Building British Columbia’s Creative Economy

News Release issued by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development  

For Immediate Release

Jan. 31, 2013  

VICTORIA – The BC government is launching BC Creative Futures, a three-part strategy to support sustainable, long-term success for the province’s creative sector, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett said today.

BC Creative Futures supports the provincial economy by helping to foster a creative workforce through more arts opportunities for young British Columbians, by building a comprehensive, sector-wide vision to support the development and growth of B.C.’s creative industries and by expanding capacity at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Part One: Arts Engagement for Creativity – BC Arts Council 

By encouraging young British Columbians to think creatively through greater engagement with the arts, BC Creative Futures will nurture emerging creative leaders and help develop a future workforce of collaborative, innovative thinkers. The BC Arts Council (BCAC), an independent agency supporting artists and cultural organizations throughout the province, and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (MCSCD) will deliver a $6.25-million package of new and expanded existing programs to support the strategy, including:

  • Creative Youth Initiatives – $2 million (BCAC)
  • After School Sport and Arts Initiative – $1 million (MCSCD)
  • Artists in Education Program – $1 million (BCAC)
  • Co-op Placement Program – $1 million (BCAC)
  • Scholarship Program – $750,000 (BCAC)
  • Artists in the Classroom Program – $500,000 (BCAC)

BCAC’s $5.25-million share of the funding, plus additional financing from MCSCD, will increase council’s support from the B.C. government from $16.8 million in 2012-13 to a record level of $24 million in 2013-14.

Part Two: Strategic Vision – Creative BC

Supported by the BC government, Creative BC will work with creative industries in the province to develop and implement a broad strategy capitalizing on the sector’s strengths and identifying new opportunities for the future. Creative BC will work with film and TV, digital media, music, publishing and other components of the creative economy.

MCSCD will provide $1 million to Creative BC for research, development and international marketing.

As an independent, non-profit society combining services previously available through separate agencies, Creative BC will engage government and the creative industries in a fresh partnership. Creative BC will begin operations in April 2013. 

Part Three: Support for Expansion at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

The BC government’s recent announcement to help build a new visual, media and design facility at Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Great Northern Way Campus also supports the BC Creative Futures strategy for a strong creative economy in British Columbia.


Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett – 

“In British Columbia, we often celebrate our good fortune in being blessed with a wealth of abundant natural resources. Today, our government is celebrating our most abundant, precious natural resource, the wealth of imagination and creativity of our citizens. We are blessed by internationally renowned artists and successful cultural organizations – as well as a range of dynamic creative industries, including strong digital media, television, film and video game production.”

“This three-part strategy will provide a launching point for the continued growth and success of British Columbians and the creative economy they fuel.”

Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology Minister John Yap –

“As part of the BC Jobs Plan, our government is investing up to $113 million to support a new state-of-the-art facility at Emily Carr’s Great Northern Way Campus, which also supports the BC Creative Futures strategy, and will help build on our national and international reputation as a leader in media, creative arts and design. 

BC Arts Council chair Stan Hamilton –

“Inspiration links art and creativity. The arts play a key role in inspiring and developing well-rounded people with capabilities and sensitivities essential for a future in the creative economy. The BC Arts Council is proud to play a strategic role in helping artists make their contributions to the creative communities of British Columbia.”

BC Producers’ Branch, Canadian Media Production Association chair Brian Hamilton –

“Creative BC will build on existing government and industry partnerships in the creative sector. The adoption of this cross-sectoral approach will encourage growth by creating a climate for business development and sustainability. We look forward to working closely with our industry partners to maximize the potential of B.C.’s creative economy.” 

Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC chair Peter Leitch – 

“We are pleased the BC government recognizes the importance of the creative industries in the province's economic mix. Our 30 years of success in motion picture production is the cornerstone of a $4-billion creative economy that employs more than 85,000 people. We are poised for even greater success with a creative industries strategy moving us forward in the global economy.” 

BC Film + Media chair Michael Francis –

“The creative industries need diversification of markets and new sources of investment. This is just as true in traditional publishing as computer animation. By centralizing the expertise in Creative BC, we are making ourselves more competitive. Step one is having good programs. Delivering those programs in a convenient cost-effective manner will drive continued industry growth.”

Quick Facts: 

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecasted global spending of $1.9 trillion in entertainment and media markets by 2015.
  • British Columbia’s technology industry revenues grew from $12.1 billion to $18.9 billion between 2001 and 2009.
  • British Columbia is well positioned to develop creative talent through post-secondary programs at Capilano University, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the BC Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Centre for Digital Media.
  • Since 2001, the BC government has provided more than $2.6 billion in support for arts and culture in British Columbia, including the screen-based entertainment industry. 

Learn More:

©2019 BC Alliance for Arts + Culture. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy