Canada Year Book


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    Canada's diverse cultural industries enrich not only its own citizens, but also people throughout the world. Exports of culture goods—such as books, art and films—totalled $1.7 billion in 2008, while imports totalled $4.1 billion, resulting in a cultural trade deficit of $2.4 billion.

    Culture goods exports from Canada do not necessarily only represent 'Canadian content,' nor do culture goods imports just represent 'foreign content.' Exports can also, for example, include books by foreign authors printed by Canadian publishers.

    The United States remained by far Canada's largest culture goods trading partner in 2008 and was the source of 89% of exports and 75% of imports.

    China was the second largest source of culture imports, accounting for 8% in 2008, an increase from 6% in 2002. The United Kingdom was the second largest market for Canadian culture exports, accounting for 2% in 2008, an increase from 0.7% in 2002.

    Books lead exports and imports

    Writing and published works (which includes books, newspapers, magazines and other printed works) have consistently been Canada's single largest import and export in the culture goods sector. Films and videos represent the second largest import (8% in 2008, up from 7% in 2007) and the second largest export (30% in 2008, up from 27% in 2007).

    In 2008, Canadians imported $2.9 billion worth of writing and published works, representing 71% of all culture goods imports. Imports of books alone totalled $1.4 billion.

    Exports of writing and published works totalled $628.1 million in 2008, representing 37% of all culture goods exports. The writing and published works sector peaked in 1997, at 46% of all culture goods exports, but it has been gradually losing ground to other culture categories ever since.

    Most (94%) of the exports of culture goods originate from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. In 2008, Ontario accounted for 54% of Canada's culture goods exports, down from 55% in 2007. Quebec represented 31% and British Columbia accounted for 9%.

    Chart 8.1 Culture goods exports for top 10 trading partners, 2008
    View data source for chart 8.1

    Trade in cultural goods

    Each of Canada's trading partners around the world import and export a different blend of culture goods. Books make up the overwhelming majority of Canada's cultural trade with France, reaching 74% of exports and 53% of imports in 2008—greater proportions than any other country.

    Canada's main culture goods import from Germany in 2008 was original pieces of art, whereas the main culture goods export to Germany was printed materials such as maps, postcards and brochures. The culture good most exported to the United Kingdom in 2008 was original works of art; the culture good most imported was books.

    In 2008, Canada's main culture goods import from China was books ($146 million) whereas the main export was videos.

    Canada is a net exporter of cultural services such as film production, film distribution and advertising. In 2007, exports of cultural services reached $2.9 billion and imports reached $2.7 billion. Film-related exports totalled $1.6 billion, 54% of all cultural service exports.

    Chart 8.2 Culture goods imports for top 10 trading partners, 2008
    View data source for chart 8.2

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