cultural identity & CBC
This past weekend Vancouver hosted the Juno Awards, which inspired Miro Cernetig to write an interesting and eye-opening article for the Vancouver Sun.
It may be tempting to see the Junos -- now this country's most successful entertainment event -- as simply a great bash, our homegrown version of the Grammys. But it's about much more than music and awards. The Juno Awards, and the cultural protectionism that incubated its success, is proof Canada has become a leader in what's called cultural sovereignty. While living next to the world's largest economy, we have proven it possible to retain our cultural identity.
Read on about the remarkable story of how Canada acted to create an international treaty protecting countries' cultural sovereignty.
This sent me to the pages of the website for the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity or IFCCD. [But DO NOT OPEN it. Unfortunately, since yesterday the link suddenly has a warning that it may contain malware! I hope that will be cleared soon, but in the meantime here is an alternative.] UNESCO made the decision to base the IFCCD in Montreal, Quebec because the coalition was founded there, which does not surprise me for Quebec is the most culturally strong and proactive of any of our provinces.
Fortunately I did capture the IFCCD mission statement before the malware attack:
WHY IS THE CAMPAIGN FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY SO IMPORTANT?
BECAUSE CULTURAL PRODUCTS ENCOMPASS VALUES, IDENTITY AND MEANINGS THAT GO BEYOND THEIR STRICTLY COMMERCIAL VALUE.
BECAUSE, IN THE ABSENCE OF CULTURAL POLICIES, THE CITIZENS OF MANY COUNTRIES WOULD NOT HAVE ACCESS TO BOOKS, MOVIES, MUSIC, THEATRE AND
BECAUSE, IF THESE CULTURAL GOODS AND SERVICES CANNOT BE CREATED, PRODUCED AND CONSUMED IN THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, NEITHER WILL THEY CROSS BORDERS TO BECOME PART OF OUR WORLDWIDE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE AND, IN ESSENCE, OUR SHARED CULTURAL DIVERSITY.
This sure sounds to me like the mandate of any nation's public broadcaster like our CBC. So I ask you, Mr. Harper, in light of Canada's achievement and standing in creating this international cultural coalition, aren't you embarrassed and ashamed to be destroying our CBC, which has been and still is the major unifying cultural organization in our country? You are ignoring the very mandate that Canada fought for itself and other countries!