Canada’s cultural industries are world-renowned for their creativity, ingenuity and originality. Our creators are in demand in international markets across the globe. Through Canadian Heritage’s Creative Export Canada program, the Government of Canada helps our artists share their creativity on the world stage. Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, met with performing arts troupe The 7 Fingers and received a tour of their new creation and production studio in Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles.
The 7 Fingers is a creative multidisciplinary and contemporary circus arts collective based in Montréal. It was founded in 2002 by seven former Cirque du Soleil artists with the goal of redefining storytelling through circus-based performing arts. The troupe incorporates a variety of styles in their performances, including acrobatics, contemporary dance, theatre and multimedia to create immersive and unique experiences for their audiences.
During the visit, Minister Guilbeault met with Chief Executive Officer of The 7 Fingers Nassib El-Husseini; co-artistic directors Isabelle Chassé, Patrick Léonard and Samuel Tétreault; Vice-President for Strategies and Development Joanie Leroux-Côté; and Vice-President Creation Tina Diab.
They discussed the troupe’s upcoming projects and their successes abroad. In 2019, The 7 Fingers received $255,000 in funding from Canadian Heritage under the Creative Export Canada program. This project saw The 7 Fingers expand into the Asian market, particularly China and the United Arab Emirates.
The Creative Export Canada program is for Canadian organizations ready to export projects that showcase creative content. The program supports organizations in exporting their artistic projects to international markets and helps them generate significant economic benefits at home by creating jobs and fostering social prosperity.
“As a Montrealer myself, I am very familiar with the impressive displays of a 7 Fingers performance. It is with great pride that the Government of Canada supports such awe-inspiring productions and helps share this talent with the world. The success of The 7 Fingers abroad is a testament to the Creative Export Canada program’s support for our Canadian creators and the value of Canada’s contribution on the artistic world stage.”
-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“This program did make a difference for The 7 Fingers. It also created opportunities to the benefit of the exceptional Canadian suppliers and partners we work with. The good news is that projects are materializing in the short and medium term. We hope to continue the partnership with this strategic and essential program and for the results to be exponential. We are grateful.”
-Nassib El-Husseini, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of The 7 Fingers
In September 2019, Canadian Heritage provided $8.3 million in new funding for 22 different organizations, including The 7 Fingers, through the Creative Export Canada program.
In 2018, The 7 Fingers opened their new creation and production studio. It offers open space for circus and performing arts training for professional artists using specialized equipment and infrastructure to allow for the practice of many disciplines.
In 2016, Canada exported $16 billion in creative products, which amounts to 2.5 percent of Canada’s total exports.
The arts and culture sector creates more than 650,000 direct jobs and countless spin-off jobs. It also accounts for 2.8 percent of Canada’s overall gross domestic product.
Canada’s Creative Export Strategy, including the new Creative Export Canada funding program, gives businesses and organizations in the creative sector the tools and mechanisms they need to successfully export their creative content. In this way, the government is helping Canada’s creative sector shine on the world stage.