Thursday, May 10, 2018

The First Americas Cultural Summit Explores the Theme of Cultural Citizenship

Joly image (not from article) from

More than 150 arts and culture leaders are meeting to discuss their role and impact on the development of cultural citizenship

OTTAWA, May 10, 2018 /CNW/ - Canadian cultural industries shape our society, promote mutual understanding and instill a feeling of pride in our identity. They employ more than 650,000 Canadians, and, in 2016, exports of cultural products totalled $16 billion—strengthening the country's economy and fostering a vibrant and prosperous society.

It is with the goal of showcasing Canada's creative industry that the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, is currently taking part in the first-ever Americas Cultural Summit in Ottawa.

Minister Joly will use this forum to highlight the shared responsibility of governments, digital platforms and civil society to protect and promote the diversity of voices and cultural expressions online.

She will also highlight Canada's renewed commitment to promoting its values, priorities, artists and creative industries abroad, while focusing on Canadian exports and the development of promising markets.

The Summit will enable Minister Joly to strengthen Canada's relationship with her counterparts in the Americas to increase collaboration on shared goals. The Minister hopes to lay the groundwork for discussions to be held at the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Malaysia in the spring of 2019, as well as at the Inter-American Committee on Culture of the Organization of American States in Barbados next fall.


"Culture plays a fundamental role in building a more democratic and just society. The digital era poses new challenges but also creates new possibilities. I intend to take full advantage of this forum, which will allow us to share our ideas and develop avenues of action to foster public support for arts and culture. I would like to thank the Summit organizers for bringing together players in the cultural and creative industries from throughout the Americas for this first-ever Americas Cultural Summit."

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"The first Americas Cultural Summit will allow us to rethink our role and influence from the broader perspective of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and cultural policy development: we will exchange ideas and seek collaborative opportunities to help create more vibrant, prosperous and inclusive communities."

Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

Quick Facts

The Americas Cultural Summit is organized by the Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Argentina and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies. It brings together more than 150 arts and culture leaders to focus on the theme of cultural citizenship.

Participants will take the opportunity to discuss how governments, institutions, professionals, artists and citizens can work together to help build more dynamic, open and pluralistic democracies that respect, promote and protect the right of everyone to participate in cultural life.

Arts-funding agencies or departments responsible for culture of 21 countries are present: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Uruguay.

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