Cultural Policies: Supporting and Protecting Art and Creativity - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1030 Words
Date:  2023-03-31


Cultural policies are the laws and government programs that protect, regulate and encourage and support art-related activities. Such activities include music, dancing, painting, filmmaking, literature or sculpting. Cultural policies differ from one country to another. However, the end goal is the same, which is, supporting and protecting the field of art and creativity. There are different aspects of cultural policy. These include funding programs, policy documents, museums, or funded events. The different aspects are the main features of cultural policy. Cultural policies are applicable at different levels. For example, at the regional level, municipal level, sub-national level or at the state level. Different sectors have their own interpretation of the available cultural policies. This essay will discuss the cultural policies in Canada, through an institution's lens, using the aspect of museums.

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Institutions are on the front line of implementing and interacting with the set cultural policies. An aspect that best describes the institutional view on cultural policy is the museum. Museums hold a variety of art, creativity, and cultural exhibitions. The content held in a museum depends on the location of the museum. For example, museums in Canada consist of art, portraits, sculptures, and literature on the history of Canada (Hendry, 2005). It is easier for Canadians to understand their indigenous traditions, as compared to other people from different regions. The government of Alberta, through cultural policies, partnered with the federal government's Confederation Memorial Centennial Program, to open the Royal Alberta Museum. This move was a good investment for the institution because it would earn money, from people who visit the museum.

The government involves itself greatly in the operation of museums. Therefore, when institutions collaborate with the government to build museums, they have to follow the cultural policies set in place. In some cases, disagreements arise due to the difference in opinions between the two partnerships. The cultural policies force institutions to set aside their beliefs, opinions, and protocols. The Blackfoot community makes up a part of Canadian history. They were ancient Indians who resided in Canada in the early centuries. According to the government, the remains of the Blackfoot community needed to be buried, as a way of honoring the Canadian tradition (Williams, 2017). However, this was not a good move because the religious beliefs of most people in the institutions do not allow them to touch corpses. In such a scenario, the institutions had to compromise their religious beliefs, because of the set cultural policies. The cultural policies were biased because the museum did not consider the comments of the institutions.

The cultural policies have aided institutions in making positive impacts on society. In 1971, the Canadian government wanted to increase the number of youths employed in cultural institutions. The government set policies that required institutions to absorb a certain percentage of youth from Canada. The move was a success because, by the year 1979, the Historical Resource Administration facilitated 50 students. The facilitated students would later get employment from those institutions or from other museums. In the year 2014, SEED funded about 102 students who got employed in the NB's community museums (Hendry, 2005). Young Canada works also benefitted from the institutions that aimed at helping student employment programs. The cultural policies set by the government made it possible for an institution like SEED to make a positive contribution to the community. As an institution, it is important to make positive impacts on the community since this will build its reputation. The institutions who help members of the society, like the students, get more clients because people appreciate the efforts made.

Cultural policies aim at protecting and safeguarding a country's art and other creative aspects. Therefore, the government makes laws and regulations, which only consider the natives and citizens of that particular country, in this case, Canada. The Canadian government wants institutions to play a great role in promoting the art and cultural items placed in the museums. However, times are changing and people's needs have changed. The Canadian people seek for a more diverted cultural perspective. People seek to learn about cultures from different regions. Therefore, institutions might lose their money if they focus on Canadian cultural materials only, since the markets have changed (Hendry, 2005). The government needs to change cultural policies as times passes, to accommodate for the changes experienced by the new generations. Globalization brought about the interaction of different cultures from different parts of the world. The young people have grown up in a diverted society where they have interacted with different people coming from different cultures. Focusing on Canadian culture alone might drive away from the youth, who make up the largest part of the population.

The museum is an institution on its own. Cultural policies brought about the existence of museums because the government needed a place to store all the artifacts, pieces of literature and sculptures of Canadian cultures. From the museums' lens, the cultural policies have played a great role in the conservation of the Canadian culture (Williams, 2017). The rules and regulations set by the government have enabled the addition of traditional items in the museums. There are rules that state that items in the museum are under the government's care and therefore, they should never be removed from the museum without the government's permission. Such rules ensure order in the museum and prevent malicious people from taking things from the museum to use them for their own benefit.


In conclusion, institutions view cultural policies as both a positive and negative tool. Some policies benefit them, while others do not. Policies like those put in place for set up and maintenance of museums in Canada benefitted the institutions while others like the ones set in the incidence of the remains of the Blackfoot community affected the reputations, values, and beliefs of the institutions involved. However, the government aims at protecting the country's indigenous cultures by setting up these policies. Not all policies are favorable to the institutions, but they are favorable to the Canadians, and that is the common good.


Hendry, J. (2005). Reclaiming culture: Indigenous people and self-representation. Springer.

Williamson, Christina. 2017. "Inuit Art in Canadian and Indigenous Art: From Time Immemorial to 1967, National Gallery of Canada, Permanent exhibition, Ottawa." Canadian Art Review. 42(2): 126-128

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