From Cultural Nationalism to Regional Development: Examining the Growing Role of Canada’s Provincial Cultural Agencies in the Support of the Nation’s Cultural Industries During the Era of Globalization

Scott Earl McKinnon (smckinnon67@gmail.com)
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University
September, 2008
 
I working as a Business Officer in the Tax Credit Department at the Ontario Media Development Corporation (www.omdc.on.ca), and have just completed a Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) at Ryerson University.

I have considerable professional experience in the cultural industries, and been with the OMDC, a dynamic provincial cultural agency, for seven years. My particular specialties are in the film & television and digital media sectors, but I also have broad expertise in all the cultural sectors.

To complete my MPPA I developed a major research project on the effects of globalization on public policy towards the cultural industries in Canada.
 

Abstract

Traditionally the study of Canada’s cultural industries has focused on national concerns such as identity, social cohesion, and the threat of American pop-culture. However, a growing recognition exists among cultural thinkers that globalization is displacing traditional nationalist goals with a new regional preoccupation for the economic benefits of culture. This paper develops a proxy market theory that argues globalization is creating a simulated marketplace within the existing federal regulatory framework of competing provincial jurisdictions for the growth and economic benefits of Canada’s cultural industries. Using this theory, the paper examines the positive role of provincial cultural agencies in the production of domestic cultural goods in Canada, and explores how the proxy market can adapt the nation’s cultural industries to the structural changes of globalization through an in-depth case study of a provincial cultural agency followed by a comparative analysis of three provincial cultural policies. The case study focuses on the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) as a representative case of the provincial agency model; while the comparative analysis explores individual policy strategies adopted by Canada’s three leading provincial cultural agencies: Societe de Developpement des Enterprises Culturelles of Quebec (SODEC), the OMDC, and the Film Development Society of British Columbia (BC Film).
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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