Photo: Hayley Hanks

A talk with Minister Mélanie Joly: Strengthening the culture of creative industries in Canada

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By Hayley Hanks

The Minister of Canadian Heritage visited Ryerson on Feb. 9 for a roundtable discussion with FCAD students. Minister Mélanie Joly, whose mandate includes strengthening the cultural and creative industries in Canada, came to speak with Ryerson students about cultural content in a digital age.

Joly took a tour of the Rogers Communications Centre with the dean of FCAD Charles Falzon, visiting the Transmedia Zone and the Allan Slaight Radio Institute and speaking with students. The discussion that followed was an open platform for students from different programs within the faculty to speak with the minister.

The minister’s goal was to take into account the voices of students working in creative fields who were raised using digital tools. The conversation will inform the modernization of cultural policy frameworks in government to include how people consume culture online.

“Everything had been developed in and around 1991. Were you born in 1991? …It all predated the internet. And I thought, ‘Ok, well, now we have a big challenge there because people are consuming information drastically different,” Joly said.

In 2016, the minister gathered input from Canadians, wanting to learn more about how to support Canadian content online. An expert advisory group was assembled to help Joly. It was made up of creative and cultural leaders from across Canada, including Falzon. Throughout the year, over 30,000 people participated in the discussion either online or in person.

“I wanted to learn from what is being done at Ryerson,” said Joly. “I wanted to have the chance to meet students here and see what they have to say and how much they’re innovating in the field that I’m in charge of within government.”

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