IN THE NEWS: Culture and Heritage Priorities Discussed at Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Culture and Heritage

Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for culture and heritage held their annual meeting to discuss common priorities for 2021–2022. The meeting was co-hosted by the Honourable Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women for Alberta, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s meeting took place virtually and included a virtual showcase on Alberta’s rich culture and heritage.

The Ministers recognized the cultural sector as a driving force for economic and social development and the need to promote the sustainable recovery of activities. Several jurisdictions presented their recovery plans aimed at building resilience and supporting adaptation and innovation. The Ministers agreed on the importance of understanding the needs of the sector and working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders; as well as the need to work towards greater equity, diversity and inclusion. Alberta, as co-chair, hosted a virtual showcase of artists and performers to demonstrate the province’s rich and diverse cultural sector.

Aware that the impact of COVID-19 will continue to influence the work of the table in the near term, Ministers agreed that their collaborative work for the next five years (2021-2022 to 2025-2026) will be centred on three strategic priorities:

  • Strengthening the creative economy of Canada;
  • Strengthening the culture and heritage resources of Canada;
  • Strengthening culture and heritage engagement and promotion in Canada.

Discussions also centred on how to ensure that more inclusive and equitable experiences are included in the creation, production and distribution of Canadian art and culture. Ministers agreed that celebrating diversity and supporting racialized communities is a cornerstone in combating discrimination and racism.

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