultations

Federal support for the content creation sector is based on a toolkit including funding mechanisms, legislation, national institutions and policies. The effectiveness of these tools is being challenged by rapid technological developments, globalization and the new ways in which creators are making content and Canadians are interacting with it. Change is happening at different speeds and being felt more acutely in some industries where disruption has led to difficult pressures including job cuts, reductions in services, and struggles to ensure fair compensation for artists and creators.

With these technological changes happening at a very fast pace, it is important for the Government of Canada to understand how we can seize the opportunities provided by this digital shift to grow our creative economy at home and abroad, best-position our artists, journalists, cultural entrepreneurs and creators to succeed, and ultimately deliver on Canadians' expectations to have access to great content in their communities and across platforms.

The time is right to examine the role of the federal government in helping Canada's creative sector navigate these changes and begin charting a course to ensure Canada is poised to seize the opportunities ahead for economic growth and innovation.

Roles and responsibilities

Advice and expertise

Expert Advisors will provide a range of perspectives and expertise. The views and opinions expressed by the Expert Advisory Group are solely their own and do not reflect the policy or position of any specific organization, their employer, the Department of Canadian Heritage or the Government of Canada. They will offer independent advice and insight into policy directions emerging from the consultations and departmental analysis; they will not have decision-making authority, nor will they be required to draft a formal report. The Expert Advisory Group will provide ongoing feedback and will act as a sounding board for the Minister to test ideas throughout the consultations. This includes reviewing and providing feedback on the drafting of:

  • The consultation document
  • What We Heard Report (expected release in December/January 2017)


Expert Advisors may participate in meetings, workshops, discussions and other events related to the consultations depending on their background, expertise and availability.


Expert Advisors may opt to participate in promoting the consultations, for example, through social media.

Time commitments

Estimated time commitments for Expert Advisors are as follows:

  • Expert Advisors will be engaged from June 2016 to January 2017.
  • The entire Expert Advisory Group will meet with the Minister in person (in the National Capital Region) or by video conference at least five times. Meetings may be up to 4 hours. Some preparation may be required prior to meetings. For example, Expert Advisors may need to review and consider documents in advance.
  • Each Expert Advisor may be invited to prepare for and participate in workshops, depending on their location, expertise and availability, with an expected time commitment of up to 2 days per workshop, including travel, preparation, participation and follow-up. Workshops are planned to be held in September and October.
  • Throughout the consultation period Expert Advisors may be called upon to provide advice and input by phone and/or email.
  • The Minister may hold teleconferences of subsets of the Expert Advisory Group as needed.

Travel and accommodation expenses and fees

Expert Advisors will be reimbursed for approved travel and accommodation expense according to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat guidelines up to a maximum of $25,000, including taxes.

Expert Advisors are not being asked to produce work product. They will not be paid for their time.

These details will be drawn up in a Letter of Agreement.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure

Expert Advisors shall treat as confidential any discussions, recommendations, draft or final reports, or parts thereof, whether recorded or not, where the information has been identified by the Department of Canadian Heritage as "confidential information". Throughout the term of the Expert Advisory Group, Expert Advisors shall keep all confidential information secure and shall not use the information except as required in the work of the Expert Advisory Group and shall not disclose the confidential information to any person except with the prior written consent of the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage. All information that is in the custody or control of the Crown is subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

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