September 6, 7, and 8, 2007—Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for culture and heritage gathered in Moose Jaw, Canada, to discuss the contribution of arts and culture to the vitality of communities across the country and to explore emerging cultural themes.
At the meeting, co-chaired by Ms. Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Status of Women, and Official Languages, and Ms. Sandra Morin, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Recreation for Saskatchewan, the ministers spoke on issues of common interest, such as raising awareness about the arts in communities, creating a supportive environment for artists, and ensuring government support for museums.
“Canada’s new government is committed to the development of the arts and culture and to the promotion of Canadian artistic excellence at home and abroad,” said Minister Verner. “We are proud to work together with the provinces and territories to support the enrichment of the cultural life and heritage of Canada's communities.”
The press release issued following the meeting noted that the ministers received expert reports commissioned by the Working Group on the Impact of New Technology on Cultural Policies and discussed the identified recommendations and follow-up. The submitted reports describe the current environment in the publishing, music, audiovisual, and new media sectors and the technological transformations taking place, as well as the challenges for governments on such issues as support methods, regulatory environment, and intellectual property. The press release further indicated that the ministers also approved the Group’s work plan for the coming year, including further study of the topic of public support for cultural industries and the development of an expert report that defines best practices in this field.
Finally, we would like to report that Québec minister of culture, communications, and the status of women Christine St-Pierre was pleased to extend an official invitation to her federal, provincial, and territorial counterparts to hold the next meeting in Québec City on September 25 and 26, 2008, during celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Québec City, the cradle of the French presence in North America.