Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Culture and Heritage


BANFF , September 16, 2005 – Cultural investment and the role of Canada’s museums were among the issues discussed at a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Culture and Heritage held today. The theme of the meeting was “Responding to a Changing Canadian Society.” It was jointly chaired by Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister Responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla, and Minister of Alberta Community Development Gary Mar.

A presentation by Max Wyman, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, identified three trends of change: demographics, global networking and learning in a world of innovation. Ministers came out of the meeting with a renewed commitment to share the cultural message with their Caucus colleagues in a time of change.

“In today’s knowledge-based economies, creativity is a competitive advantage,” said Minister Frulla; it is vital for us to ensure the viability of a wide variety of cultural expressions in our country, so as to enable talented Canadians to leverage these advantages, not just here in Canada but around the world.”

“Culture is both a reflection of and a catalyst for societal change, and has a significant economic impact,” said Minister Mar. “Our culture and society are in a time of dynamic change that will affect our future policies, programs and priorities as governments. As Ministers, we are committed to strengthening our communities and protecting our heritage while encouraging cultural evolution.”

Concerning Canada’s current and future cultural needs throughout the country, Ministers reviewed and accepted progress reports on the revitalization of Canada’s museums, the Culture/Heritage and Tourism Initiative, the Historic Places Initiative, arts and learning, the National Forum on Health and Culture, and the Vancouver 2010 Canadian Opportunities Strategy. Ministers also discussed the importance of preserving, revitalizing and promoting Aboriginal languages and cultures.

The Ministers adopted a joint resolution affirming the important and evolving role of museums as stewards of Canada’s heritage and as important cultural, social, educational, and economic assets in communities of all sizes across Canada. Provincial and territorial Ministers encourage the Minister of Canadian Heritage to continue the development of a new museum policy that will complement and respect provincial and territorial policies, priorities and programs, and agreed to collaborate on the development of solutions to address the challenges faced by museums.

Following a presentation by the Quebec Culture Minister on cultural investments, the Ministers asked the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Working Group on Cultural Investments, chaired by Quebec, to continue their work in identifying the best courses of action for increasing private funding for arts and culture in Canada.

Quebec agreed to take the lead in working with other provinces and the federal government in researching the impact of new technology on the development and presentation of culture. Ministers agreed that a retreat will be organized in 2006 at which ministers will learn about and discuss the potential impact of new technologies on cultural policies.

Provincial and territorial Ministers agreed to recognize the 50 th anniversary of the Canada Council of the Arts and unanimously supported an increase in funding, provided the Council allocate funding in an accountable and equitable manner.

The Ontario Minister of Culture led a discussion among provincial and territorial Ministers on the importance of considering the needs, circumstances, and interests of Francophones and Acadians when developing cultural policies and programs. C ooperation and dialogue among levels of government will continue, in order to maximize opportunities for Canada’s Francophone and Acadian cultures to thrive.

Ministers also recognize the need to broaden the discussion to include Aboriginal languages and cultures, and the contribution of other major cultural groups. Ministers of the three prairie provinces and Nunavut instructed their officials to work with the federal government to explore strategies for preserving, revitalizing and promoting Aboriginal languages and cultures. British Columbia agreed to take the lead in examining the contributions to Canada of ethno-cultural communities from the Asia-Pacific region.

The next federal, provincial, and territorial meeting of Ministers Responsible for Culture and Heritage will be held in Ontario in fall 2006.

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Jean-François Del Torchio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage and
Minister responsible for Status of Women
(819) 997-7788

Jeffrey Anderson
Director, Arts Branch
Alberta Community Development
(780) 415-0183

Jean-Guy Beaupré
Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
(819) 997-9314

Carol Chawrun
Director, Communications
Alberta Community Development
(780) 427-6530