Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Performing arts

Based on a random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians commissioned by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) from Nanos Research in March 2014, this brief report and a summary fact sheet indicate that many Canadians believe in the importance of live theatre in Canadian communities. The survey results show that 84% of Canadians believe that live theatre plays an important or somewhat important role in “making communities across Canada vibrant places to live”.

Based on various Statistics Canada sources, this brief fact sheet examines the number of theatre companies in Canada, their revenues and expenditures, theatre’s contribution to the economy, public spending on tickets, as well as the number and earnings of theatre artists and students.

According to Statistics Canada's biennial performing arts survey, operating revenues were $1.48 billion for all performing arts groups in 2012, a 3.1% decrease from 2010. (The changes reported in this article have not been adjusted for inflation.) In 2012, not-for-profit performing arts organizations in Canada had collective operating revenues of $783 million, representing 53% of the $1.48 billion sector total and a 4.5% increase from 2010. Earned revenues accounted for 49% of operating revenues, followed by public sector grants (26%), private sector contributions (24%) and other revenues (2%). Collectively, operating expenses ($794 million) were $11 million higher than operating revenues, leaving a deficit of 4.5% of total revenues. Salaries, wages, and benefits (excluding fees paid to contract workers) accounted for 35% of not-for-profit performing arts organizations' expenses. In 2012, total attendance was 13 million at 48,500 performances, for an average of 267 attendees per performance.

This presentation examines Canadian statistics related to “Baumol’s cost disease”, which states that expenses might rise prohibitively over time in labour intensive sectors, such as the arts, “where productivity gains are limited”. An American researcher recently examined the “perilous life of symphony orchestras” in the U.S., where expenses have indeed risen faster than revenues. The presentation concludes that “Canadian orchestras keep a better balance between revenues and expenses” and are also “more responsive to economic conditions” than American orchestras.

Volume 7, Issue 2, November 2010

Based on in-depth interviews with marketing managers from four Australian performing arts organizations, this article proposes four key indicators of the quality of audience experience in the performing arts: knowledge transfer or learning, risk management, authenticity, and collective engagement.

(Dix ans de statistiques sur la fréquentation des arts de la scène, Optique culture no 34, September 2014)

This report examines performing arts attendance in Quebec over a ten-year period (2004-2013), including performances of theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic. In 2013, the most recent year of the study, there were 17,100 performances with an admission fee in Quebec, attracting 6.7 million spectators and generating $229 million in box office revenues. Over the long term, performing arts attendance in Quebec has not grown.

This Statistics Canada report examines the direct economic impact of the arts, culture, and heritage in Canada, using methodology that is comparable to other sectors of the economy. Statistics Canada estimates that the direct economic impact of cultural goods and services was $47.8 billion in 2010, or 3.1% of Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2010, there were 647,300 jobs directly related to cultural products, or 3.7% of total employment. The direct economic impact of culture ($47.8 billion) is about 10 times larger than the sports estimate ($4.5 billion).

The report notes that, other than a few differences, diverse Canadians attended at similar rates to other Canadians. Based on these findings, the report concludes that “the range of arts offerings in Canada – from art galleries, classical concerts, and theatre performances to pop concerts and cultural festivals – manages to attract most Canadians to at least one type of activity."

The National Endowment for the Arts' 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts collected data about the arts activities of more than 37,000 Americans 18 years of age and older. The report provides key arts participation figures.

This report from Music Canada, a non-profit trade organization that promotes the interests of its members and their artist partners, provides strategies for supporting the growth of Canada’s commercial music industry, which the report calls “a highly creative and dynamic field that has undergone massive changes with the shift to digital technologies and platforms”.