CCA From Economy to Ecology: A Policy Framework for Creative Labour


Executive summary

Many countries and regions are increasingly interested in the “creative economy” or, alternatively, the narrower “creative industries” sector as a generator of economic growth. The creative economy is defined to include activities which are based on the original expression of an idea and economic or gift transaction of intellectual property held in private or in common.

The study of the creative economy requires a new understanding of risk, innovation, cultural entrepreneurship, public infrastructure and creative work to enable and sustain economic growth. For example, in Canada the cultural growth rate was over 30% (Economic contribution of culture in Canada, 2004, p.10) between 1996 and 2001 and in Europe 20% between 1999 and 2003 (The economy of culture in Europe, 2006, p.6). Thus, the creative economy is growing faster than many other sectors. In Canada and many European countries, the creative sector employs between 3­4 per cent of the working population and contributes similar percentages to the annual GDP, placing it ahead of many primary resource sectors (forestry, fishing) combined.

This study was conducted by SFU’s Center for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities (supported by Infrastructure Canada) in partnership with the Canadian Conference of the Arts. Mirjam Gollmitzer, an international PhD Student from Germany and SFU Professor Catherine Murray explore current policy approaches directed at the creative economy, in Canada and internationally, including academic literature, cultural statistics and policy papers.