At their meeting in Toronto on September 29, the federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for culture and heritage considered such priorities as strengthening the relationship between the cultural/heritage and tourism sectors, and the impact of new technologies on culture and cultural policy, as well as tackling such issues as the socioeconomic condition of artists, arts and learning, and cultural investment.
In doing so, Canada 's culture ministers agreed to pursue joint initiatives to foster creative and prosperous communities across the country by developing new and stronger links with culture, tourism and technology. The ministers identified technological innovation as another trend that holds great promise for Canada 's cultural sector and cultural consumers. This in the wake of the Technology Showcase - Montréal 2006, (see our Bulletin no. 30 of September 11 ). They also recognized the extent to which new technologies affect the entire cultural creative process, from creation to consumption, as well as cultural policy and the increasingly important role that new technologies play in how Canadians use cultural products. Consequently, the ministers agreed to adopt a joint work plan to further investigate this issue.
In this regard, the Québec minister of culture and communications Ms. Line Beauchamp received the unanimous support of her fellow ministers for important initiatives to be taken this year in studying the impact of technological change on cultural industries and evaluating the consequences for the regulatory framework, cultural policy, and the types of government support for culture and communication. Minister Beauchamp noted that "my colleagues and I appreciate the degree to which the constant evolution of digital technology has affected artists, cultural industries, and consumers of culture (.). We realize that, in the upcoming years, new business models will evolve, and that artists need to receive due consideration in these new models."
Cultural innovation of course begins with the artist, and the ministers noted the important contribution that artists make to Canada 's social and economic well-being. Learning about and through the arts was further recognized as integral to building creative communities across Canada . Therefore, having been made familiar with the findings of an environmental scan on arts and learning, and shared best practices, the ministers also had a meaningful discussion on the need for sustained cultural investment. The Government of Canada declared itself proud to work with the provinces and territories to support creativity and innovation in order to provide Canadians with more opportunities to share their diverse cultural expressions amongst each other and on the world stage.