The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions brings together Canada’s main French- and English-speaking organizations of professionals in the cultural sector. The thirty or so member associations represent 200,000 professionals and 2,200 companies in the cultural sector.

Equally concerned about the economic health of the cultural sector and the vitality of cultural creation, the CDCE is particularly interested in the treatment of culture in trade agreements and the impact of the digital environment on the diversity of cultural expressions.

History and mission

History

The CDCE was founded in the spring of 1998 by Quebec’s leading cultural associations in the midst of the growing opposition to the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which aimed to liberalize cultural goods and services. In the fall of 1999, the CDCE invited the main professional associations in the cultural sector in Canada to join its ranks.

At the international level, the CDCE and the governments of Quebec and Canada have played a fundamental role in ensuring that the dual – economic, but also symbolic and identity – value of cultural goods and services is recognized and in creating a movement that led to the adoption of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at UNESCO in 2005. The CDCE then made efforts to convince cultural professionals from all continents to create their own coalition to encourage their government to support the Convention.

Today, the CDCE includes 29 organizations representing creators, artists, producers, publishers and distributors in the book, film, television, new media, music, performing arts and visual arts sectors. The CDCE also provides the secretariat for the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD).

Mission

The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) is the voice of the cultural community. It promotes the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It ensures its implementation to give it full force of application at the national level.

The CDCE monitors the Canadian government’s commitments under the Convention. It ensures that the government’s capacity to implement policies to support local cultural expressions is properly preserved and deployed; that trade liberalization and technology development do not systematically lead to a standardization of content and a disruption of local ecosystems in the face of foreign investment.

The CDCE works primarily to ensure that cultural goods and services are excluded from trade negotiations and that the diversity of cultural expressions is present in the digital environment. Its role is to:

  • Promote civil society dialogue around its priorities and the challenges of the Convention;
  • Monitor trade negotiations conducted by the Canadian government to ensure that the exclusion of cultural goods and services from trade agreement negotiations is respected;
  • Document the impacts and conditions surrounding the provision of cultural content online;
  • Organize meetings and represent its members in the revision of laws and policies that have an impact on the diversity of cultural expressions;
  • Provide the secretariat for the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) and participate in debates at UNESCO to support an international network in favour of the diversity of cultural expressions.

Our Work

Our Expertise

For more than twenty years, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) has defended the importance of culture in the development of societies, which has earned it an internationally recognized legitimacy.

The Coalition’s role is to mobilize all cultural stakeholders – creators, artists, associations, community organizations, policy makers, academics – at all levels – local, national and international. Its expertise lies in its comprehensive understanding of the issues, its research and its capacity to mobilize.

Cultural exemption in trade agreements

The Convention recognizes in international law the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning. This provides the legal argument to justify their exemption from any liberalization commitments in trade agreements. The CDCE conducts analysis, monitors trade negotiations involving the Canadian government and makes representations to ensure that cultural goods and services are excluded from trade agreements.

The CDCE thus ensures the implementation of the Convention, so that the sovereign right of states to promote the diversity of cultural expressions on their national territory through policy measures, including financial assistance, is fully recognized.

The diversity of cultural expressions online

For the CDCE, the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital space is based on:

  • The existence of a balanced environment for the creation, production and dissemination of diversified local cultural content;
  • The availability and promotion of online cultural content, and its discoverability in Canada;
  • The ability of governments to formulate and implement policies to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions online;
  • Collective capacity, including that of the cultural community, to measure the achievement of public interest objective.

The CDCE’s role is also to conduct research and foster dialogue between cultural, academic and government circles at the national and international levels in order to enable the country’s artists, creators and producers to enrich the national cultural heritage in the best possible conditions in the digital age.

Executive Committee

Solange Drouin

Copresident

Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque (ADISQ)

Ms. Solange Drouin holds a law degree and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1988. She joined ADISQ in 1992 and, since 1995, has held the position of Executive Director. Since 1999, she has also been Vice President of Public Affairs for this organization. Since 1999 she has been a member of the Board of Directors of Musicaction. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Radiostar Fund and acts as treasurer. Ms. Drouin also serves as co-president of the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity and has served on the board of directors of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.

She has also been President of the Discography and Performing Arts Committee of the Observatory of Culture and Communications since its foundation and chair of its advisory committee. At the same time, from 1995 to June 2001, Ms. Drouin also held the position of Executive Director of the Society for the Collective Management for the Rights of Producers of Phonograms and Videograms in Quebec. In addition, Ms. Drouin was a member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Council of Human Resources in Culture. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Neighboring Rights Collective of Canada and the Canadian Private Copying Collective as Vice-President.


Bill Skolnik

Copresident

Directors Guild of Canada Ontario (DGC)

Bill Skolnik is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of DGC Ontario. In this role, Bill leads all labour negotiations, policy initiatives and member services—with the DGC Ontario team

Prior to his arrival at DGC Ontario, he was the head of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, a founding member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, a Trustee of the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada and Treasurer of the Radio Producers’ Association of Canada.  Bill is an expert in developing ground-breaking provisions that affect Musicians, Composers and Producers working in the Canadian screen-based and theatre industries.

As a classically trained musician, Bill has worked as a Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, and Music Producer. He wrote and arranged for Sesame Street for over a decade and composed the score for over a dozen CBC radio dramas. Bill’s work has been heard in numerous documentaries, in the award winning film My American Cousin as well as on stages across Canada including the Shaw Festival,  Alberta Theatre Projects, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Arts Club of Vancouver and Young People’s Theatre. Bill was instrumental in the creation of the CBC music service Galaxie, organizing and programming Chamber Music and Pop Classics, and was the CBC Radio Music Producer behind such critically acclaimed specials as the Michael Tippett Tribute to the European Broadcast Union, The Boss Brass Live to the World, The Evolution of Jazz and the late Jeff Healey’s first Jazz broadcast.Born in Montreal, he has lived in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.


Catherine Mitchell

Vice-President

Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)

Catherine Mitchell is a book publishing consultant in Toronto with extensive international experience in translation rights and distribution, sales and marketing, and public relations. She teaches in Humber College’s ‘Creative Book Publishing Program’. Catherine is active on many industry committees, and believes in building community engagement.



Jérôme Payette

Treasurer

Association des Professionnels de l'Édition Musicale (APEM)

Jérôme Payette has been General Manager of the APEM since June 2015. As a musician and manager, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance, a Post-graduate diploma in Management of Cultural Organizations and a Master’s degree in Management with a thesis on cultural development. In 2014, he was sent by the Government of Quebec to UNESCO (Paris) to work at the Secretariat for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Previously, he was Director of Development for the Laval Symphony Orchestra. Since 2010, Jérôme has carried out various consulting assignments in the cultural sector for ArtExpert, Torrentiel and to his account. He is involved with the Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the INIS Standing Committee on Mutual Training, the OCCQ Record and Performing Arts Advisory Committee, CAMI, ACCORD and the Coalition for a Canadian music policy.


Tyrone Benskin

Vice-President

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)

Tyrone Benskin has been a significant presence on the Canadian and International cultural landscape for over 30 years. He is an acclaimed Actor / Director with well over 100 film, television projects as well as being a published composer, song-writer and recording artist. For over 2 decades Tyrone has also been a vocal advocate of Canadian expression through the arts and believes whole-heartedly in its importance as a social pillar. To that end, he has served as National-Vice President of ACTRA and as an Member of Parliament in Canada’s House of Commons where he was appointed Official Opposition Critic – Heritage Canada and Deputy Critic – Official Languages.


Élisabeth Schlittler

Administrator

Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD) / Société civile des auteurs multimédia (SCAM)

Élisabeth Schlittler is the General Delegate for Canada of the Society of Authors and Dramatic Composers (SACD) and of the Civil Society of multimedia authors (SCAM), two collective management societies. Possessing a degree in Swiss administration, she worked for several years in Algeria and Senegal. Back in Canada, she held the position of Executive Director of a Montreal publishing house before leading SACD and SCAM.

Since 2002, she represents both companies at CDCE and she joined the executive committee in 2017.


Board of Directors

Presentation

The Coalition’s Board of Directors is composed of a minimum of fifteen (15) directors and corresponds to the number of regular members. The directors elect from among themselves two co-presidents, eight vice-presidents, a secretary and a treasurer, taking care to ensure that the choice of all these officers adequately reflects the diversity of the Coalition’s regular membership.

Composition of the Board

Officers and members elected at the Annual General Meeting on September 24, 2018:

  • Co-Chairs:

ADISQ – Association québécoise de l’industrie du spectacle et de la vidéo : Solange Drouin
DGC – Directors Guild of Canada, Ontario division : Bill Skolnik

  • Treasurer:

APEM – Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale : Jérôme Payette

  • Secretary:

SPACQ – Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec : Marie-Josée Dupré

  • Vice-Presidents:

ACP – Association of Canadian Publishers : Catherine Mitchell
ACTRA – Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artist : Tyrone Benskin
ARRQ – Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec : Mylène Cyr
CMPA – Canadian Media Production Association : Susanne Vaas
LCP – League of Canadian Poets : Fortner Anderson
SOCAN – Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada : Victor Davies
UDA – Union des artistes : Louis-Georges Girard
UNEQ – Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois : Laurent Dubois

  • Directors:

ANEL – Association nationale des éditeurs de livres : Richard Prieur
AQPM – Association québécoise de la production médiatique : Hélène Messier
CAEA – Canadian Actors’ Equity Association : Arden R. Ryshpan
CIMA – Canadian Independent Music Association : Elise Roiron
CMPA – Canadian Music Publishers Association: Margaret McGuffin
CQT – Conseil québécois du théâtre : Morad Jeldi
DGC – Directors Guild of Canada: Samuel Bischoff
FCCF – Fédération culturelle canadienne française : Marie-Christine Morin
MMF – Music Managers Forum Canada : Ryhna Thompson
SAC – Songwriters Association of Canada: Zoë Cunningham
SACD – Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques : Elisabeth Schlittler
SARTEC – Société des Auteurs de Radio; Télévision et Cinéma : Stéphanie Hénault
SCAM – Société civile des auteurs multimedia : Elisabeth Schlittler
SCGC – Screen Composers Guild of Canada : Victor Davies
WGC – Writers Guild of Canada : Neal McDougall
XN Québec – L’Association des producteurs d’expériences numériques : Jenny Thibault

Team

Nathalie Guay

General Coordinator

Nathalie Guay holds a master’s degree in geography from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She became interested in the anti-globalization movement as part of her studies, which led her to be one of the main organizers of the Quebec Social Forum in 2007. She then worked for ten years at the Confédération des syndicats nationaux , first as a research advisor before being appointed in 2012 as the Assistant to the Executive Committee and Head of International Relations. During her journey, Nathalie Guay has worked on various themes such as regional development, trade agreements, international solidarity and the changes brought about by digital technology. She joined the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in April 2018 as the General Coordinator.

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Céline de Dianous

Communication and research officer

Céline de Dianous is a graduate of Sciences Po Lyon. She has a strong interest in artistic creation, art research and information technology issues. She was cultural officer at the French Institute of Valencia, Spain, then worked as head of communication, development and partnerships for the Laboratory of Arts and Human Mediations at Paris 8 University. She joined the Coalition for Cultural Diversity in June 2018.

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