Creative Arctic: Understanding the Role of Creative Capital in Economic Systems of the Canadian North
Andrey N. Petrov1
1Department of Geography and GeoTREE Center, University of Northern Iowa, 205 ITTC UNI, Cedar Falls, IA, 50614, USA, Phone 319-273-6245, Fax 319-273-7103, andrey [dot] petrov [at] uni [dot] edu
The vast majority of studies in economic geography of talent and creativity have focused on large metropolitan areas and core regions. However, I argue that the creative capital is an equally necessary factor (an agent of economic transformation and revitalization) in the northern frontier. This theoretical account serves as the basis for the empirical study into the economic geography of talent and creative capital in the Canadian North. The paper advances the two-ring-four-sector approach to define the creative class structure. It extends the creative capital metrics to measure four "sectors" of the creative class: scientists ("talent"), leaders, entrepreneurs and bohemia. The empirical part of the paper applies the extended creative class metrics at two different scales. The findings for 288 Canadian regions suggest that the geographic distribution of the creative capital is uneven and heavily clustered in major urban centers. However, some frontier regions appear to perform exceptionally well in all rankings. The in-depth analysis of 34 communities in the Canadian North identifies creative clusters in economically, geographically and politically privileged communities that serve as creative "hot spots". Thus, contrary to the metropolitan bias, these results indicate that northern communities are not "hopeless places" fully deprived of the creative capital. Creative "hot spots" in the Canadian North exist, and could become the centers of regional reinvention, if appropriate policies are introduced in support.