Photo © Timothée Geenens

On January 31, 2024, a report on Quebec’s cultural sovereignty in the digital age, signed by Louise Beaudoin, Clément Duhaime, Véronique Guèvremont and Patrick Taillon, was made public. Commissioned last April by Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, the report contains 32 recommendations.

The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE), which represents more than 350,000 creators and professionals and nearly 3,000 companies in the cultural sector in Canada, is delighted to see that the key role played by the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in ensuring the cultural sovereignty of states, including in the digital environment, has been fully reaffirmed.

The CDCE also welcomes the recommendation to “ensure that Canada’s broad cultural exemption is maintained in all trade agreements negotiated by Canada, and that the wording of this clause is revised to adapt it to the specificities of digital trade and the diversity of cultural content available online”. The inclusion of a general cultural exemption in the trade agreements to which Canada adheres is the primary mission of the CDCE. The Coalition also stresses the importance of linguistic diversity and of supporting French-language cultural content online.

“This report rightly highlights the importance for Canada’s cultural community of mobilizing around the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which protects the right of states to act, for example, to ensure the discoverability of cultural content in the digital environment, and we welcome the report’s recommendations along these lines,” said Marie-Julie Desrochers, Executive Director of the CDCE.

The CDCE plays a pivotal role in this mobilization, ensuring each year that the voice of Quebec and Canadian creators and cultural professionals is heard at UNESCO.

    Cultural sovereignty in the digital environment: experts stress the importance of the 2005 Convention

    Press release
    1 February 2024
    Cultural sovereignty