Exploring the creative evolution of Canada
In 1967 we celebrated our 100th anniversary by bringing the world to Canada.
In 2017, we can celebrate our 150th anniversary by bringing the idea of Canada to the world.
Exploring the idea of Canada
What we can do is create a place for Creative Canada 150, a theatre in our digital space where our creative leaders, creative artists, creative entrepreneurs, and creative contributors can explore for the 150 ideas of Canada we commonly agree upon which contribute most to creating our identity, our culture, our creative interests as a country – who we are, how we are, and how we see ourselves.
What we can do is explore our 150 years as Canada for the 150 people, events, and enterprises which contributed most to creating our idea of Canada, and the 150 people, events, and enterprises which contributed most significantly to our creative and cultural evolution, and the 150 most significant contributions Canada has made to the creative and cultural evolution of the world.
What we can do is excite our creative community in exploring the idea of Canada in our digital space. What 150 ideas could contribute most to our creative interests as a country? What 150 ideas could it contribute most to bringing Canada to the world as Creative Canada in 2017? What could the idea of a Creative Canada 150 stage contribute to creating theatre of a new world and theatre for a new world? Who could be interested in contributing?
My Point of View
Creating the conversation
What creative leaders could excite a creative conversation about what Canada, creative Canada, can do to contribute to creating communities without borders? What Canadians have we honoured as creative leaders and creative contributors to the idea of Canada, a country, a culture, a community creating communities without borders?
Order of Canada inducts 100 honorees
If the newest Order of Canada appointments reveal anything, it is that there is more than one way to make Canada a better place. You can be a comedian or a cardiologist, a Paralympian or an advocate for the homeless. Former federal party leaders can make a difference, and so can Inuit throat singers.
Order of Canada honorees are demonstrated contributors to our idea of Canada. Their contributions on how we create communities without borders and on what we can do is a good place to start a creative conversation, – a creative conversation in our creative communities and a deliberation on the creative interests we could focus on in our creative exploration for the ideas we agree could contribute most significantly to our creative enterprise as a community.
How do the people who have been honoured see Canada? Our ideas? Our culture? Our evolution? What we care about?
In early 1998, Simon Fraser University was in the middle of plans to create a Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver. I knew the University and frequently had breakfast with David Mitchell, one of the University’s Vice Presidents, to talk about ideas. I was interested in creating a relationship with Simon Fraser University for Go Direct Marketing and even more interested in the idea of a Centre for Dialogue.
I presented my ideas on what I imagined the Centre for Dialogue could do and what we could do to get the Centre for Dialogue started. I used the idea for a Dialogue on Canadian Unity as an example to begin to demonstrate the role the Centre for Dialogue could play. These were my ideas.
One creative interest
In this always-on global, digital space what Canadians need more than ever is a Canadian public space, a space that serves the public interests, that informs Canadians about their country, a space that encourages them to connect with each other, that elevates our Canadian stories and our value, a space that builds social cohesion. This is what public broadcasting is uniquely qualified to do.
One idea of Canada
The essence of our country lies in a readiness to have our minds changed and our hearts opened. Canada as an experimental cultural space requires the right spirit in order to take shape. That spirit, simply, is an openness to having our history unsettled and our mind changed. As well, a certain comfort level with complexity and irresolution is probably good.
In today’s dollars, Expo 67 cost $2-billion but was said to have generated double that in revenue for Montreal and the country. For 2017, the federal government has set aside a modest $300-million for sesquicentennial infrastructure in addition to the $220-million Canadian Heritage has at its disposal.
Maybe we’re less ambitious these days; we are certainly more diffuse in our interests and identities. We are a population wired for information, yet diverse of values. We are skeptical of nationalism, but we know Canada is blessed. So what would a successful birthday party look like in 2017?
Some day, will we be able to identify an energy that flowed from Canada 150? Will there be a post-millennial generation that will be perceived to be the innovative offspring of 2017? Will Canadians be able to trace their healthy relations with prosperous indigenous communities back to ideals of the sesquicentennial year?