6 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 300 2020 If You Want to Go Far, Go Together: The Collaboration among the GLAM Community in Canada (2016–2019) Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada Emeritus 1. Sunny Ways—Really? In November 2014, a new, center-left federal government was unexpectedly elected in Canada. That election raised great hopes in the cultural community, as the newly elected Liberal Party had made reinvesting in culture one of its most significant election promises. Indeed, upon its formation, the new government kept its promise by announcing investments in culture that proved to be the largest in recent Canadian history: $1.9 billion over the next five years (2015– 2020).1 However, memory institutions or GLAMs—galleries, libraries, archives, and museums—quickly became disillusioned: none of the new funding would be directed to them. It was going to be concentrated exclusively on direct assistance to artists (via the Canada Council) and on the government agencies responsible for putting culture “on screens”: CBC/Radio-Canada, the public broadcaster Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board. Moreover, to make its new directions even clearer, in the months that followed, the work initiated by the new government to provide Canada with a Policy Framework called Creative Canada completely ignored the realities of memory institutions. The final Policy Framework document released at the end of September 2017 did not include a single measure targeting GLAMs, and only 1 of the 38 pages of the report was devoted to them, mentioning the role they play “in preserving, interpreting and promoting Canada’s culture.”2 Memory institutions—particularly libraries and archives—were presented as repositories for works created elsewhere and by others, with no significant impact on the development of cultural production.
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