On April 13, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, concluded a five-day trade mission to China on Canada's widely-varied creative industries. Unlike many other such missions, this one came home not with just promises but with almost $125 million in signed commercial agreements.
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar", a stage production adapted from the works of Eric Carle by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, is one of many Canadian creative projects which will be making its way to China soon, thanks to Canada's just completed 5-day Creative Trade Mission. Photo: The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
The Minister was accompanied by representatives from close to 60 Canadian companies in a range of creative industry sectors, including music, film, television, visual effects, animation, gaming, museums, publishing and performing arts.
This first creative industry trade mission was designed to help export-ready Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises enter the Chinese market, giving them opportunities to explore an array of trade and investment possibilities.
In Shanghai and Beijing, close to 300 meetings—arranged for 27 of the participating companies—were organized between Canadian delegates and selected Chinese business partners, allowing them to gain a competitive edge by exploring new opportunities to grow their market.
This trade mission resulted in the signature of commercial agreements worth nearly $125 million.
- Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, represented by Agence Station Bleue, signed an agreement with the Shanghai Cultural Exchange Agency for a tour in China of their show The Very Hungry Caterpillar in July–August 2018, and for another tour, in May–June 2018, of their production Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.
- Agence Station Bleue, representing Concert Pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, signed an agreement with Shanghai Cultural Exchange Agency to bring Richard-Hamelin to perform at the 2018 Shanghai International Music Festival.
- Item 7 and Transfilm International signed an agreement for a feature film co-production project The Other World with Shanghai Flying Movie and TV Co.
- Kids Can Press Ltd. and JingLun Media signed a licensing agreement to publish the Canadian children's book series Head to Tail in simplified Chinese throughout Mainland China for a term of five years.
- Kids Can Press/Corus Entertainment and MAMA+ Inc. signed a unique partnership designed to build a love of reading and English-language literacy in Chinese children up to 14 years of age through the MAMA+ Story Moms initiative.
- Rare Earth Media Inc. and Ray Production (Beijing LTD) signed a China-Canada co-production agreement for a feature film about Dr. Bethune.
- Transfilm International Inc., BOEHNER VISION and Orient Landscape Group signed a co-development agreement for a feature film entitled Pekin Man.
- Transfilm International Inc., and Dan Yu/PDG signed a co-production agreement to jointly develop a feature film.
Several collaboration agreements were also signed between Canadian and Chinese companies, which will result in additional investments and jobs for Canadians.
- The Ontario Science Centre and the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation in the fields of science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math (STREAM) and innovation.
- Science North and the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum signed a letter of intent to explore the possibility of co-producing an upcoming IMAX® film.
- Ballinran Entertainment/White Pine Pictures and CTV Golden Bridge International Media Group signed a memorandum of understanding for a China-Canada co-production.
- Breakthrough Entertainment, Hengxin Shambala Culture Co. Ltd and Pukeko Pictures Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding for a China-New Zealand and New Zealand-Canada treaty co-production for an animation series based on the book Hungry Bears.
- Beijing Joyway Culture & Media Limited and Cirque Éloize signed a letter of intent toward future collaboration.
- The 7 Fingers and China Performing Arts Agency signed a memorandum of understanding working toward touring, the co-production of a new show and a new production for a resident theatre in China.
- The Ontario Science Centre and Star Group signed a memorandum of understanding to promote co-operation in the field of science education, leadership and training.
- The Ontario Science Centre and Tang Shan Science and Technology Museum signed a memorandum of understanding to promote co-operation in the field of science, education, technology, innovation and education.
- The Royal Ontario Museum and the China National Silk Museum signed a partnership collaboration toward cultural exchange in areas of exhibitions, collections, research and publications.
- The Royal Ontario Museum and the Suzhou Museum signed a partnership and strategic collaboration toward exchanges, training and gallery development.
- Science North and Henan Maple Bridge Education, Science, and Technology Company signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the development of informal science education programs and strengthen Canada-China public dialogue in science, education, technology and culture.
- Science North and Star Group signed a letter of intent for the display of Science North's large-scale exhibit Wildlife Rescue, to be displayed in Chinese science centres, museums and other venues.
- Science North and Tang Shan Science Centre signed a memorandum of understanding toward future collaboration.
- The Royal British Columbia Museum and the Capital Museum of China signed a memorandum of understanding to promote exchanges of exhibitions, academic research and museum staff.
- The Canadian Media Producers Association and the Guangdong Century Huawen Animation Company signed a memorandum of understanding for a co-production.
- Science North and the Henan Province Science & Technology Museum signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly promote science education.
- Science North and Tree Top Walk will sign a memorandum of understanding toward future collaboration.
The mission also served as a platform for participating organizations to advance ongoing projects, confirm collaboration between cultural institutions and promote Canadian creative industries.
Minister Joly also conducted important bilateral meetings with her Chinese government counterparts and private sector leaders.
"The Government of Canada is focused on what matters to Canadians—jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. We are a powerhouse of innovation in the cultural and creative industries. Our creators, artists and creative industry professionals have immense talent and expertise. This week, several new commercial contracts and agreements were signed between Canadian and Chinese companies. These commercial signings—worth $125 million—will help grow both our economies. By opening new markets, facilitating business-to-business connections, and strengthening relationships with our government counterparts, we are fostering more opportunities for Canadian enterprises."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The demand for creative and cultural products and services in China is growing. In 2015, China's cultural industries grew by 11 percent to 2,723.5 billion yuan (about C$525.7 billion). In 2015, they represented 3.97 percent of China's gross domestic product, with a permanent target of 5 percent. (State Statistics Bureau data, July 2016)
In September 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang officially declared 2018 the Canada–China Year of Tourism.
China is Canada's second-largest trading partner, and is poised to become the world's largest economy by 2030.
The trade delegation accompanying Minister Joly includes close to 60 companies and organizations from across the country working in all sectors of the creative industries, including music, film, performing arts, visual arts, digital content and museums, audiovisual, gaming and virtual reality/augmented reality.
Copyright: North America Procurement Council Inc., PBC