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

NEWS RELEASE – A Successful Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Culture and Heritage

ORFORD, Quebec, August 23, 2017 – Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for culture and heritage met today in Orford, Quebec, to discuss the development of culture and heritage, as well as their priorities and best practices.

The discussions this year focused on cultural policy in the digital age, cultural industries and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), heritage conservation and the new Strategic Framework and Priorities for 2018-2020 for the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Culture and Heritage (FPTCH) Table. This agenda reflects the importance that the ministers place on ensuring that cultural industries maintain a strong position in an increasingly competitive global market place. Governments also highlighted the celebrations for Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The FPT Minister's Conference was preceded by a meeting between the provincial and territorial culture and heritage ministers on August 22. The 13 governments discussed topics including the challenges that the digital revolution presents for the compensation of creators and copyright management mechanisms.

The day before their meeting, the FPT ministers also held a discussion session on the preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages with representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council.

The days of discussions enabled participants to reach a consensus on the following topics:

  • In the context of the renewal or development of cultural strategies and policies, governments will work toward enhancing alignment of their policies related to culture and communications, with due regard to each governments' roles and responsibilities.
  • The NAFTA renegotiation must preserve the governments' ability to develop, adopt and implement cultural policies and measures, among other things, through the cultural exemption.
  • Climate change poses challenges for protecting cultural heritage resources and presents an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between governments in order to highlight existing and explore new conservation initiatives from a sustainable development standpoint.
  • The FPT Table will work to identify initiatives that are likely to build awareness of and tools for intangible heritage elements. Governments will also continue to explore and share best practices toward supporting heritage conservation in Canada.
  • The ministers approved the 2018–2020 Strategic Framework and priorities of the FPTCH Table. The work will focus on three shared priorities: strengthening the creative economy; culture and heritage resources; and engagement and promotion in the culture and heritage sectors.
  • The ministers agreed that the issues related to Indigenous languages are significant, and that support from governments can contribute to the capacity of Indigenous Peoples to preserve and promote their languages.

The conference was co-chaired by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Luc Fortin, Quebec's Minister of Culture and Communications and the Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language.

Representatives from Quebec concluded the meeting by passing the torch to the Northwest Territories, which will host the 2018 Ministerial Conference.

Quotes from the ministerial co-chairs

“As the Minister of Culture and Communications and the Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, I am very pleased to have welcomed my colleagues from all of the governments to the beautiful Eastern Townships, a region that also falls under my responsibility. Once again this year, this meeting provided an opportunity to increase cooperation on shared cultural and heritage issues. In the current context of the NAFTA renegotiation, cooperation with the other governments of Canada is becoming particularly important to ensure the vitality of our cultural industries and preserve the cultural exemption.”

Luc Fortin, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language

“It is a privilege to work with my provincial and territorial counterparts on our shared priorities, including the preservation of the cultural exemption in the renegotiation of NAFTA and the protection and promotion of Indigenous languages, as we continue in our efforts to promote culture and heritage in a constructive and inclusive manner. We must seize all the opportunities that currently await us in order to keep innovating and reach our common objectives, across the country and internationally. On behalf of all the delegates, I would like to thank Minister Fortin and the Government of Quebec for their warm welcome.”

Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage


  • The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Conference of Ministers Responsible for Culture and Heritage is held annually and provides an opportunity to strengthen Canada's culture and heritage sector by broaching topics of common interest and determining ways that partners can work together.
  • Recognition of the language rights of Indigenous Peoples by the federal government falls under Calls to Action 13 to 17 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report.

Related links

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Register of Historic Places (Parks Canada)

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Karl Filion
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Culture and Communications and
Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Annie LeGruiec
Media Relations
Ministère de la Culture et des Communications
418-380-2363, ext 7213

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage