OTTAWA–Minister of Culture–Sports and Youth Affairs Roland Sharoyan represented Armenia in a forum Tuesday addressing international cultural policy–which was organized by Canada’s Ministry of Heritage.
During the conference–entitled Roundtable on International Cooperation in Cultural Policy–Sharoyan met with culture ministers of Poland–Ukraine–Greece and Canada–and held discussions with representatives of Italy–Sweden and the World Bank.
The symposium– was sponsored by Canada’s ministries of foreign affairs and trade–as well as UNESCO.
Sharoyan and his Polish counterpart Vnuk Nazarova discussed a variety of issues–including a 1997 cultural cooperation agreement signed between the two countries.
Sharoyan invited Nazarova to visit Armenia in the fall to better acclimate himself with Armenia’s cultural traditions. Nazarova accepted the invitation and informed Sharoyan that he would be including several conductors in his delegation to cooperate with Armenian orchestras.
In his meeting with Ukraine Culture Minister–the two sides discussed extending an already existing cultural cooperation program and addressed possibilities of organizing "cultural days" in both countries.
Sharoyan and his Greek counterpart discussed possible expansion of already existing cultural protocols between the two countries–as well as a proposed sports editors and reporters workshop to be held in Armenia prior to the 2004 summer Olympic Games–scheduled to take place in Athens.
In his meetings with Canada’s Minister of Heritage Sheila Copps–Sharoyan discussed establishing cultural relations with Canada–as well as joint production of audio-visual ventures. Sharoyan signed a letter of intent on behalf of Armenia to begin the joint audio-visual production project.
Furthermore–during the meeting with Copps–which took place in Canada’s National Assembly the two leaders also discussed working in the fields of training musicians and artists and promote exchange programs between the two countries.
Sharoyan also addressed the roundtable–discussing difficulties facing cultural advancement in the international arena.
He stated that in the absence of Armenian statehood for centuries–the Armenian culture has become the backbone of all Armenia’s–helping to preserve national identity.
"Now that Armenia has regained its statehood–it has become a priority to preserve Armenian culture and avoid its commercialism," told Sharoyan to the roundtable.
Armenia’s Ambassador to Canada Levon Barkhoudarian accompanied Sharoyan and his delegation throughout the roundtable and during all meetings.