Canada has a long history of supporting cultural diversity.  Over several decades, Canada has equipped itself with a vast “ecosystem” of measures that contributes to the creation of an environment that actively promotes the expression of cultural diversity within its territory.  The ecosystem recognizes the social and economic value of cultural content and is constantly evolving to face new challenges, such as the transition to digital platforms.

Implemented at various governmental levels, this ecosystem contains measures of all types (policies, laws, regulations, subsidy programs, tax credits, etc.) that complement one another and provide support at each stage of cultural expression; creation, production, distribution, dissemination and participation.  By ensuring the continued existence of Canadian cultural products and making them accessible to the public, the system enriches the lives of its citizens while promoting mutually beneficial exchanges with the rest of the world.

Canadian works of art, books, magazines, songs, films, radio, new media products and TV programs allow us to contribute to both our quality of life and our economy.  While we are seizing the opportunities of global and regional economic integration, preserving and promoting domestic flexibility related to culture is a core objective for Canada in all international trade negotiations.

Canada was a leader in the development of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.  It continues to promote its principles and objectives, notably to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

Bilateral/Regional Trade Agreements

The preservation and promotion of cultural identity is of great importance to Canada and, in all international trade agreements, our aim is to ensure that Canada maintains the maximum flexibility to pursue its domestic cultural policy objectives.  To that effect, Canada’s existing bilateral and regional trade negotiations all incorporate specific provisions with respect to cultural industries in order to allow us to adapt existing cultural policies and develop new policies in the future.

Multilateral Trade (World Trade Organization)

Multilaterally, while acknowledging the numerous benefits of comprehensive trade liberalization, Canada's approach has been to refrain from taking on obligations that would hamper its ability to pursue domestic cultural policy objectives.

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