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From Bronze to Gold: A Blueprint for Canadian Leadership in a Transforming World

August 21, 200621 August 2006

Impacts of the Arts / Facilities / State of the artist

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From Bronze to Gold outlines “10 solid steps toward a creative economy” and “five creative leaps to consider” in order to boost Canadian productivity and position Canada to compete more effectively in a global economy. From a cultural standpoint, this Canadian Council of Chief Executives report provides much encouragement but also some difficulties.

First, the good news. The report acknowledges that “there is growing evidence that artistic and cultural creativity plays an important role in transforming communities into destinations of choice for skilled people in any occupation”. As such, one of the report’s “five creative leaps” is to abolish taxes on creativity, helping to make Canada “a haven for creative minds”. The report notes that, “if Canada‘s future prosperity will flow from its ability to attract talented people, develop new ideas and put them into action, an obvious step would be to slash the tax burden imposed on economic gains from intellectual property”.

One of the “10 solid steps toward a creative economy” is to invest creatively in infrastructure, including cultural infrastructure. “The quality of a community’s cultural infrastructure also has a direct impact on quality of life and therefore on the competitiveness of communities in attracting people and investment.”

On the other hand, it is surprising that, in a section on “the foundations of a creative economy”, there is no mention of cultural policy or the arts and culture more generally. Rather, the section highlights fiscal prudence, competitive taxation, limits to the growth of government spending, health care, spending review and reallocation, monetary policy, trade, aid and investment policy, North American strategy, sovereignty and security.

Similarly, in establishing “the need for a creative economy”, the report highlights factors such as education, training and labour mobility, commercialization of research, adoption of new technologies, and a culture of entrepreneurship. No mention is made of the arts and culture in the report’s sections on competing for skilled people, ideas and investment.

The report notes that “we see Canada as a place more open than anywhere else to new people and new ideas, a hub of creativity in advancing human progress…. To shape our collective destiny, we must tap the entrepreneurial and creative energy in every sector of our society.”

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