The Cultural Commission was established in April 2004 to undertake a review. A review which presents a 'generational opportunity – to look seriously and maturely at our culture and decide the framework for its support in the future'. The Cultural Commission's remit as outlined in the Cultural Policy Statement; April 2004 takes its inspiration and direction from the First Minister Jack McConnell’s St Andrew’s speech in 2003 (see below). And, in order to establish Scotland as a 'vibrant, cosmopolitan, competitive country and an internationally recognised creative hub', Scotland needs a new cultural vision and a radically different way of delivering and sustaining cultural services and activities. This implies significant change.
The Commission's task was to take the policy (the remit) and to provide practical recommendations on how Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Executive implement it.
The Commission's remit was wide-ranging and included: the consideration of cultural rights and entitlements; the responsibilities of public sector agencies and local authorities; guidance for the private and voluntary sectors; and an assessment of the current institutional infrastructure, to name but a few elements.
In the 20th Century it took immense courage and political resolve to deliver universal health care and school education for all. Today these rights are unquestioned, pillars of modern society. I believe we can now make the development of our creative drive, our imagination, the next major enterprise for our society…. I believe this has the potential to be a new civic exercise on a par with health, housing and education.
Jack McConnell, St Andrew's Day, 2003