Mr. Speaker, I was saying that I want to take this opportunity to talk about how our government is supporting Quebec's unique and vibrant cultural sector.
I think all members will agree that, owing to its excellence and diversity, this sector plays a key role in promoting the French language both in Quebec and across Canada, and even beyond our borders.
It is no secret. Thanks to globalization and technology, our artists are finding audiences in every country around the globe. In fact, our government eagerly promotes Quebec culture internationally, in addition to making it part of our diplomacy.
We are also making sure that we do not drown in the ocean of U.S. culture, and our Bill C‑10 is helping us with that. A big part of the mandate that the Prime Minister has given me as Minister of Canadian Heritage covers areas of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories.
Hand in hand with Quebec, we have developed many of our cultural flagships. Together, we can continue to showcase our culture, while also ensuring that Quebeckers and all Canadians have an arts scene that reflects them and their stories in their language.
Our partnership advances our shared interests in different ways using a variety of collaborative mechanisms. All our levels of government are currently involved in extensive discussions, and we have very productive relationships. We already work together closely in many areas, such as cultural infrastructure, audiovisual production funding and arts funding in general. Our collaboration includes Canadian Heritage and the agencies and Crown corporations I am responsible for, such as the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board of Canada and a number of national museums.
The COVID‑19 pandemic hit our cultural sector hard, harder than almost any other economic sector. Many stakeholders and residents of my riding expressed their support and appreciation for the initiatives rolled out to support the sector during this public health crisis. We worked hand in hand with our provincial and territorial partners to do this essential work, each partner's actions complementing the other's to ensure the survival of organizations and directly support artists and workers in the cultural sector.
Since people had to stay at home for many months, musicians, singers, actors, stage technicians and other industry professionals found themselves out of a job. Our museums, art galleries and theatres had to close their doors.
Over the past year and a half, my team, the public servants at Canadian Heritage and I kept in regular contact with our provincial and territorial colleagues through frequent intergovernmental and bilateral meetings, telephone calls, video conferences and written correspondence.
Our federal, provincial and territorial forum on COVID-19 gave us an opportunity to work together so we could share best practices, discuss what we had heard from our respective stakeholders, and do our best to ensure that no one slipped through the cracks, cracks that we all worked hard to fill along the way so that no one would be left behind.
For decades, the Government of Canada has been supporting Quebec's cultural industry through significant, ongoing investments. Combined with the action taken by the provincial government, these investments led to impressive, undeniable results. This solid tradition of support continued during the pandemic when both Ottawa and Quebec City stepped up to help our cultural industry.
In June 2020, the Government of Quebec announced its $400‑million economic recovery plan for the cultural sector, from film and television production to music and festivals. There have been many announcements of additional support since.
For our part, our government has offered unprecedented targeted support. On May 8, 2020, I announced new emergency funding for cultural, heritage and sports organizations. This $500‑million emergency funding has helped maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose very viability was in jeopardy because of the pandemic, allowing them to survive this crisis.
Of this $500 million, $412 million went to the culture and heritage sector, with $114 million, or more than 30%, going to Quebec.
That proportion reflects the historical strength of Quebec's cultural sector and the support it receives from the federal government, thereby ensuring the survival of the French language. More specifically, Quebec stakeholders received nearly a third of the emergency funding allocated by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Canada Arts Training Fund. In the same vein, Quebec stakeholders received over 55% of the emergency funding allocated by the Canada Book Fund, as well as 25% to 35% of the funding available for the subsectors of magazine publishing, new media, television and radio.
Our government committed to supporting the arts throughout the recovery period. It is developing a strong recovery plan for everyone. Back in the fall of 2020, we created a $50‑million compensation fund for Canadian film and television production to stimulate the recovery of this sector, which supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country, many of them in Quebec. Since then, this fund has been doubled to allow for even more filming in the months to come.
Subsequently, the 2020 fall economic statement provided an additional $181.5 million for the performing arts sector. This investment will help artists begin to create works that can be presented once the restrictions are lifted, cover additional expenses for the presentation of shows that comply with health guidelines, and allow our creators to develop their digital offerings, in addition to stabilizing the theatre, dance, festival and music sectors.
The last budget went a step further with an historic $1.5‑billion investment to assist the cultural sector's recovery. In addition to these targeted investments, various universal programs have also played a critical role in the survival of organizations and direct support for artists, creators and other cultural workers.
We already had the Canada emergency wage subsidy, the Canada emergency rent subsidy and the Canada emergency response benefit, and now we have the Canada recovery benefit. Without these measures that our government has deployed, far too many would simply not have made it through the past 18 months.
Thanks to the vaccine rollout currently taking place at a steady pace across the country, we can look forward to the coming months with some optimism. The coming months will offer us opportunities to share our culture, both with Canada and with the world.
One example is the Frankfurt Book Fair this fall, at which Canada will be the guest of honour. By participating in the book fair, we can generate more international interest in our authors by showcasing creative content from Quebec and Canada to the rest of the world.
As I said earlier, the Department of Canadian Heritage has a long tradition of supporting Quebec's cultural sector, dating back well before the pandemic. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, Heritage Canada paid a total of $240 million in grants and contributions to Quebec-based organizations, including $101 million for culture, $73 million for official languages, $21 million for heritage and celebrations, $17 million for sports, and $9 million for diversity and inclusion.
Agencies connected to the department, such as the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund, made financial contributions as well. Quebeckers identify strongly with many of these agencies, which have become veritable cultural institutions in their own right.
Just look at Radio‑Canada and the National Film Board, which have played and continue to play a very important role in the development and success of Quebec's cultural sector and Quebec society as a whole. These federal agencies help create jobs for thousands of people in Quebec and across the country. They are essential to the vitality of Quebec's film and television industry.
Funding for cultural projects and initiatives has also been provided. One such example is the Diamant theatre project. Two federal programs contributed funds to help a talented and world-renowned creator fulfill his dream in the heart of beautiful Quebec City. The investing in Canada infrastructure program contributed $10 million, and the—