The creative economy is emerging as an important and growing part of successful global economic restructuring. According to the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations, “the term creative economy refers to the socioeconomic potential of activities that trade with creativity, knowledge and information.” The creative economy incorporates arts, culture and technology with business to trade valuable intellectual property. In the post-industrial era governments around the globe are increasingly recognizing the creative economy as a critical economic driver that creates jobs and wealth.
How valuable is this intellectual property? According to the Conference Board of Canada the cultural industries (just one sub-component of the creative economy) are worth an estimated $46 billion in real value-added economic output or 3.8% of GDP in Canada. After factoring indirect and induced effects, the total economic impact of the culture sector in Canada totals $84.6 billion or 7.4% of GDP. The culture sector in Canada is responsible for 1.1 million jobs and employs as many people as the agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil, gas and utilities COMBINED.
As our national public broadcaster, the CBC is a driving force in the new creative economy. As a major presenter of Canadian television, music and culture, the CBC facilitates the production and distribution of Canadian owned intellectual property. The CBC also encourages diversity in production in multiple genres, investment in the arts, contributes to the implementation of new technologies and promotes digital content distribution.
CBC regional programming and services are also very important when it comes to economic development in the new creative economy. Regional services nurture the creation and development of creative clusters and technical production expertise in smaller markets across the country. Creative clusters and technical production expertise are critical elements of a healthy creative economy.
Overall and perhaps most importantly, the CBC contributes to an increase in our global competitiveness when exporting our Canadian owned intellectual property.
With the CBC now on the public funding chopping block it has never been more important for citizens, public servants and our elected officials to have a complete understanding of the significant economic value the new creative economy holds, not to mention the unrealized potential yet to be discovered. Geographic territories around the world have transformed from struggling post-industrial economies to vibrant healthy communities through major investment in the creative economy.
Investing in the CBC is an investment in the creative economy, which in turn is an investment in our most important renewable resources – our people, their ideas and their locally owned small businesses.
Please visit www.friends.ca/ILoveCBC/ and show your support for the CBC and a strong creative economy in Canada.
Executive Director, Music Nova Scotia