Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires today launched a detailed cultural review that will generate a more complete picture of the role culture plays in the province’s unique identity.
“Forms of cultural expression that didn’t exist 25 years ago are flourishing, while other cultural sectors are struggling to adapt to the impact of a digital world,” said Squires, adding the industry has constantly evolved, but a far-reaching review has not been done in the past 25 years.
“We want to hear not only from those working within the cultural sector but also from a wide cross-section of Manitobans as we work on re-shaping the way we deliver support and services to this important area,” the minister said.
Over the next three months, the province will host community meetings and forums and direct dialogue with cultural groups, arts organizations and all Manitobans who are passionate about this industry on what they’d like to see reflected in the new culture policy, the minister said.
The minister noted culture is an economic powerhouse for the Manitoba economy that creates thousands of jobs and represents nearly three percent of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2015-16, the province provided $59.7 million in grants, contributions and tax credits to the cultural and creative industries.
“Technological and social changes are rapidly transforming the manner by which arts and culture are created and consumed,” said Squires. “Our supports for culture must evolve to reflect the modern realities. This review will address current pressures within the system, identify ways to become innovative, examine return on investment and seek out private sector and third-party partnerships to enhance the industries.”
The review will examine what has worked well, and what can be improved upon through public engagement in key areas including arts, creative industries, heritage, libraries, Indigenous culture and cultural infrastructure.