THE ARTS AND CANADA'S CULTURAL
Joseph Jackson, René Lemieux, Political and Social Affairs Division
Revised 15 October 1999
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
A. Role of the State
B. Cultural Sovereignty
C. Access to Canadian Cultural Production
D. Economic Viability and Government
E. Mode of Intervention
1. Canada Council for
National Arts Centre
Department of Canadian Heritage
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Department of Human Resources Development Canada
Status of the Artist Act
7. Copyright Act
Tax Treatment of Artists and Artistic Organizations
A. Canada Council for the Arts
B. National Arts Centre
of Canadian Heritage
D. Status of the Artist
F. Tax System
G. Other Subjects
THE ARTS AND CANADAS
Cultural policy is the expression
of a governments willingness to adopt and implement a set of coherent
principles, objectives and means to protect and foster its countrys
cultural expression. The arts are the very foundation of this expression.
In an age when countries are becoming increasingly interdependent economically
and politically, promoting cultural expression by means of a coherent
cultural policy for the arts is a valuable way to emphasize and define
what distinguishes one country from another.
Canada faces considerable
challenges in this regard. Its vast territory and small population make
it difficult to produce, exchange, disseminate and communicate works of
art, while artistic production itself is economically fragile. Canada
must also contend with the constant cultural presence of the United States
in this country and the influence of this presence on the cultural identity
of its population.
This review focuses exclusively
on Canadian cultural policy as it concerns the arts; that is, on the range
of government actions that have a direct effect on creative and performing
artists and on the organizations within which these artists work. The
review describes the leading concerns with respect to this countrys
cultural policy for the arts and the main responses of the federal government.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
A. Role of the State
A countrys culture
is its body and soul, reflecting the way its inhabitants act and think.
In its broadest sense, its culture includes a communitys knowledge,
experience, beliefs, values, customs, traditions and distinctive institutions.
A country may be composed of various distinct communities, each with its
own exclusive cultural characteristics. An individuals cultural
identity and sense of belonging are clearly in many respects a function
of familiarity with the cultural characteristics of his or her own community
and the surrounding communities.
Through a government policy
that promotes the arts and whose primary goal is cultural, individuals
are familiarized with the characteristics of their own society and their
sense of belonging and cultural identity are strengthened. The role of
artists is not only to mirror the values of the society in which they
live, but also to reflect on the issues that society must address if it
is to know itself better. The role of the State in this regard is to support
artistic activity, to provide creators with conditions favourable to the
practice of their art, and to ensure access to their work by the general
B. Cultural Sovereignty
A country must be in control
of its cultural destiny if it is to have a policy for the promotion of
the arts and thus for the protection and development of its national cultural
expression. A country can be said to be culturally sovereign if it has
the freedom to make the necessary decisions on its cultural future; that
is, if it enjoys the necessary freedom to promote the creation, distribution,
preservation and accessibility of its cultural production across its territory.
Cultural sovereignty includes the ability to adopt statutes and policies
and to create institutions and programs that will support these activities.
The omnipresence of American cultural products threatens Canadas
cultural identity. To survive as a distinct cultural entity, Canada must
continue to support and promote the creation and production of its own
cultural products and services.
In this regard, the Canada-U.S.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
signed by Canada, the United States and Mexico are qualified victories
from the artists point of view. Paragraph (1) of Article 2005 of
the FTA provides that cultural industries are exempt from the provisions
affecting other industries. As creators and active participants in the
countrys cultural production, artists are pleased with this exemption.
They are concerned, however, by the notwithstanding clause contained in
paragraph (2) of the same Article, which appears to limit its scope;
it provides that the United States "may take measures of equivalent
commercial effect" in response to new Canadian support policies for
the cultural industries.
C. Access to Canadian Cultural
small in comparison to its vast area, is concentrated along a narrow band
5,514 kilometres long near the U.S. border. Canada thus faces the considerable
challenge of ensuring that all Canadians, from east to west and from north
to south, obtain access to Canadian cultural production effectively and
economically. Meeting this challenge is important because it will not
only increase consumers choice and thus help promote their sense
of identity and belonging, but will also enable artists and the cultural
industries to expand their markets.
D. Economic Viability and
For the reasons mentioned
above (our small population, large territory, proximity to the United
States with its vast, low-priced cultural output), not to mention the
division of the Canadian market into two linguistic groups and the tension
between economic and cultural imperatives, Canadian cultural production
has found it hard to flourish without direct or indirect government support.
Most artists supplement
their income from artistic activities with earnings from entirely unrelated
occupations. Artistic organizations, such as orchestras and theatre and
dance troupes, supplement their revenues from ticket sales with government
grants and donations from individuals and business. With very few exceptions,
being a creator or cultural producer in Canada is not economically viable
without government intervention, a fact that endangers the very existence
of Canadian cultural production.
After decreasing by an
average of 0.2% each year between 1991-92 and 1993-94, federal government
expenditures on culture rose slightly in 1994-95 and 1995-96, only to
decline to the levels of the early part of the decade in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Statistics Canada reports federal cultural expenditures amounting to $2.67
billion in 1997-98, a decrease of 3.9% from the previous year. Expenditures
on culture at the provincial and territorial levels of governments are
also shrinking, while other traditional sources of funds, such as box
office revenues and corporate donations, are under similar pressure. However,
the numbers also show that spending at the municipal level has in fact
increased. Nevertheless, artistic
organizations are still facing financial shortages and shortening their
seasons, taking fewer creative risks and limiting the scope of their productions.
The immediate consequence of these realignments is a reduction in the
incomes of artists who work for these artistic organizations.
E. Mode of Intervention
The implementation of cultural
policy in the arts sector is essentially the responsibility of the Department
of Canadian Heritage and two cultural agencies, the Canada Council for
the Arts and the National Arts Centre. These last two are arms length
cultural agencies which report to Parliament through the Minister. Their
independence, the linchpin of Canadian cultural policy intervention, was
strengthened in 1984 when the Financial Administration Act was
reviewed and these organizations were exempted from provisions enabling
government to control the affairs of Crown corporations [section 85(1)].
Giving cultural agencies operational autonomy to implement the major portion
of Canadian cultural policy in the arts sector is an important part of
government policy. The arms length principle is one of Canadas
cultural traditions; it lies at the very heart of artistic freedom and
freedom of expression.
Cultural policy in the arts
sector consists of a set of statutes, policies and programs designed to
support the development of artistic expression in Canada; it involves
various departments and agencies.
1. Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the
Arts was created in 1957 by the Canada Council Act. The Council
celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1997, on which occasion
it unveiled a new logo and added the words "for the Arts" to
its English-language name. The Councils object is fundamentally
cultural: "to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and
the production of works in, the arts." The Council provides awards,
endowments, grants and services to professional artists and arts organizations
across Canada. It also maintains the secretariat for the Canadian Commission
for UNESCO and administers the Killam Program of prizes and fellowships.
Under the Councils aegis, the Public Lending Right Commission makes
payments to Canadian authors for the use of their works held in libraries
within Canada. In 1998, a Millennium Arts Fund was created by special
funds provided by the federal government to support artistic projects
marking the new millennium.
is the backbone of cultural policy in the arts sector, both because of
the extent of the resources at its disposal and because its assistance
programs and services have spill-over effects on artistic creation and
production. In 1997-1998, the Council awarded 4,594 grants and 11,151
payments to authors under the Public Lending Right Program, totalling
$102 million. The 1999-2000 Main Estimates show an appropriation
of $116.5 million. Additional generated revenues help supplement the Councils
total annual budget.
2. National Arts Centre
The National Arts Centre
plays an important role in implementing Canadian cultural policy in the
arts sector. Founded on the occasion of the Centennial of Canadas
Confederation, the National Arts Centre opened its doors to the general
public in June 1969. According to the National Arts Centre Act,
which became law in 1966, the Centres purpose is to develop the
performing arts in the National Capital Region and to assist the Canada
Council in the development of the performing arts elsewhere in Canada,
a fundamentally cultural mandate.
The Act enables the Centre
to organize and sponsor performances at its facilities, to encourage and
assist in the development of performing arts companies resident at the
Centre, to contribute, arrange for or sponsor radio and television broadcasts
and the showing of films at the Centre, to provide accommodation for national
and local organizations and to arrange for performances elsewhere in Canada
and outside Canada.
The Centre finances
its operations through an annual parliamentary vote, ticket sales, and
revenue from commercial services such as restaurants and parking. The
1999-2000 Main Estimates show an appropriation of $21.5 million. Additional
revenues are generated from fundraising initiatives and performances.
3. Department of Canadian
Known as the Department
of Communications until the June 1993 government reorganization, the Department
of Canadian Heritage is responsible for developing arts policies and providing
financial assistance to certain artistic activities. An example of policy
development is the process that led to Parliaments passage of the
Status of the Artist Act in 1992.
The Department grants financial
assistance for artistic activities and organizations under its Cultural
Initiatives Program and through federal-provincial cultural development
agreements. Canadian professional non-profit cultural organizations use
the financial assistance provided under the Cultural Initiatives Program
for management development, production and presentation of cultural festivals
and other national special events, construction or improvement of visual
and performing arts facilities, and participation in various cultural
While the federal-provincial
cultural development agreements mainly involve projects in the cultural
industries, they frequently affect the employment and activities of artists.
Negotiated for several years under economic and regional development arrangements,
these agreements provide for cost-sharing by the federal government and
In April 1997, Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps and Human Resources
Development Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced long-term, stable federal
government funding for national institutions that train young Canadians
for professional careers in arts and culture. The Department of Canadian
Heritage has committed $7.2 million per year to institutions for artistic
training to help Canadian talent reach excellence. These institutions
provide training in a wide range of artistic disciplines to prepare students
from all parts of Canada for national and international careers.
Main Estimates show an appropriation of $834.6 million. Additional generated
revenues help supplement the Departments total budget. Items of
interest to the artistic community are contributions of $9.8 million
provided under the Cultural Initiatives Program, $7.4 million for
the National Arts Training Program, and $390,000 for the Canadian Conference
of the Arts.
4. Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade
The activities of the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in the arts sector carry Canadian
cultural policy to the international level. Through its International
Cultural Relations Program, the Department promotes Canadian culture in
other countries by helping important Canadian artists present their works
or give performances in the major cities of the world. Under this program,
Canada has taken part in prestigious artistic and business fairs in order
to promote Canadian films, sound recordings, television programs and books.
These artistic events celebrate Canadas cultural identity, while
enhancing Canadas image in other countries. At one time or another
during their education or careers, most of Canadas cultural ambassadors
received financial or technical assistance through Canadas cultural
5. Department of Human
Resources Development Canada
The Department of Human
Resources Development Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the
Cultural Human Resources Council and the Canada Council for the Arts are
working closely to expand the cultural component of the Canadian Jobs
Strategy. This collaborative effort is making it possible to improve artists
access to the training and retraining programs associated with the Canadian
Jobs Strategy and the Labour Market Development Strategy, thus enabling
the artistic community to benefit further from training and retraining
In this context,
the Cultural Human Resources Council was established in 1995. The Council
is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the Canadian cultural
workforce. Its mission is to initiate, coordinate and promote human resources
planning, management, development and training in the cultural sector.
In September 1996, the Council submitted a brief to the Government of
Canada on "Federal Funding of Nationally Essential Professional Cultural
Training Institutions/Organizations." In April 1997, acting on advice
provided by the Council, the federal government announced a program of
financial support for national training institutions (see Department of
Canadian Heritage for details).
6. Status of the Artist
Although it appeared much
later than the other components, the Status of the Artist Act is
a major component of Canadas cultural policy in the arts sector.
Prior to the Acts passage in June 1992, the artists role in
society was not recognized in any Canadian statute. The general provisions
of Part I of the Act acknowledge this role.
Furthermore, and just as
important, the general provisions of the Act grant three new rights to
artists, artists associations and producers: (a) the right of artists
and producers to express themselves and associate freely; (b) the right
of associations representing artists to be recognized legally and to work
for the professional and socio-economic well-being of their members; and
(c) the right of artists to benefit from official consultation mechanisms
whereby they can express their views on their professional status and
on all other issues concerning them. To these ends, the Act created the
Canadian Council on the Status of the Artist and the Canadian Artists
and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal.
The Act also provides for
the establishment of a regulatory framework that will govern professional
relations between artists as independent contractors and producers who
work in those fields under federal government jurisdiction. It entitles
artists associations to negotiate collective agreements on behalf
of their members and protects accredited artist associations, producers
and producers associations from all actions brought under the Competition
Act. Some sections of the Act have been in effect since May and June
1993, in particular those concerning the constitution of the Canadian
Council on the Status of the Artist and of the Canadian Artists and Producers
Professional Relations Tribunal. The sections enabling the Tribunal to
exercise its powers came into force in May 1995.
It is due to
the existence of this Act that Canada was often cited as an example at
an international conference on the Status of the Artist hosted by UNESCO
in June 1997; the conference was held to review progress made in various
countries following the 1980 Belgrade recommendation on the status of
7. Copyright Act
Simply put, copyright is
the exclusive right of an owner to copy his or her work or to permit someone
else to do so. Copyright is the legal framework within which creators
of literary and artistic works receive payment for the use of their works.
It establishes the economic and moral rights of creators to control the
publication of their works, to receive remuneration and to protect the
integrity of their creations. Responsibility for protecting intellectual
property arises in part from the Copyright Act. Given how important
it is for creators and artists to protect their production, the Act is
especially important to them and those who use their works. Though the
Act is administered by the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Canadian
Heritage assists in developing policies and revising the Act from the
point of view of creators, artists and other cultural producers. In this
sense the Copyright Act forms an integral part of cultural policy
in the arts sector.
Prior to June 1988, creators
had to rely on a statute that had been in effect since 1924 and thus was
hardly able to reflect the numerous technological changes that have come
about since that time. Phase I of copyright review was embodied in Bill
C-60, which received Royal Assent in June 1988. Phase II amendments
were tabled through Bill C-32 on 25 April 1996. This bill received
Royal Assent on 25 April 1997. Its provisions, however, were introduced
in stages, with certain regulations not coming into force until 1 October
1999. Among the measures adopted are: rights to provide royalties
to producers and performers of sound recordings; a levy on recordable,
blank audio media, such as cassettes and tapes, to remunerate creators
for private copying of their musical works; provisions to give exclusive
distributors of books in Canada greater protection in the Canadian market;
and exceptions from copyright laws for groups such as non-profit educational
institutions, libraries, archives and museums, as well as people with
1997, the Government of Canada signed two new World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) treaties (the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the
WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty). The Department of Canadian
Heritage, in collaboration with Industry Canada, continues to work in
the policy development and consultation process to amend Canadas
copyright legislation so that Canada can adhere to these new treaties.
Many of these amendments will address the new communications environment,
with a view to improving both protection for Canadian producers, creators
and performers and the remuneration of Canadian creators and performers.
8. Tax Treatment of Artists and Artistic
The tax treatment of artists,
artistic organizations and artists associations in Canada is a subject
that has been publicly debated for decades. Central to the debate is the
argument that artists are entitled to the same treatment as other taxpayers
in comparable economic situations. In short, artists should not be granted
special status, but rather guaranteed equitable treatment that takes into
account their particular circumstances, as the Income Tax Act already
does for other groups of taxpayers. In Canada, the Minister responsible
for cultural affairs is also responsible for directing these issues to
the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Revenue and other Cabinet colleagues.
In this sense, and also because the measures taken affect artists, artistic
organizations and associations of artists, they can be considered as an
integral part of cultural policy.
so far are of two kinds: amendments to the Income Tax Act and the
publication of interpretation bulletins. In brief, the measures that benefit
artistic organizations and associations of artists are described below.
to the Income Tax Act:
salaried musicians are allowed to deduct capital cost allowance and
expenses incurred in respect of the purchase and maintenance of their
salaried artists may deduct expenses they have incurred in carrying
on their artistic activity to a maximum of $1,000, or 20% of their employment
income from artistic activities;
artists receive an income tax credit, calculated on the basis of fair
market value, in respect of a gift from their inventory to institutions
and public authorities designated under the Cultural Property Export
and Import Act; and
service organizations whose operations are linked to the arts (artists
associations) and that are recognized by the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and the Minister of Revenue as having status equivalent to that of a
charity may issue receipts for income tax purposes to persons who make
gifts to them.
Interpretation Bulletin 504R concerns the calculation of income of a
person who operates a business in Canada as a visual artist or independent
Bulletin IT-311 clarifies the right of musicians and other performing
arts professionals who are self-employed to deduct certain expenses
related to their professional activities.
A. Canada Council for the Arts
In 1951, the Royal Commission
on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (Massey-Lévesque
Commission) recommended creating the Canada Council for the Arts, which
was founded when the Canada Council Act was proclaimed in 1957.
The responsibility of the
Canada Council for the Arts with respect to research in the humanities
and social sciences was devolved upon a new Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council pursuant to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council Act in 1978.
On 26 November 1992, in
tabling Bill C-93, the government announced the merger of the Canada Council
for the Arts, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
and the International Cultural Relations Program of the Department of
External Affairs. The bill passed all the legislative stages in the House
of Commons, but was rejected on third reading in the Senate on 10 June
In 1995, through
Bill C-65, An Act to reorganize and dissolve certain federal agencies,
the Board was reduced from 21 to 11 members and the authority of the Governor
in Council to appoint an Associate Director was abolished.
B. National Arts Centre
The government passed the
National Arts Centre Act in 1966, to celebrate the Centennial of
In February 1988, the former
House of Commons Standing Committee on Communications and Culture sent
a letter to the Chairman of the Centres Board of Trustees underscoring
the urgent need to appoint a new Director General and expressing the Committee
members concerns about the recruitment and appointment process.
The Committee subsequently undertook an examination of the Centres
role and mandate and in September 1990 tabled a report entitled National
Arts Centre. It recommended in particular an increased role for the
Board of Trustees and for volunteers. In its reply in February 1991, the
government reaffirmed the Centres authority and responsibility with
respect to the management of its activities and asked the Centre to examine
the Committees report carefully and to consider taking measures
that would help increase public trust.
In 1995, through
Bill C-65, An Act to reorganize and dissolve certain federal agencies,
the Board of Trustees was reduced from 16 to 10 members. In 1996, through
Bill C-49, it was proposed that the authority to appoint the Director
of the Centre be shifted from the Board of Trustees to the Governor in
Council. Bill C-49 died on the Order Paper when Parliament was
dissolved in April 1997.
C. Department of Canadian
On 23 September 1994, the
Minister of Canadian Heritage tabled in the House of Commons Bill C-53,
An Act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage. The bill was
studied by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage
in November and December 1994. The Minister tabled an amendment to the
bill in order to clarify the role of the Minister with respect to foreign
investment and copyright. The amended bill was adopted by the House of
Commons on 15 December 1994 and by the Senate on 6 April 1995;
it received Royal Assent on 15 June 1995. The new legislation came into
force on 12 July 1996.
D. Status of the Artist
In December 1989, the House
of Commons Standing Committee on Communications and Culture tabled a report
entitled Status of the Artist, drafted by its Sub-Committee on
the Status of the Artist. In the main, the report recommended that legislation
be passed in order to give artists associations the right to negotiate
collective agreements on behalf of their members and to protect them from
legal actions brought under the Competition Act. The government
was very much in favour of the report and in May 1991 tabled Bill C-7,
An Act respecting the status of the artist and professional relations
between artists and producers in Canada. The bill received Royal Assent
in June 1992. Some sections came into effect in May and June 1993; those
enabling the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal
to exercise its powers came into force in May 1995.
In 1985, the Sub-Committee
on the Revision of Copyright recommended, in its report A Charter of
Rights for Creators, that the Copyright Act be revised immediately
to reflect major changes since 1924, when the Act was promulgated.
In response to the Sub-Committees
recommendations, the government prepared amendments to the Copyright
Act (Bill C-60), which came into effect in 1988 and 1989 (known as
Phase I of copyright review). To give effect to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade
Agreement, the government again revised the Copyright Act in February
1989 and established a retransmission right and system of compensation
for certain retransmissions.
were made to the Copyright Act through Bill C-88, An Act to amend
the Copyright Act. These amendments, which have been in effect since August
1993, apply in particular to the retransmission right of musical works.
Phase II amendments were tabled through Bill C-32, An Act to amend the
Copyright Act, in April 1996. The bill received Royal Assent in April
F. Tax System
Since 1980, the House Committee
has on four occasions examined the factors affecting the status of artists,
in particular their tax treatment. In 1984, pursuant to an order of reference
of the House of Commons, a sub-committee filed an extensive report entitled
The Taxation of Visual and Performing Artists and Writers. The
government unfortunately could not respond to that report as the Thirty-Second
Parliament was dissolved.
In January 1987,
the Committee tabled a report entitled Taxation of Artists and the
Arts. Its key recommendation, which was that a definition of "professional
artist" and "artistic activity" be included in the Income
Tax Act, was not accepted by the government. The Committee countered
in April 1988 by tabling a report entitled Review of Taxation of Artists
and the Arts. Its main recommendation, that a definition of the professional
status of artists be given force of law, was not accepted. Certain tax
issues raised by the Sub-Committee on the Status of the Artist in its
report Status of the Artist, tabled in December 1989, were favourably
reviewed by the government. As a result, salaried artists may now deduct
expenses incurred in carrying on their artistic activities to a maximum
of $1,000, or 20% of their income from artistic activity.
G. Other Subjects
In 1984, as a result of
the revision of the Financial Administration Act, cultural agencies,
particularly the Canada Council and the National Arts Centre, were exempted
from provisions granting government the power to control the affairs of
Shortly after the federal
governments constitutional proposals were introduced in September
1991, the Committee undertook a broad review of the impact of culture
and communications on Canadian unity. Committee members appeared before
the Special Joint Committee on a Renewed Canada in February 1992 to present
their initial conclusions and recommendations. This effort was followed
in April 1992 by the tabling of the Committees definitive report
Culture and Communications: The Ties that Bind. The governments
response was tabled one year later, in April 1993, under the title Unique
On 15 November 1994, the
Special Joint Committee on Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy released
its report entitled Canadas Foreign Policy: Principles and Priorities
for the Future. Among other things, the Committee recommended that
cultural matters be treated as a fundamental component of Canadian foreign
policy. In its estimation, foreign policy should affirm the countrys
cultural sovereignty, contribute to the vitality of the arts and promote
the export of Canadian cultural products.
In November 1995, the House
Committee launched a study of Culture and Canadian Unity and Identity,
inviting Canadians to present their ideas on how to better showcase Canadas
successes, values, traditions and greatness and to propose specific measures
for learning more about each other. Public hearings were held on the matter
but the Committee did not issue a report on its findings.
In February 1997, the House
of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage began a study of the
Evolving Role of the Federal Government in Support of Culture in Canada.
The Committee wished to examine the past, present and future role of the
Government of Canadas involvement in the policies and activities
of the cultural sector. In June 1999, the Committee released its report
entitled A Sense of Place, A Sense of Being. "Because of the
magnitude of the task and the issues involved, we decided to focus our
work on three challenges facing Canadian culture as we enter a new millennium:
the rapid pace of demographic change, the exponential evolution of communication
technologies, and the globalization of economies and trade," explained
Clifford Lincoln, M.P. for Lac-Saint-Louis and Chair of the Committee.
The Committee organized its report in a manner that breaks away from the
approach of past studies. It looks at culture from the perspective of
key elements of cultural activity - creation, training, production, distribution
and consumption - and makes 43 recommendations which call for better co-operation
between federal departments and other orders of government. The reports
recommendations also capture the importance Canadians place on the role
of the Government of Canada in the promotion, protection and support of
our culture and its federal cultural instruments and institutions.
1924 - The Copyright
Act came into effect.
1951 - The Royal Commission
on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (Massey-Lévesque
Commission) recommended that a council of the arts be created.
1957 - The Canada Council
1965 - Report of the Department
of the Secretary of State on the need to adopt a cultural policy in Canada.
- Canada Council began receiving
annual parliamentary votes.
1966 - A Cultural Affairs
Branch was created within the Department of External Affairs.
- The National Arts Centre
Act was passed.
1969 - The National Arts
Centre was inaugurated.
1978 - Canada Councils
mandate respecting social sciences and humanities was assigned to the
new Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
- Publication of the Disney
Report, Federal Tax Issues of Concern to the Arts Community in Canada:
An Analysis Prepared for the Department of the Secretary of State.
1979 - The Department of
External Affairs created the International Cultural Relations Bureau.
1980 - Responsibility for
cultural affairs was transferred from Secretary of State to Minister of
- Creation of Cultural Initiatives
Program within Department of Communications.
- First federal-provincial
conference of Ministers of Cultural Affairs.
1982 - The Report of the
Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee (Applebaum-Hébert Report) was
1984 - The Minister of Communications
and Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs published From Gutenberg
to Telidon, A White Paper on Copyright: Proposals for the Revision of
the Canadian Copyright Act.
- Revision of the Financial
Administration Act confirmed the operational independence of the Canada
Council and the National Arts Centre.
1985 - Report of the Study
Team to the Task Force on Program Review, Economic Growth: Culture
and Communications was published.
1986 - Study groups submitted
the following reports to the Minister of Communications: Funding of
the Arts in Canada to the Year 2000 (Bovey Report); The Status
of the Artist (Siren-Gélinas Report); and Accent on Access (Hendry
- The Minister of Communications
announced creation of the Public Lending Right Commission.
1987 - The Minister of Communications
announced establishment of the Canadian Advisory Committee on the Status
of the Artist.
1988 - Bill C-60, concerning
Phase I of revision of copyright, received Royal Assent.
1989 - Canada-U.S. Free
Trade Agreement came into effect.
- Amendments made to the
Copyright Act in accordance with the Free Trade Agreement.
- National Arts Centre published
The Third Decade and Beyond: The Cultural Mandate of the National Arts
Centre of Canada.
December 1991 - Task Force
on Professional Training for the Cultural Sector in Canada submitted the
report Art Is Never a Given to the Minister of Communications
and the Minister of Employment and Immigration.
August 1992 - Charlottetown
constitutional agreement proposed recognition of the exclusive jurisdiction
of the provinces in cultural matters.
January 1992 - The National
Sectoral Council for Culture was established.
June 1992 - The Status
of the Artist Act received Royal Assent.
October 1992 - The Charlottetown
agreement was rejected in a constitutional referendum.
May 1993 - Sections 1 to
4 of Status of The Artist Act (policy statement on status of the
artist and creation of Canadian Council on the Status of the Artist) came
June 1993 - Sections 10,
11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 of Status of the Artist Act (constitution
of the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal)
came into effect.
- Under a departmental reorganization,
the Department of Communications was abolished and its responsibility
for cultural policy assigned to a new Department of Canadian Heritage.
- The Senate rejected Bill
C-93 respecting the merger of the Canada Council, Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada and cultural programs of Department
of External Affairs.
August 1993 - Amendments
and clarifications made to the Copyright Act (Bill C-88).
January 1994 - The North
American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.
April 1994 - The Minister
of Industry announced the composition of the Advisory Council on the Information
Highway; in September 1994, an artist was appointed to the Council.
May 1995 - The remaining
sections of the Status of the Artist Act (sections 5 to 9, 14,
and 17 to 70) came into force.
November 1995 - The pertinent
sections of Bill C-65, An Act to reorganize and dissolve certain federal
agencies, which amends the Canada Council Act and the National
Arts Centre Act, came into force.
June 1996 - Bill C-49, An
Act to authorize remedial and disciplinary measures in relation to members
of certain administrative tribunals, to reorganize and dissolve certain
federal agencies and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which
would have shifted the authority to appoint the Director of the National
Arts Centre from the Board of Trustees to the Governor in Council, was
tabled in the House of Commons. The bill died on the Order Paper when
Parliament was dissolved in April 1997.
July 1996 - An Act to
establish the Department of Canadian Heritage and to amend and repeal
certain other Acts (Bill C-53) came into force.
1997 - A national round-table discussion, hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Canadian Heritage, focused on the federal governments
current cultural policy instruments and how they should be adapted and
renewed for the longer term.
- The Canada
Council for the Arts celebrated its 40th anniversary, unveiled a new logo
and added the expression "for the Arts" to its English-language
April 1997 - Long-term,
stable federal government funding for national arts training institutions
April 1997 - Bill C-32,
An Act to amend the Copyright Act, was given Royal Assent.
1999 - A Sense of Place - A Sense of Being, a cultural policy study
by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage was tabled in the House.
- An Act
to establish an indemnification program for travelling exhibitions
(Bill C-64) was given Royal Assent.
Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee. Report of the Federal Cultural
Policy Review Committee. Department of Communications, Ottawa, 1982.
Conference of the Arts. A Strategy for Culture. Ottawa, 1980.
Conference of the Arts. More Strategy for Culture: More Proposals for
a Federal Policy for the Arts and the Cultural Industries in Canada.
Conference of the Arts. The Canadian Cultural Sector: A Primer.
Ottawa, November 1993.
Conference of the Arts. Final Report of the Working Group on Cultural
Policy for the 21st Cantury. Ottawa, June 1998.
Research and Les consultants culturinc inc. Canadian Arts Consumer
Profile 1990-1991: Findings. Department of Communications, Ottawa,
André and D. Paul Schafer. Review of Federal Policies for the Arts
in Canada, 1944-1988. Canadian Conference of the Arts, Ottawa, 1989.
sur la politique culturelle du Québec. A Policy on Culture and the
Arts: Proposal Presented to Quebec Minister of Cultural Affairs Liza Frulla-Hébert
by the Groupe-conseil under the Chairmanship of Mr. Roland Arpin.
Ministère des Affaires culturelles, Quebec City, 1991.
Force on Professional Training for the Cultural Sector in Canada. Art
Is Never a Given: Professional Training in the Arts in Canada. Minister
of Supply and Services Canada, Ottawa, 1991.
* The original version of this Current Issue
Review was published in December 1993; the paper has been regularly updated
since that time.