Building international engagement by positioning creative industries in the economic mainstream in addition to their already recognised cultural role.

The Taskforce recommends a suite of initiatives that leverage the recognised cultural role of the creative industries on a global stage to increase economic benefits captured by the State and, in particular:

Initiative 37.

Develop a long-term international engagement strategy for the cultural and creative industries, which would:

a. Maximise the deep and strong international relationships that already exist across the sector – including among institutions, organisations, festivals, and business – with international partners. This would encourage creative innovation, exchange programs, collaborative activities and provide opportunities for the sector to maintain meaningful, long-term and productive international relationships.

b. Encourage business opportunities by strategically targeting trade missions, fairs and events where outcomes for the different parts of the sector can be optimised, and facilitate greater access to existing in- and out-bound missions delivered by the State and Australian Governments (e.g. Victoria Invitation Program, outbound multi-sector trade missions, Austrade programs and other programs that encourage international engagement like the New Colombo Plan). The markets where free trade agreements operate may present particular opportunities,34 especially in the professional services sector, or where the agreements contain chapters specific to cultural and creative industries.

c. Build market events into cultural and creative showcases. As well as general trade mission activities, there are some specific industry market events that can be more effective in supporting the sector in making important international connections. The Melbourne International Film Festival offers a good model of hosting producer, writer and distributor events alongside its screening program. This model of a creative, cultural and commercial event can be replicated across other festivals and showcases hosted in Melbourne like Australasian Worldwide Music Expo, Australian Performing Arts Market, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne Games Week and Melbourne Design Week.

d. Engage the Victorian Government business Office network: utilise the deep regional knowledge and expertise across the network to seek opportunities for growth of the cultural and creative industries. This could include seeking partnerships with emerging and important institutions, promoting and exporting creative industry products and services, and engaging touring organisations to participate in networking and VIP functions.

e. Use our rich cultural life to promote Victoria’s other strengths: embed cultural activities in the suite of business hosting opportunities offered by the State to further our business and investment goals, and enhance relationships with incoming business, diplomatic, consular, government and education delegations.

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Initiative 38.

Work with the digital games sector to build connections with businesses in key international markets, along with raising Melbourne’s profile and influence as a centre for digital games.

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Initiative 39.

Exploit Victoria’s existing strengths and international relationships in screen production to build and attract a stronger pipeline of local and international work to the State.

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Initiative 40.

Provide funding to support short-notice one-off opportunities for international engagement. The ability for practitioners to accept opportunities for international exposure through festivals, conferences, awards and other industry specific activities is vital to building reputations and networks.

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Initiative 41.

Boost the impact of large-scale signature events across the state and, where applicable, increase the proportion of funding for major cultural events allocated from the Major Events Fund and Visit Victoria for purposes of increasing cultural tourism.

Victoria’s reputation for attracting and staging large- scale high profile events is well known and envied, but must include new and unique cultural events to complement the high profile sporting events on offer.

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Initiative 42.

Develop, with Visit Victoria and Regional Development Victoria, a comprehensive cultural tourism attraction campaign and information pack to showcase the breadth of, and encourage visitation to, cultural attractions across the state. Victoria’s identity is inextricably linked to its unique cultural attractions – from Melbourne’s iconic laneways and blockbuster exhibitions to community museums and regional literary festivals.

Read the feedback received on this initiative.