Creative BC has received $1.2 million in new funding from the federal government aimed at boosting international awareness of the province’s creative industries and attracting foreign investment.
Cathy McLeod, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of labour and for Western Economic Diversification, said the funding will help the organization deliver a “comprehensive, targeted trade and investment strategy”.
“It’s going to increase the penetration of B.C.’s creative industries into foreign markets, resulting in strengthened trade relationships, improved awareness of the investment opportunities and production capabilities within British Columbia, thus attracting foreign investment and talent and of course enhancing capacity of industry-related trade events, with the goal of increasing their global significance,” McLeod said at a news conference today (January 23) at the Armoury Studios.
Richard Brownsey, the president and CEO of Creative BC, said the organization will establish an advisory committee to develop the investment and international marketing strategy.
Creative BC, which was established in 2013, represents B.C.’s film, television, digital media, music, book, and magazine publishing industries.
Brownsey said this project will bring those creative industries together in a coordinated way for the first time. He called the funding an opportunity and “an imperative”.
“The days when we could prosper by relying solely on the local audience have long since disappeared,” he said.
“Today, we are operating in an international, interconnected environment, and it is essential for our industry to make content for audiences around the world. We need to become stronger, more competitive, and more central to content production, or others will take our place. The status quo is simply not an option.”
According to Brownsey, the strategy will focus on export market development, investment attraction, and event support.
“With our partners, Creative BC will be targeting trade missions and trade shows in both established and emerging markets around the world,” he said. “Whether it’s a trade mission to the entertainment centre of the world, Los Angeles, or to growing and emerging markets like China and India, this project will open doors for B.C.’s creative industries and secure valuable business abroad.”
Bob D’Eith, the executive director of Music BC, said the funding will help the organization to do more “export preparedness” for local artists, and to gain more international exposure for B.C. musicians.
He noted the organization has already completed trade missions to destinations like the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, and this year it hopes to expand to new markets like the United Kingdom and Japan.
“Canada is about two to three percent of the world market for music, and we have to get out to the globe, and that’s exactly why this type of program is so important,” D’Eith said.
The $1.2 million in funding is being allocated through Western Economic Diversification Canada.