Canada’s new Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez, stopped by the Vancouver Film School this morning bearing some good news that was originally shared by his predecessor.
The Government of Canada’s investment of $125 million over a span of five years toward the new Creative Export Strategy was announced in June by the previous Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly.
The new strategy will be divided among three key pillars: boost export funding in existing Canadian Heritage programs, increase and strengthen the presence of Canadian creative industries abroad, and create a new creative export funding program and build the relationships needed to make business deals.
This will translate into the creation of jobs in film, TV, gaming, animation, digital application industries, and more.
“We realize and know that we do great stuff in Canada, and we do export some stuff, but we’re convinced that we can do more,” said Rodriguez at an engagement at the Vancouver Film School today. “We brought this program forward, and we hope we will be able to help our creators in this industry to go get new markets.”
In April, Joly was accompanied by 56 Canadian companies on a strategic trade mission in China. It allowed them to meet Chinese business partners, establish new partnerships, and sign 23 business deals worth nearly $125 million.
“We did a very successful trade mission to China, and some people were actually able to sign contracts and enter co-partnerships with the government of China,” Rodriguez told the Straight. “We’re very happy about that, and we hope to do more in China, and other markets too.”
Jordan Paterson, principal of Rare Earth Media Group, was one of the individuals selected to attend the trip to China. He gave a first-hand testimony on how the Canadian Government is directly helping Canada’s creative industries abroad.
“The fact is everyone wanted engagement with business and government, and we got it. Each territory has its own specific challenges, and China has a tall list of them,” said Paterson. “But the minister’s office did their homework, [and] our experience was pretty much seamless. We were able to sign a coproduction on an upcoming feature film.”
Rodriguez’s Vancouver itinerary also included stops to North Shore Studios in North Vancouver (a film and television production studio), and the Gateway Theatre in Richmond.
The new Minister of Canadian Heritage assumed office in July. Joly currently serves as the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.