UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A Ministry of Culture in all but name : Canadian federal cultural policy Mitchell, Cheryl Diane


This thesis examines the substance and process of Canadian federal cultural policy since 1949 and speculates about its future direction. While the substance lacks any comprehensive cultural blueprint, it does focus on stimulating the supply side of Canadian culture in major creative areas such as the performing arts, broadcasting and print. In the discussion, the paper notes the frequent use of two policy tools - the creation of cultural agencies and fiscal incentives. The framework designed to increase the supply side of Canadian culture has involved three processes: administrative centralization, political centralization, and an adherence to the arm's length principle with respect to the cultural agencies. As the assignment of ministerial responsibility for culture has moved increasingly into one department, namely, the Department of Communications, Canada really has a Ministry of Culture in all but name. The process involving the merger of the Arts and Culture Branch of the Secretary of State with the Department of Communications has also generated a tension between cultural and technological imperatives. Continuation of the substance lacking overall comprehensiveness is foreseen. Trends currently apparent also point to an increasingly interventionist, "take charge" attitude by the federal Government over its own cultural agencies.

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