Creative Economy Thought for the Week

Following is a quote from a former director of Canada’s national arts agency. I would differ slightly in saying what he did because artists don’t have a monopoly on dreaming or creativity. Engineers, scientists, teachers, nurses, detectives, parents, soldiers, public administrators—people in all positions in life, old and young, are capable of dreaming or being creative and they do so every day. Imagination, innovation, ingenuity, and invention are other terms for creative activity. We do need to cultivate creativity, recognize its value, and honor it when it produces good results. In emphasizing and encouraging creativity artists can be leaders because they are so comfortable in the creativity zone. Creativity is a byproduct of freedom, of liberty.—PM


You don’t go into the arts if you’re pessimistic. I used to visit a lot of schools. I’d always tell the kids that there would be no planes today if there hadn’t been somebody, somewhere, who was dreaming of flying. It always starts with a dream. And artists are the ones who are dreaming. We need dreams—in the arts, in business and politics. Because dreams are vision, and people need a vision.”

—Roch Carrier, author, former director of the Canada Arts Council (interview with Maclean’s magazine, 1996)