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Building the Creative Economy in Nova Scotia

May 24, 200924 May 2009

Culture and the Creative Economy

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This report outlines the nature of the emerging creative economy, where “human creativity is a defining feature of contemporary life”. The report identifies four “critical success factors in building a successful creative economy”: (1) leadership and participation; (2) infrastructure; (3) awareness and education; and (4) investment and policy.

The contribution of the arts and culture to the creative economy includes “driving innovation through core creativity and cultural industry activities”, “driving the economy through wealth creation” (rather than simply being a beneficiary of wealth generation), and “positively impacting the quality of life in a given region, which in turn attracts more creators and innovators”.

Despite the finding that “Nova Scotia’s overall economic performance in recent years has been at or near the bottom of the ranking for all Canadian provinces”, the report indicates that the economic output of the province’s cultural sector has grown steadily. In 2003, the province’s cultural sector “contributed $1.2 billion to the provincial GDP … and created 28,000 jobs”.

The “five fundamental steps” for realizing the potential of Nova Scotia’s creative economy closely mirror the success factors outlined previously: (1) leadership and participation; (2) recognition that culture is a positive contributor to the economy, not a drain on wealth generation; (3) research, data and policy on the province’s creative economy; (4) additional investment in all aspects of the creative cycle, including creation, production, distribution, consumption and conservation; and (5) infrastructure policies and funding “that support the development of spaces for creation, collaboration, and presentation in both urban and rural areas of the province”.

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