Branding campaign needed to boost B.C.’s creative sector, says report
A new report by a Simon Fraser University professor says a strategic branding plan would give a much-needed boost to the creative sector in B.C.
Rowland Lorimer’s report, Dreamcatcher: Towards a Creativity/Innovation Strategic Plan for British Columbia, describes a fast-growing sector that faces both challenges and opportunity.
The report says the sector employs 85,000 people and contributes $4 billion annually to the economy, citing recent estimates from the financial firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report also notes that per-capita spending on culture in B.C. is among the lowest of the provinces. And it notes there has been a lack of statistical studies of the sector at the provincial level.
Lorimer recommends establishing “a branded strategic plan” to generate recognition and support for the work people are doing in the province’s creative sector, which includes a wide range of fields such as writing, visual art, and videogames.
“It is proposed that by creating a brand such as Creative Beautiful British Columbia and facilitating a very public campaign of recognition and support, creativity in B.C. could move to the centre of British Columbians’ consciousness and become a primary identity element of the province and its society,” the report reads.
“Were that to happen, creativity itself would be enlivened, participation in artistic and creative events would increase, tourism would be enhanced, and growth of the creative sector over the next decades would be catalyzed.”
The report also calls for “supportive infrastructure investment” in the creative sector, saying it would help improve cultural policy as well as economic development.
Released on Monday (January 7), the 65-page report draws on issues and discussions that emerged at the inaugural BCreative 2012 conference. Held last May in Vancouver, the conference brought together people from several fields to consider how the creative economy is developing in B.C.
Lorimer, a communication professor, is director of the master of publishing program and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at SFU.