6. Defining the culture sector

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6.1 Framework categories

For conceptual and measurement purposes, this framework uses its own unique categories of the different statistical dimensions of culture: product, industry, occupation, and instructional program. We refer to these categories as the domains and sub-domains of culture.

The framework categorizes culture with groupings of domains and sub-domains that are measurable, distinct, and intended to be recognizable to data users. At their highest level, domains allow us to identify a collection (aggregation) of industries, products, and occupations that are similar and provide a useful level of analysis. In most cases, these higher-level domains may be comparable at the international level. Sub-domains are expected to support analysis at a more detailed level.

The revised framework contains fewer and more manageable culture categories than the multiplicity of categories used in the 2004 framework. Some frameworks, such as the Conceptual Framework of Cultural and Communication Activity in Quebec, use a larger number of categories in order to define what they call 'symbolic goods' more distinctly (Martin 2002). This approach works well with the detailed culture classification system designed for Quebec(OCCQ 2004), but would not be feasible using the more generic classification systems, such as North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), that exist for statistics at national and international levels.

The Canadian framework uses consistent terminology to describe its categories and to allocate industries, products, and occupations that will assist in the measurement of the culture sector. The framework opts for the term 'culture sector', which is widely used and understood by the public and culture stakeholders, but does not represent the same concept as the term 'sector' used in NAICS or by the Canadian System of National Accounts.

6.2 Domains and sub-domains

Domains are categories used to group various entities conceptually within the different statistical dimensions of culture measured by the framework. Domains describe or categorize these dimensions, such as industries, products, occupations or instructional programs, but are not defined by any of them.

In some cases, a sub-domain might reflect an existing classification category in its entirety, but in other cases, it may contain only parts or, alternatively, be an amalgamation of more than one category. Domains and sub-domains are conceptual definitions that apply to all dimensions. They do not equal industries.

A domain is a category used to group and describe industries, products, and occupations. Generally, a domain suggests that a group of activities are alike in purpose or represent the predominant activity undertaken by a group of businesses. In some cases, the categories reflect existing classification systems used to define industries (e.g. film and video) and the industries themselves are highly intertwined. In other cases, the primary goods and services produced are similar in nature and intent (e.g. visual arts, crafts, and photography) but found dispersed across a number of NAICS industries.

A sub-domain is a subsidiary of a domain, which can be used to identify a number of definable related industries, products and occupations that represent a distinct sub-category of a domain. For example, Books is a sub-domain in the Written and Published Works domain.

As much as possible, the format of a product does not influence its placement in a domain and sub-domain. Almost all traditional culture products have become available on-line. This demands a clear differentiation of industries and products in the framework, not by similarity of format, but by the similarity of content. This goal is to make the framework 'format agnostic' or 'technology neutral'. For example, if the primary activity of a business takes place on the Internet or by some other electronic method, its classification in the CFSC is the same as if the activity was conducted 'face-to-face' or by other 'traditional' means. In the case of periodicals, a business with an Internet-based periodical as its predominant activity is in the same domain (e.g.Written and Published Works) as if the predominant activity is publication of a print periodical.

In order to avoid double counting, each sub-domain is classified only once within the framework, even when there are instances where activities logically span more than one domain (e.g. music is created for use in movies, television, radio, sound recording, interactive games, etc.). This will be particularly useful when classifying businesses, which produce the same content in a multiplicity of formats.

In a limited number of circumstances, format will take precedence. In the case of the Live Performance domain, we are interested in the creative activity of the performance, not the original product upon which it is based. Therefore, a novel that is the basis for a script would be considered part of the Written and Published Works domain, whereas the theatrical production would be part of the Live Performance domain.

The decision to include or exclude an industry or product in a domain can have a significant impact on the results of its measurement. A wide variety of equipment and tools such as movie cameras, artist supplies, musical instruments, theatrical supplies, etc. are used at many stages in the life of a culture product, including their creation, production or dissemination. This framework proposes that these inputs should be measured at the point of the creative chain where they are used. For example, the cost of producing a ballet includes the cost of 'tools' such as ballet slippers, stage sets, lighting supplies, musical scores, etc. The cost of using these tools is included in the expenses reported by the individuals and establishments that create, produce or exhibit the ballet and are an integral part of the costs of business.

This approach differs from the UNESCO framework, which measures not only the use but also the manufacture of this equipment in a separately measured domain called "Equipment and Supporting materials." This is because UNESCO has determined that even though these materials are not essentially 'cultural' they are necessary for the existence of these culture products (UNESCO-UIS 2009, p. 30). The effect of the addition of this category is that it measures the manufacture of equipment, such as data processing machines, computers, bookbinding machinery, printing presses, optical instruments, photographic equipment. While the choice to measure equipment and supporting materials has its merits, the Canadian framework has chosen not to replicate this approach for fear of overstating the size of the culture sector. While we recognize these tools as enablers and drivers of the sector, their use is measured as an input into the creative chain, and the cost of this use is included in the relevant domain. As they are not themselves culture products, the production and manufacture of these inputs are not part of culture. The measurement of tools that are employed by consumers to use culture products will be described later in the framework under the heading of Mediating Products.

In general, the criteria for allocation to domains are as follows:

  • format agnostic (as much as possible)
  • usability
  • international comparability, and
  • the domain is recognizable to culture sector and data users

6.2.1 Conceptual components of the framework

Core culture sub-domains produce goods and services that are the result of creative artistic activity and whose main purpose is often the transmission of an intellectual or culture concept. By illustration, the Book publishing core sub-domain includes the creation of a written manuscript, the work of editors and publishers, management of copyright, printing and distribution of books, and the use of books by readers (whether purchased from retail, or borrowed from a library).

Ancillary culture sub-domains produce goods and services that are the result of creative artistic activity (e.g. designs, architectural plans), but their primary purpose is not the transmission of an intellectual or culture concept. The final products, which have primarily a practical purpose (e.g. a landscape, a building, an advertisement), are not covered by the Framework definition of culture.

Related domains, while linked to the broader definition of culture in society, have no culture components according to the criteria outlined in the Framework. Related domains are not included in the measurement of culture but are described in this framework in recognition of their strong links with culture in many Canadian jurisdictions.

Figure 4 Relationships between levels of domainsFigure 4 Relationships between levels of domains

Transversal domains – A transversal domain supports culture and enables the creative chain to function. The transversal (cross-cutting) domains, which include Education and Training, and Governance, Funding and Professional Support, produce goods and services that support all core and ancillary culture sub-domains. The industries, products and occupations in the transversal domains are not fundamentally cultural but are an integral part of culture because the culture domains could not exist without them. Alternatively, industries, products and occupations that make up the transversal domains would not be present without the existence of culture.

Infrastructure domains consist of groupings of goods and services that support the use and consumption of culture content. These domains are not essentially part of culture but provide necessary supports for its use (e.g.Mediating Products and Physical Infrastructure).

6.3 Structure of the framework: Differentiation between domains

The framework contains six culture domain categories that categorize core and ancillary culture industries, products, and occupations:

  • A. Heritage and Libraries
  • B. Live Performance
  • C. Visual and Applied Arts
  • D. Written and Published Works
  • E. Audio-visual and Interactive Media
  • F. Sound Recording

In addition to the six domains that group culture by similarity of content, two other types of domain categorize industries, products or occupations that are directly related to, and cut across, all six content domains.

Transversal domains

  • G. Education and Training
  • H. Governance, Funding and Professional Support

Infrastructure domains

  • I. Mediating Products
  • J. Physical Infrastructure

Both the transversal and infrastructure domains are conceptually part of culture according to the framework definition and criteria, but they are treated differently when culture is measured. The ways that they differ conceptually from the culture domains, and from each other, are described in this section of the framework. The differences as they relate to measurement are explained in the Classification Guide for the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics 2011.

Figure 5 Domains in the Canadian Framework for Culture StatisticsFigure 5 Domains in the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics

Heritage and Libraries

The Heritage and Libraries domain consists of four core sub-domains: Archives, Libraries, Cultural Heritage, and Natural Heritage. A significant principle behind the services undertaken by heritage institutions is to collect, document, conserve and exhibit collections in order to explain human development, encourage further research and support creative experience. As with the other domains, digital content, such as virtual museums, libraries or archives, are categorized with their 'real-life' counterparts in Heritage and Libraries, rather than in a separate digital category.

Heritage and library activities can also take place in other domains. An example is the preservation by an author of an original manuscript, or a performing arts company's retention of its original theatre programmes. The private collections of a wide range of business establishments can often act as the inspiration for new creations. For example, an advertising company may create a new campaign built on earlier advertising efforts, or a publisher may design a new book cover based upon a previous design concept. This type of heritage activity is not easily measured but the concept is important for understanding the scope and impact of heritage.

  1. Archives are any type of heritage establishments that house archival collections and provide archival services. Archival collections can consist of private and government manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, videos, films, maps, microfilm, electronic and other types of original historic records collected, documented, preserved, managed, and conserved by institutions entrusted with their care. Archives may house the collections and records of governments, businesses, organizations, institutions or individuals. The role of archives as the collective memory or the storehouse of the nation underlies their importance in support of new creation.
  2. Libraries, both physical and virtual, are establishments that house published print, microfilm and electronic publications as well as related unpublished originals, such as theses, single copies of manuscripts, pre-published works, etc. Libraries provide reference and/or borrowing services to users, as well as playing a pivotal role in the collection, classification, preservation, and conservation of library materials. The UNESCO framework places libraries in its 'Books and Press' domain rather than in 'Cultural and Natural Heritage', due to their role in the dissemination of books and published works. Yet, libraries play a significant role in the collection of other types of media, such as photographs, maps, electronic media, as well as in their management and dissemination. The similarity between libraries and other heritage institutions is equally strong due to their collection and research activities. The main issue, however, is that a library can collect materials and never disseminate them, but it cannot disseminate what it does not collect. In the CFCS, libraries are located in the Heritage and Libraries domain to recognize their important collection and preservation activities.
  3. Cultural Heritage focuses on the identification, documentation, and preservation/conservation of artifacts, buildings, monuments, engineering works, and sites that have value of historic, culture, aesthetic, scientific, or social significance (UNESCO-UIS 2009, p. 25). Cultural heritage institutions include:
    • Museums, including art museums, public art galleries, museums of human heritage, planetaria, science centres, and virtual museums. A museum can be defined as any "...permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment" (ICOM 2004). Museums and related cultural heritage institutions include living museums, virtual museums, and digital collections made available by heritage institutions on the Internet. Commercial art galleries, which exist for the sale rather than preservation of visual and applied arts, are placed in the Visual and Applied Arts domain.
    • Historic sites and buildings, including archaeological sites. Historic sites and buildings can be found in almost any setting and can range in size from a single building to works that span great distances. They may also still be in use today for a variety of purposes, including commerce, habitation, and leisure. To be included, a historic site or building should be listed in a register of places of historic significance. Examples include L'Anse aux Meadows, the Fortress of Louisbourg, Montreal's Bonsecours Market, Fort Calgary, Toronto's Distillery District, York Factory, etc.
  4. Natural Heritage consists of services that encompass the management, description and interpretation of natural, botanical, and zoological sites, which are of outstanding universal value with historic, aesthetic, scientific, environmental, or social significance. The Natural Heritage sub-domain includes nature parks and reserves, zoos, aquaria and botanical gardens such as the Vancouver Aquarium, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Toronto Zoo, as well as conservation areas, with interpretation functions, that protect natural heritage.

Live Performance

This domain includes live performances of theatre, dance, opera, musical theatre, orchestras, music groups and artists, circuses, puppetry, and multidisciplinary events such as celebrations and festivals. The domain includes promoters and presenters involved with live performances,as well as the physical infrastructure used to house these events where these are facilities dedicated to live performance such as theatres or concert halls. As with all domains, Live Performance includes not-for-profit as well as for-profit activities. Live Performance consists of two core sub-domains: Performing Arts and Festivals and Celebrations.

  1. Performing Arts consist of five groupings:
    • Theatre (except Musical),
    • Musical theatre and Opera,
    • Dance,
    • Music, and
    • Other performing arts.

    The sub-domain includes scheduled performance series (e.g. main season) or individual productions (e.g. run-outs, touring). Only live performances are included in this domain; recordings of live performances, such as sound recordings, film, video, radio, television, or digital formats are included in their distinct domains.
  2. Festivals and Celebrations consist of organized series of live special events and performances, usually in one or a few outdoor venues, or in non-dedicated in-door venues. Sometimes referred to as multidisciplinary events, festivals will often consist of two or more artistic disciplines related to live performance, with each discipline retaining its own identity.

    Examples of festivals and celebrations include:
    • special culture events such as the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Fredericton's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival
    • organized community events such as country fairs that present live performances (e.g. Sutton Fair, PEI Old Home Week)
    • exhibitions (e.g. Pacific National Exhibition, the Manitoba Royal Winter Fair)
    • holidays celebrations (e.g. Canada Day, St. Jean Baptiste Day, National Aboriginal Day)
    • special festivals or events (e.g. Tall Ships Nova Scotia, Yellowknife Solstice Festival). Special events that are organized as part of other programming, such as the live artistic performances scheduled for the Olympics or the Canada Games, would be included in Festivals and Celebrations.

      Film, book, and other festivals that do not consist of live performing arts are located in the domains that they celebrate.

Visual and Applied Arts

The Visual and Applied Arts domain includes four core sub-domains: Original Visual Art, Art Reproductions, Photography, and Crafts, and three ancillary sub-domains: Advertising, Architecture and Design. Commercial establishments, such as commercial art galleries or artist-run galleries, which exhibit, sell or exchange visual and applied arts, are included.

These sub-domains focus on the creation of art works that are visual in nature and may be multi-dimensional. The framework recognizes that the visual arts are open to interdisciplinary practices, which may include performance art, conceptual art, and virtual art. An interdisciplinary category is not feasible, for statistical purposes, so these art forms are categorized according to what is determined to be their primary activity.

Core sub-domains

  1. Original Visual Art consists of original paintings, sculptures, original and limited edition prints, drawings, mixed media works, installations, engravings, lithographs, original, unpublished artist books, electronic art, and fibre works.
  2. Art Reproductions include copies of original visual arts produced with the use of technology, such as unlimited edition prints, posters, statuettes, and ornaments.
  3. Photography includes photographs of any type or content. As with books, the content or medium of the photograph is immaterial as the creative act of photography meets the criteria for core culture. Photographic images contain copyright, which the photographer may retain or sell to others. Images, taken for artistic reasons, may be sold for commercial purposes and vice versa. For this reason, the photograph's content or objective, whether it is artistic, social, commercial, or educational, is not a relevant factor in its inclusion as part of culture.
  4. Crafts are original artisanal products that have been "produced by artisans, either completely by hand or with the help of hand-tools, or even mechanical means, as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most substantial component of the finished product" (UNESCO and ITC 1997, p. 6). Crafts include a wide range of produced goods, ranging from blown glass, jewellery, and carvings to tapestries, artisan-produced paper, weavings, and ceramics. They can be produced in a wide variety of materials such as fibre, leather, metal, pottery, textiles, wood, or glass and may be used for functional or decorative purposes.

    Unlike the 2004 Framework, Crafts are now included, despite the inherent difficulties of measuring this core sub-domain. The challenge relates to the aggregation of crafts in NAICS 2007 with industrial production in manufacturing industries. Conceptually, however, crafts conform to the framework's criteria for culture, and are recognized as works of creative expression.

Ancillary sub-domains

The term 'ancillary' refers to those sub-domains where there will be limits on measurement because they do not meet the framework definition or criteria for culture. While activities in ancillary sub-domains benefit from creative artistic activity, such as design, the final product is not essentially 'cultural'. This is a pragmatic decision that takes into account the need for the framework to include sub-domains that are recognizable as culture. Otherwise, if all products that benefit from design were to be included as core, the result would be a sector that is significantly larger than what is commonly understood to be culture.

For this reason, the framework measures only a portion of the creative chain for the Visual and Applied Arts ancillary sub-domains of Architecture, Advertising, and Design. Conceptually, these services are in scope for culture, from creation up to and including the parts of production that relate to their design. Any activities that relate to the manufacturing, construction or production of the final product or its dissemination to the public are not in scope.

  1. Advertising, like design and architecture, is only in scope for the creative activity undertaken in advertising agencies in the creation of advertising content. The creative design of an advertisement, whether print, broadcast, or electronic, meets the definition of culture. Production is also included because the skills and products used to produce advertising are creative, such as song and jingle writing, script and text writing, acting, singing, drawing, film, video and audio production, casting, design, visual arts, photography, etc. Other advertising activities, such as public relations, media buying, direct mail, telemarketing, leasing of billboards, and ad placement are related to the final non-culture product (the publicity), and are excluded.
  2. Architecture is concerned with the design of buildings and with landscape design. Creation services that are included in this group include design and construction documents; and plans, studies and other advisory services related to the design of buildings of public and private residential and non-residential buildings, structures, and environments. This sub-domain also includes urban planning. Only the design services of architecture and landscape architecture are included in culture, the physical construction of the buildings or built landscapes themselves are excluded. The built landscape, if designated as an historic site, would rest in the Heritage and Libraries domain.
  3. Design is a creative activity that transforms objects, environments, and services. Design is also a product in itself, in that it is an input into many other final products, including those produced by the live performance, publishing, broadcasting, film, and sound recording industries. The CFCS includes graphic, interior, industrial, jewellery, fashion, website, and other specialty design services. Engineering design is excluded from the definition of culture. Landscape design is included in the Architecture sub-domain.

Written and Published Works

The Written and Published Works domain represents a wide variety of publishing described in its core sub-domains of Books, Periodicals, Newspapers and Other Published Works, and ancillary sub-domain of Collected Information.

There are international and historical precedents for grouping publishing industries together, especially where steps in the creative chain come together at the wholesale and retail distribution levels. In all cases, written and published works in this domain warrant copyright protection. In Canada, copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. In addition to books, periodicals and newspapers, copyright protection exists for other published works such as maps, calendars, postcards, pamphlets, and greeting cards. They are included as core culture products as Other Published Works.

As long as they meet framework criteria, written and published works are included, regardless of their content or style, so that fiction, children's, academic, reference, professional, technical, scholarly and other types of content are included in this domain.

Written and Published Works includes content in traditional print formats, as well as CD-ROM's, diskettes, audiocassettes, microform, Braille, and on-line and downloadable electronic publications, such as e-zines and audio books, on-line newspapers, and eBooks. The consumer can obtain these products through any number of paid or unpaid means including libraries, subscriptions, new and used retail venues, free distribution, websites, podcasts, RSS feeds, etc.

Core sub-domains

  1. Books: In an increasingly digital world, there is no longer an internationally agreed upon definition of book. The framework defines a book as a set of written pages, published as a single entity, and which may contain a story, information, poems, photographs, drawings, and other forms of writing, on any subject matter. The concept of books requiring binding and a cover to distinguish them from other types of publications is important in the case of print publications, but is not relevant for books available in non-print formats, such as engraved, digital, or audio formats. Artist's book works, consisting of original unpublished visual art, are not treated as books, but are in the Original Visual Arts sub-domain of Visual and Applied Arts. Book festivals or fairs, such as the Festival of Words in Saskatchewan and the Salon du livre de l'Estrie, are part of this sub-domain.
  2. Periodicals are published works that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule, e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. The content can cover any subject matter and can be available in print, digital, audio, or other formats. Periodicals can include consumer magazines, academic journals, newsletters, trade publications, or other types of regularly released publications. Periodical trade fairs and festivals, such as MagNet and Word on the Street, are included in this sub-domain.
  3. Newspapers are a type of periodical publication, released on a regular schedule that contain news, editorial, information, and advertising, and may be available for a fee or free-of-charge, in print, digital or other formats.
  4. Other Published Works include published materials, in printed or digital form, such as brochures, leaflets, postcards, greeting cards, and calendars. These published works are eligible as culture products because they have copyright protection and are the result of creative activity.

Ancillary sub-domain

Other publications, such as catalogues, directories, and related material, are not core culture products, but are defined as ancillary culture products in the Collected information ancillary sub-domain. Their creation and design are included in culture, but their printing, reproduction, distribution, and use are not.

  1. Collected Information consists of the design and development of published collections of information, either in printed or digital formats, which are eligible for copyright protection. Examples include catalogues, directories, databases, and other publications containing collections of copyrighted information. Because this is an ancillary sub-domain, only the design of these products is considered in scope, not their reproduction (printing, etc) or dissemination.

    Copyright covers these types of published works even though the protection is limited. Canada's Copyright Act provides the basis for the protection of databases, by extending copyright protection to original literary works, including compilations. The Act defines compilations as works "resulting from the selection or arrangement of data." A database may be protected by copyright law if it is a compilation and the compilation is an original work. Early case law in Canada has suggested that labour alone was sufficient to satisfy the requirement of originality. This approach is being argued in the courts,1 and is not defined clearly in copyright legislation. For this reason, databases and similar products, such as directories and catalogues, are ancillary rather than core culture products.

Audio-visual and Interactive Media

The Audio-visual and Interactive Media domain is split into three core sub-domains: Film and Video, Broadcasting and Interactive Media. Traditionally, the film, video, and the radio and television broadcast industries, and their allied products and occupations are linked in culture frameworks; the CFCS retains this connection by placing them in a single domain, recognizing the growing interrelationships that mark these products from creation to use.

The difficulty of measuring the growing influence of digital media is reflected strongly in this domain. Broadcasters and digital content providers are not contained easily within traditional classification structures during this period of enormous industrial and technological change. Unavoidably, this domain mixes content categories (e.g. film, video, radio programs, television programs, and interactive games) with their means of transmission (e.g. radio, television, and Internet broadcasting). This seeming anomaly reflects the convergence of methods of transmission that is a predominant feature of the digital age, with its explosion of new products and dissemination possibilities.

  1. Film and Video are forms of entertainment or education products that typically enact a story, usually with sound, and a sequence of images that give the illusion of continuous movement. Film and video establishments are engaged primarily in activities related to the creation, production, and dissemination (distribution, exhibition, or sales) of audio-visual works. This sub-domain includes the creation and production of feature films, short films, live action and animated films, television programs, documentaries, and videos in all formats including film, video, HD, digital, streamed and downloaded content, as well as dissemination services such as cinemas and film festivals. This sub-domain excludes broadcasting activity.
  2. Broadcasting includes the programming and services of broadcasters and service providers of a variety of traditional and new types of content. This sub-domain includes those establishments engaged primarily in activities related to the transmission (dissemination) of radio, television and Internet-based programming. Broadcasting has traditionally been treated as a core culture sub-domain because most broadcasters do some in-house production and transmission as well as transmission of the content produced by others. At the same time, broadcasting is also an important distribution vehicle for content creators in the film, video and sound recording industries. This role is now more complex due to the appearance of innovative technologies, which are increasing the availability of distribution channels for culture content. Internet-based broadcasting services are included in the Broadcasting sub-domain, along with traditional services.

    Radio, television, and the Internet are in the process of converging as the means of transmission and reception cross over boundaries that existed previously between the systems. Research indicates that Canadians are increasingly turning to the Internet for broadcasting-type content, particularly television programs.2 Some Canadian radio and television networks make episodes of conventional programs available on the Internet shortly after their initial broadcast. Internationally, this trend is becoming increasingly clear as three of the broadcast distribution technologies that support the transmission of video (Internet-based video, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and wireless mobile video/television) represent the fastest growing subset of Internet and mobile.

    The term 'broadcasting' is used as a catchall to describe the transmission of radio and television programming. It is important to note that providers of Internet access services are not included in broadcasting as they are not involved in the actual provision or transmission of content, but instead provide the network to support transmission by others.3 So long as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) maintain a content-neutral approach, they fall outside of the Broadcasting Act and are not subject to policies found in broadcasting legislation. Reflecting this decision, this framework excludes ISPs from the broadcasting sub-domain, as they support the transmission of culture and other types of content, but are not, at present, content creators or producers.

    For the purposes of the framework, there are three services included in this sub-domain:
    • a) Radio: Traditional, satellite, pay and specialty radio production programming and related services
    • b) Television: Conventional over-the-air (OTA) television, cable, satellite, pay and specialty television programming and related services
    • c) Internet: Programming services and content, such as podcasts, on-line, streamed, mobile, and other types of on-line digital audio and visual products

  3. Interactive Media is a sub-domain of Audio-visual and Interactive Media that includes relevant parts of interactive digital media (IDM). Also known as new media, IDM has been defined as "digital content and environments with which users can actively participate or which facilitates collaborative participation among multiple users for the purposes of entertainment, information or education, and is commonly delivered via the Internet, mobile networks, gaming consoles or media storage devices" (CIAIC 2009, p. 20). Some products that may be broadly defined as interactive digital media by other jurisdictions are deemed to fall within other 'traditional' domains in this framework. For example, an interactive on-line museum site will be included as part of the Cultural Heritage sub-domain, rather than under the Interactive Media sub-domain. This is because the content of a product carries more weight in the determination of placement in a domain, than does the format.

    Interactive digital media consists of a variety of heterogeneous activities found at every step of the creative chain, and classified across a large number of NAICS industries. IDM 'activity clusters' can be found in industries that are involved with gaming, software design, web design, interactive marketing, animation and other film and television related digital services. Some of these activities meet our definition of core culture industries, while others do not and are ineligible. In particular, much of what is considered IDM is not related to culture, but overlaps more generally with the information technology sector and software development, and is not of interest to the CFCS. To clarify the distinction between the broader universe of IDM, as it is often perceived, and what we specifically include in the framework, we refer to Interactive Media (IM) to identify that subset of IDM activities, which are involved in the provision of culture content.

    For the purposes of the CFCS, it is also important to distinguish between players active in the provision of content, and those who provide only technical infrastructure and support (such as hosting web-servers, wireless networks or providing Internet access). In addition, on-line websites and portals for interactive culture activity, such as social networks, video sharing portals, and photo sharing websites, are not culture products. Instead, they are tools that provide the infrastructure for creating and sharing a wide variety of culture and other types of content. Content providers are included in the Interactive Media sub-domain, while Internet support services and portals are categorized as a virtual infrastructure within a distinct category called Mediating Products. These products are described later in the framework.

    The Interactive Media sub-domain is defined in this framework as the parts of IDM that consist of electronic, video, or on-line games, including console games, on-line games, wireless games, and PC games as well as other related interactive digital edutainment products. At a conceptual level, many of these products meet the criteria for culture because they are protected by copyright and are based upon creative artistic activity.

    The interactive games sector straddles two worlds: creative artistic activity and software. The vast majority of the production processes involved in interactive games creation and production are the same as those used in the film industry. They include, for example, animation, cinematography, motion-capture photography, art direction, etc. The minority of production processes are within a software industry category, such as coding and software engineering. The key factor for inclusion in this sub-domain is interactivity.

    The United Kingdom and Australia, using a concept of creative industries,4 include culture activities that link creativity with commercial markets. The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) uses a concept of copyright industries,5 which includes interactive digital software, as well as all other types of software and computer services. The Canadian framework, similar to UNESCO, includes only products that meet the criteria for culture, and specifically excludes operating systems, firmware, and most types of applications software (productivity, medical, business, etc.). Software, computers and game consoles are used either as tools to support the production of content or as mediating products that support the use of content. For pragmatic purposes, they are not defined or counted as culture products in this framework.

    Interactive media products will be difficult to measure using existing classification standards; North American Product Classification System (NAPCS-provisional) does not have any categories that disaggregate interactive media from software or other types of electronic products. In addition, as interactive media has much in common with other culture domains – such as animation, lighting design, music creation, voice-overs – these overlaps will make it difficult to tease out the interactive portions. Methodology will have to be developed to allow for the identification or estimation of interactive media to report accurately on the supply and demand for products that meet the definition of culture. On the other hand, as audio-visual and interactive media formats merge, and as content is increasingly shared (e.g., television shows with interactive blogs, DVD formats, on-line streaming, web phones to share culture content as well as communication) it could become progressively more difficult to disaggregate data for the various formats. This provides even more reason to create an audio-visual category that contains all of these different industries with their interconnected final products.

Sound Recording

The industries, products, and occupations related to sound recording do not fit easily into a single domain as they can include elements of live performance. They can also be inputs into other sub-domains, such as films, videos, and interactive media products. UNESCO includes sound recording as part of music in its 'Performance and Celebration' domain (live culture events). That option encompasses music in its entirety, regardless of format, including both live and recorded sound. The Canadian framework, similar to Quebec and Australia, does not use the UNESCO design, but retains the distinction between sound recording and live music performance used in 2004 in order to satisfy the needs of Canadian users. Following this approach, all activities related to the creation of recorded music, including music composition, music publishing, and distribution, including digital music downloads and uploads, are classified together in Sound Recording. Only the performance of music in a live setting (concert, show, festival, recital) is classified elsewhere, along with other live presentations, in Live Performance.

Sound recording consists of two core sub-domains:

  1. Sound Recording is the process of creating, producing and recording of sound signals for reproduction at any subsequent time, on another medium such as magnetic tape, phonograph records, and various digital recording devices. In Canada, the sound recording industry is comprised of activities related to the production of master recordings; the production, release, promotion and distribution of recordings from masters; the manufacture of duplicate recordings; the operation of recording studios; and the distribution of recordings, in any medium, including the down and uploading of music and other recorded sound.
  2. Music Publishing is the business of acquiring, protecting, administering and exploiting the rights in musical compositions, whether they are in manuscript, print, recorded, broadcast, or performed music. It also includes the composition and arrangement of music. Composers contract with music publishing companies to exploit their songs, with both parties sharing the income generated from this commercial activity. Before the introduction of recordings, composers and publishers earned their income primarily from the sale of sheet music. Today, songs are used commercially in a variety of media, including recordings, radio, television, film, video and the Internet. This is done through the issuance of mechanical licenses, synchronization licenses, performing rights licenses, as well as other licenses authorizing various uses of the songs.

Table 1 Model for the Canadian Framework for Culture StatisticsTable 1 Model for the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics

Transversal domains

There are two transversal domains: Education and training; and Governance, funding, and professional support. Generally, each transversal domain supports all core and ancillary culture sub-domains, and enables the creative chain to function. The industries, products and occupations in these transversal domains are not fundamentally cultural but are an integral part of culture because the culture domains could not exist without them. Alternatively, industries, products and occupations that make up the transversal domains would not be present without the existence of culture.

These domains are represented as transversal to recognize that they are crosscutting and different from those found in single culture domains. For example, the training of culture professionals or the funding of culture programs supports all culture domains so is shown as a transversal category relevant for all domains.

Conceptually, transversal domains are relevant to an understanding of culture. Culture occupations associated with these domains, for example, may be included or excluded in data analysis, depending upon analytical requirements. A study of dance in Canada, for example, could focus on an analysis of dance from creation to consumption, with or without the inclusion of data related to the education and training of dancers, or data related to the governance, funding or professional support for dance companies. The addition of transversal domains creates new opportunities for a fuller picture of culture, but produces considerably different results than analysis of only the core and ancillary culture sub-domains.6

The framework encourages the inclusion of transversal domains in the measurement of culture, declaring that they are both in scope for culture. In the end, however, the choice of the scope of any given study of culture will depend upon the requirements of the analyst.

Education and Training

Learning activities support the development, understanding, and reception of culture for the entire creative chain. These activities include the training of culture creators (e.g. dance, theatre, film, and art schools), culture interpreters (e.g. criticism, theory), and culture consumers, at all ages and stages of development. Education is the foundation for the development of diverse and open-minded citizens, and the building of artists and audiences.

The act of learning, whether through formalized education, mentorships, or on-the-job training, has a dramatic impact on the creative act itself. Artists create new works based upon inspiration arising from their experiences and the context of their personal lives, as well as from formal education and on-the-job training. In addition, individuals learn to appreciate culture through arts education and training, with intrinsic and instrumental impacts on individuals and the community.

Although on-the-job learning is important to culture in that it supports artists in the creation of new works, it is conceptually and administratively different from formal education. It is an integral part of the act of creative artistic activity and would be measurable only as part of the creative chain itself.

Formal education and training, on the other hand, while integral to culture, are considered support services rather than intermediate inputs in the creative chain, and are measured independently within the CFCS. General arts education is important to the development of creators and audiences, in addition to career-related culture education and training. The framework includes instructional programs linked to culture subjects provided by elementary and secondary schools, universities, and other post-secondary educational institutions such as community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools, CEGEPs, technical institutes, dedicated training schools (e.g. National Theatre School, Canadian Film Institute) and other institutions that provide training in relevant specialised culture domains. This transversal domain excludes language training because language is not included in the framework.

Other formal culture education and training for consumers or for future creators is included, including adult continuing education as well as private and public educational organizations for all ages that provide classes in music, theatre, dance, film, visual arts, creative writing, literature, interactive media design, broadcasting, etc.

Governance, Funding and Professional Support

Governance, Funding and Professional Support finance, promote, regulate, or sustain all stages of the creative chain, with a particular emphasis on the supply of culture content. This support is provided by government, business, and the not-for-profit sector. This transversal domain is made up of two basic types of support described below.

Governance: Government departments and agencies, at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels have a major role in culture in Canada through a wide variety of support, including:

  • funding (e.g. grants, contributions, loan guarantees),
  • legislation,
  • policy-making,
  • program design and management,
  • protection/arbitration (e.g. Copyright Board of Canada),
  • regulation (e.g.CRTC),
  • research and statistics.

Funding and Professional support from the private sector and not-for-profit organizations is included in this transversal domain. These activities include:

  • funding (e.g. foundations, endowment funds, private benefactors),
  • administration of copyright and licensing for use (e.g. copyright societies),
  • networking,
  • research,
  • membership support (advocacy, professional and other membership organizations, associations, labour unions), and
  • professional support (agents, managers) to culture.

This support is important at all stages of the creative chain and in every domain.

Infrastructure domains

Infrastructure houses culture activity or supports the use (participation and consumption) of culture content. It is singled out from the culture domains to identify support that is not essentially part of culture but is necessary for access to the products of these domains. As infrastructure products do not meet the framework criteria for culture, the creative chain that creates them cannot be included in its measurement. They are defined in the framework separately in order to encourage the measurement of the types of infrastructure, and their size and impact on the culture sector.

Infrastructure is divided into two domains: Mediating Products and Physical Infrastructure.

Mediating Products

Non-culture goods and services are often essential for a user to experience culture products. These products include MP3 players, television sets, computers, DVD or CD players, game players, eBook readers, web phones, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications carriers and websites. In principle, the use of these mediating products is part of the demand for culture.

The 2004 framework did not include explicitly the purchase or rental of equipment or services that mediate between culture products and the consumer. Now, as culture consumption has grown, the range and scope of mediating products have also expanded. The result is that equipment and services are important mediators for most culture experiences. For example, many consumers employ an MP3 player or another handheld device, such as a web phone, to listen to music or view a video, so that these mediating products have become as essential to the experience as the culture product itself. Mediating devices may also require other types of infrastructure to move digital content onto the player, which has resulted in the growth of specialized services and applications, such as iTunes or e-reader software, to enable this activity.

In addition, a virtual infrastructure is now an essential element in the relationship between consumers and culture content. In 2009, 80% of Canadians aged 16 and older, or 21.7 million people, used the Internet for personal reasons (Statistics Canada 2010b). These rates varied by age, with younger Canadians being more active. For example, 53% of home users under age 30 downloaded or watched TV or movies on-line, while 45% of this age group reported contributing content. At present, the use of an ISP is a requirement for access to the Internet, and most (96%) Canadian Internet users reported going online from home. ISPs provide the virtual infrastructure, which is a public access network for users. Traditionally, ISPs are involved in everything from network design and provisioning to the support of end users but they do not create, produce, or transmit content. Instead, they provide the infrastructure to allow others to transmit content. As discussed in the Broadcasting sub-domain description, ISPs are not defined as broadcasters; they are included in this domain as mediating products.

Of potential interest, however, is the development of a new type of service provider, which offers a broader range of services, including content provision.7 This approach, deemed 'connectivity plus' is expected to expand with the creation of new niche-focused ISPs that offer unlimited access to other types of culture content, including copyright protected games and published works for the cost of broadband service (Telco 2.0 2007). If these types of distribution services expand and take hold of the marketplace, their placement in the Framework would require reconsideration. For example, if content provision becomes the primary activity of an ISP establishment, then this would require a rethinking of the industry to which it is classified. In this case, if ISPs meet the definition of broadcasters, it would be necessary to reclassify their activity and products in the framework to the core culture sub-domain of Broadcasting.

The measurement of the value of mediating products for culture will consist of the measurement of their purchase and/or use in order to interact with culture content, not the measurement of the manufacture of these mediating products. For example, the cost of purchasing a television set, cable converter, PVR, and Internet access fees would be measured, but the manufacture of the television set, converter box, PVR would be excluded.

Mediating products should be measured separately from the culture domains. One important reason to do this is that demand for these products does not necessarily equate to demand for culture. In many cases, an increase in the sale of mediating products (such as HDTVs) is a reflection of a change in technology, which may not necessarily reflect a change to the level of consumption of culture product. In addition, these products are not a part of the creative chain. For example, no portion of the sale of a television pays for the content of its programs or ends up in the hands of program creators/producers or broadcaster.

The measurement of mediating products is complicated by the rapidly changing technology behind their design and use. Consumer use of mediating products changes over time. For example, dedicated readers, originally designed to read eBooks, have now been adapted to support the consumption of other texts, such as periodicals and newspapers, as well as videos, photos and other images. Multipurpose devices, such as Smart phones, designed originally as communications devices, can now be used to read eBooks, listen to music or watch videos. Digital frames or tablets, which are replacing picture frames as means to view photographs, can now store and display large quantities of photographs and other types of digital artwork. Undoubtedly, as the technology changes and new tools are made available, mediating products will take an even larger role in the distribution and consumption of culture products.

Individuals also use specialized tools when their activities merge into the act of creation. Amateurs use cameras, art supplies, musical instruments, and recording equipment to produce culture works that they can share with others. In some cases, their products enter the public domain through public exhibitions, community facilities or, in the on-line world, through social networking sites. These on-line sites for interactive activity such as social networks (e.g. Facebook), video (Youtube), photo sharing websites (Flickr) and other web portals are part of the Mediating Products infrastructure. They are mediating products, rather than culture products themselves, that provide the infrastructure for creating and sharing a wide variety of culture content.

Physical Infrastructure

Similar to the mediating products used to create and consume culture content, physical infrastructure is not a culture product in itself, but is a support for culture. Physical infrastructure includes the built structures, venues, and spaces that house the recording studios, performance spaces, rehearsal halls, film studios, conservation labs, studios, exhibition halls, warehouses, and other production and training facilities that are so important to the creative chain.

It is valuable to measure the value of the stock of culture infrastructure in Canada, the level of investment in its construction and maintenance, the age of existing infrastructure, and the share of government and private capital expenditure on construction and maintenance (Waltman Daschko 2008). Analysis of data on physical infrastructure will support a better understanding of the culture sector and its activities. As demonstrated by existing research, valuation of the growth and change in capital investment in physical infrastructure over time is an important measure of the health of the culture sector (Duxbury 2008). This framework provides a structure across domains to support this type of analysis.

Dedicated facilities whose primary function is the provision of space to culture such as museum buildings, heritage sites and buildings, theatres and cinemas are included in their respective sub-domains. Multi-use buildings and other non-dedicated space such as convention centres, sports arenas, and commercial buildings housing culture establishments, that cannot be allocated to any particular sub-domain, are included in Physical Infrastructure only.

An analysis of total physical infrastructure used for culture would, by necessity, include the relevant data from facilities included in both the individual culture sub-domains along with data on the facilities captured in the Physical Infrastructure domain. A complete analysis should integrate data from all relevant domains to produce a full picture of physical infrastructure used by culture establishments.

However, measurement of physical infrastructure is not a simple matter as definitional problems abound. In some cases, a heritage building may house a performing arts space and/or a commercial art gallery so a decision about where the building fits (e.g.Heritage and Libraries, Performing Arts, or Visual and Applied Arts domains) must be made. Multi-use properties are also a measurement challenge, particularly the classification of non-culture facilities used to house culture activity, such as venues where musicians perform, offices where computer games are developed, or multi-use centres that house choir practices. In whatever way these measurement challenges are met, the value of physical infrastructure is an important measure that provides insights into culture activity. The approach of the CFCS to include physical infrastructure as a domain reflects growing interest in the culture sector for more data and analysis of culture infrastructure in Canada.


  1. In the 1997 case (Tele-Direct), a telephone directory was found to have been assembled according to common standards of arrangement, and, therefore, to have expended only a minimal degree of skill, judgment and labour in the selection or arrangement of the data. Accordingly, the court held that the plaintiff had no copyright in the directory. However, in 1997 a Federal Court of Appeal decision confirmed that copyright in Canada subsists only in compilations that involve a "creative element" or "inventive" labour. As per Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc. v. American Business Information, Inc., [1998] 2 F.C. 22.
  2. Private data suggest that the majority of of Internet traffic by 2013 will be comprised of professionally produced video content (Nordicity 2008, p. 32).
  3. In 2009, the Federal Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether the service provided by Internet Service Provider (ISPs) was similar to traditional broadcasting. The application to Federal Court of Appeal for reference by the CRTC contained the question: Do retail Internet service providers (ISPs) carry on, in whole or in part, "broadcasting undertakings" subject to the Broadcasting Act, [S.C. 1991, c. 11 (the Broadcasting Act)]when, in their role as ISPs, they provide access through the Internet to "broadcasting" requested by end-users? In 2010, the court ruled that providing access to broadcasting is not the same as broadcasting. (CRTC: 2010 FCA 178 (2010), Para 13).  ISPs enable end-users to gain access to the Internet and enable the delivery of content through the Internet to end-users. The functions and operations of ISPs do not generally differ according to the type of content being delivered to the end-user – whether it be alphanumeric, audio or audiovisual.
  4. Creative industries are defined in the UK as those industries "which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and  which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property" (European Commission 2006,p. 47). In Australia, creative industries are said to have "a stronger degree of commercial focus rather than the predominantly aesthetic objective of the traditional cultural industries"(Higgs et al. 2007, p. 4).
  5. Copyright industries are industries "engaged in the creation, production and manufacturing, performance, broadcast, communication and exhibition, or distribution and sales of works and other protected subject matter" (Higgs et al. 2007, p. 51). The term copyright industries is also used in Siwek (2009, p. 9)
  6. With respect to culture occupations, the Culture Human Resources Council (CHRC) and the Canada Council for the Arts have always used different definitions than Statistics Canada, particularly in the exclusion of some occupations related to manufacturing, such as printing support. Statistics Canada has included creators (core creative and artistic production culture occupations), technical support and culture management, as well as jobs in culture manufacturing (e.g. printing support). While there has been no standard definition of the culture labour force used in Canada, there is a sense of it as the universe of workers and jobs directly related to culture. For policy purposes, the core and ancillary culture sub-domain occupations are the ones used by all to obtain information about education, skills, and training, labour market outcomes, job stability and quality, etc.
  7. A British based MSP (Media Service Provider) called Playlouder has expanded the role of an ISP to content provision. It calls itself the world's first network provider for licensed music, which works in partnership with ISP clients to offer subscribers unlimited legal music bundled with their broadband access for a fixed monthly fee.  This approach is intended to cover the increased costs that wide-spread use of broadband incurs.  The goal is to have the content charges cover the extra traffic and licensing costs carried by ISPs.  See http://www.mediaserviceprovider.com/ Viewed 26 Feb 2010. In this example, the new product would not be an Internet access fee, but some form of Internet subscription and would be included in NAPCS 519011.35 (Publishing and broadcasting of other content online).
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