Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts discipline information

An Assessment of Opportunities, Issues and Challenges

In a context where “a sizeable group of Canadians” have “identified mediated performance experiences as equal to attending live performances in person”, this report provides an initial assessment of challenges and opportunities related to digital innovation in the performing arts (and for arts presenters in particular). The report indicates that a key question for performing arts presenters is whether and how they will be able to continue to play a role as intermediaries between artists and audiences in a fully digital realm.

Based on a survey of over 14,000 attendees at performances by 23 choirs (including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and 22 American choruses), this report examines the experiences of audiences at live choral concerts. The goal of the research was to spur “critical reflection on how audiences construct meaning and memory from concerts of choral music, and how choruses can curate impacts through thoughtful program design”.

Based on a literature review, existing statistics, two focus groups, and a targeted survey of 30 stakeholders, this report examines “the patterns of attendance and cultural participation by young people in the theatre for young audiences (TYA) and the children’s festival sector in Canada”.

(La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec en 2015, Optique culture no 51)

This Quebec report provides information about attendance at theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic performances in 2015. There were 17,700 performances with an admission fee in Quebec in 2015 (a 3% increase from 2009), which attracted 6.7 million attendees (a 9% decrease from 2009). Box office revenues decreased from $274 million in 2009 to $233 million in 2015 (-15%).

Canada Dance Mapping Study

Based on a survey of 367 dance companies, training schools, presenters, and service organizations, this report “aims to provide new knowledge and a more nuanced understanding of the social impact of dance organizations in Canada”. The report defines social impact to include “the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of individuals and communities”.

Statistics Canada's biennial performing arts data provide information about not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in Canada. Operating revenues were $1.91 billion for all performing arts groups in 2014. Not-for-profit performing organizations had $832 million in total revenues in 2014.

This American report highlights findings from a “convening” of about 50 museum and education practitioners, funders, and policy experts, which had the goal of launching “a national dialogue about the future of education and how leaders from the worlds of education and museums can work together to integrate the nation’s educational assets into a vibrant learning grid”. A “vibrant learning grid” would be “a flexible and radically personalized learning ecosystem that meets the needs of all learners”.

(La fréquentation des institutions muséales au Québec en 2014 et 2015, optique culture no 48)

This report highlights attendance statistics at 422 Quebec museums, interpretive centres, and exhibition spaces (excluding artist-run centres). In 2015, total attendance was 14.0 million, slightly below the record level from 2013 (14.2 million). The report notes that school attendance showed a recent decrease, falling from over 1 million in previous years to 843,000 in 2015.

This aggregate profile of 184 Ontario museums “identifies the realities of operating museums in Ontario today” and provides “compelling evidence to demonstrate museum impacts and their economic, social and cultural contributions to Ontario’s communities”. The 184 Ontario museums responded to a survey designed and conducted by the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) in 2014-2015, and the survey results were analyzed by Hill Strategies Research Inc.

This Canadian survey, conducted in 2015 and capturing data from 2013, is intended “to provide aggregate data to governments and cultural associations in order to gain a better understanding of not-for-profit heritage institutions and to aid in the development of policies and the conduct of programs”. The total revenues of heritage organizations were estimated at $2.12 billion in 2013, a 2.9% increase from 2011 (figures not adjusted for inflation). Total expenditures were $1.97 billion, resulting in an operating surplus equivalent to 3.7% of total revenues in 2013.