IQALUIT, NU, Aug. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for culture and heritage in Canada held their annual meeting today in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to discuss issues of common interest.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable James Arreak, Nunavut Minister of Culture and Heritage, and the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. At the meeting, all participants agreed to continue to work together to support and promote culture and heritage.
The day's discussions focused on government support for encouraging the development of creative industries; increasing Canadians' engagement and their appreciation of culture and heritage; and fostering the conservation of places of historic and cultural value.
"I am honoured to have had the opportunity to share Nunavut's rich culture and heritage with my counterparts this week. Today's meeting provided the opportunity to highlight the urgent need, as outlined in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, to establish facilities in the Nunavut Settlement Area for the conservation and management of the cultural assets of Nunavummiut," said Minister Arreak. "I am pleased that today's meeting provided an opportunity for Ikajuqtigiinniq (working together for a common cause) in our efforts to celebrate, preserve and promote our joint and individual cultures, histories and heritages."
"We all agree that culture and heritage are essential to our country's social and economic development. Our governments are investing in innovative and meaningful initiatives to help our communities grow and to enrich the lives of all Canadians," said Minister Glover. "The approach of Canada's 150th anniversary, in 2017, is an opportunity to celebrate all the accomplishments that have contributed to making Canada a remarkable country."
During the course of the meeting, the ministers discussed the latest economic data on culture developed through a joint effort of all governments. The data produced by Statistics Canada reveals that the culture gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 increased to $49.9 billion, which accounts for 3.4 percent of the total GDP. This amount provides clear and concrete evidence of the importance of the cultural sector to the Canadian economy.
As host province of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, Ontario reiterated its offer for all jurisdictions to help make the event a celebration of Canadian culture, creativity and pride through participation in its Pavilion.
At the invitation of the Honourable Robert L. Henderson, Prince Edward Island Minister of Tourism and Culture, the ministers will meet in 2014 to again share their views on various cultural and heritage issues. This meeting will coincide with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, which laid the foundation for Confederation.
SOURCE: Canadian Heritage