Canadian cultural protectionism

Canadian Cultural Protectionism

Canadian cultural protectionism

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Cultural protectionism in Canada has, since the mid-20th century, taken the form of conscious, interventionist attempts on the part of various Canadian governments to promote Canadian cultural production and limit the effect of foreign culture on the domestic audience. Sharing a large border and (for the majority) a common language with the United States, Canada faces a difficult position in regard to North American culture, be it direct attempts at the Canadian market or the cultural re-uptake of US based North American culture in the globalized media arena. While Canada tries to maintain its cultural differences from the US and Mexico, it also must balance this with responsibility in trade arrangements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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When addressing the United States, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said he felt that: "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly or temperate the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."

One of the first such responses to perceived American cultural invasion in the later half of the 20th century was through the National Film Act of 1950, authorized by Queen Elizabeth II it increased the authority of the government's National Film Board to finance and promote Canadian culture.

The Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences,...
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