The Government of Saskatchewan recently announced details of the consultation process for the creative industries. The consultations are designed to gather ideas for the creation of a comprehensive strategy to advance the commercial objectives of the creative industries including the adoption of new and emerging digital technology.
"Our government is committed to working with industry leaders to grow the creative economy," Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said. "Through the consultations, we want to engage people and businesses in creative industries such as commercial music and sound recording, writing and publishing, craft and visual arts, film and multi-media including animators and game developers and theatre and dance businesses."
The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport will lead the consultations with support from the Ministry of Economy. Consultations will start with the release of a discussion paper and key questions that can be found at pcs.gov.sk.ca/culture. Visitors to the website can read the discussion paper and leave their feedback. Building off of the on-line discussions, a series of focus groups will follow starting in late August and continuing into the fall. Specific dates, locations and participants are still to be determined. MLAs Mark Docherty, Laura Ross, Jennifer Campeau and Darryl Hickie were asked by the Premier to participate on a Cabinet Committee on Creative Industries and to assist with the consultations. They will help with the gathering of input and attending the focus group sessions.
The consultations will focus on exploring concepts like pulling all these creative enterprises under a common umbrella, new uses for the production studios, a non-refundable tax credit and other ideas such as how to create a critical mass, how to collaborate and innovate using digital technology and how to partner and make sustainable investments in the future.
"Moving the Creative Industries Forward consultations are about planning for the future; about addressing the creative-commercial gap," Doherty said. "These consultations will position the creative industries to be part of the province's Growth Agenda which is important to strengthening our quality of life and building an even stronger Saskatchewan."
As work on an industry-wide plan continues, the Government of Saskatchewan is maintaining stable funding for culture. In the 2012-13 Budget Estimates, $29.176 million was allocated for culture. This included the Saskatchewan Arts Board and programs such as the Creative Industry Growth and Sustainability program and Culture on the Go as well as the new initiative, artsVest.
In addition, $17.2 million was allotted to culture through the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund. This includes $14.4 million distributed through the Culture Section of the Trust by SaskCulture to cultural organizations across Saskatchewan; and $2.8 million that supports cultural activities at the local community and regional level. The total amount allocated to culture in 2012-13 is $46,376,000. To learn more go to pcs.gov.sk.ca.