Canadian Senate: "Canada Must Develop A Comprehensive Strategy to Strengthen Cultural Diplomacy"

The Canadian Senate has issued a new report entitled Cultural Diplomacy at the Front Stage of Canada's Foreign Policy, featuring eight recommendations on how the country must improve its incorporation of arts and culture into its foreign relations.

"The federal government must develop a comprehensive strategy to strengthen cultural diplomacy as a pillar of Canada’s foreign policy," reads the preamble. "Despite historical attempts to use arts and culture as tools for international diplomacy, Canada has not reached its full potential."

The report culminated in the following recommendations:

That the Government of Canada develop and implement a comprehensive cultural diplomacy strategy. It should establish the objectives of cultural diplomacy within the context of Canada’s foreign policy, articulate roles and responsibilities, and identify the budgetary resources necessary for the strategy’s realization.

That the Government of Canada explore opportunities for greater and more effective collaboration and coordination with provinces, territories and municipalities in its cultural diplomacy activities.

That federal departments and Crown corporations involved in cultural diplomacy activities develop performance measurement indicators to monitor and assess both the short-term and long-term results of those activities.

That the Government of Canada designate Global Affairs Canada as the lead department responsible for coordinating and delivering Canada’s cultural diplomacy strategy. The roles and responsibilities of other federal departments and agencies involved in the promotion of Canadian arts and culture should be clearly established in the strategic policy framework.

That, two years after the tabling of this report, Global Affairs Canada provide the committee with a status report on the Government of Canada’s cultural diplomacy activities, with emphasis on those activities that supported Canada’s foreign policy. The status report should be based on, but not limited to, performance measurement indicators.

That Global Affairs Canada enhance the capacity of Canadian missions abroad so that they have the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to support the federal government’s cultural diplomacy initiatives.

That Global Affairs Canada provide cultural diplomacy training to its employees, with particular attention on rotational employees posted abroad.

That Global Affairs Canada support the creation of a modernized Canadian Studies program that would contribute to knowledge about Canada in the world.

You can read the executive summary here, and the full report here.

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