Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Economic impacts of the 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.

The causal link between the arts and economic growth

Using historical data from 384 American metropolitan areas, the exploratory research in this report examines whether an increase in the spending of local not-for-profit arts and culture organizations has a long-term, positive impact on the local economy. The empirical data lead the researchers to conclude that there is a positive relationship between per capita cultural production and per capita GDP, resulting in “a permanent increase in per capita GDP”. (The authors note that, “in the context of our model, asking whether cultural spending ‘causes’ economic prosperity is asking whether transitory innovations or ‘shocks’ [in cultural production] … cause permanent changes” to per capita GDP.)

Ripple Effects from the Arts Sector

This report examines the benefits “for people, communities and the economy” of arts organizations receiving operating funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) over a seven year period (2006-2013). In addition to statistics from operating funding recipients, the report includes statistics from other sources, such as a public survey that was conducted in the province.

This English review of “academically-robust research and influential policy papers from the past twenty years” examines two streams of research about the value and impact of cultural experiences: “1) how individuals benefit from attending and participating in cultural programmes and activities; and 2) the creative capacities of arts and cultural organisations to bring forth impactful programmes”. The report concludes that “while individual experiences are the building blocks of the value system, the literature agrees that cumulative impacts – the effects of a lifetime of involvement in arts and culture – are the fuel for larger societal outcomes”.

This English literature review was intended as a summary of “the strength of the evidence base between 2010–13 about the economic, social, health and wellbeing, education, lifelong learning and environmental impacts and outcomes of arts and culture in England”. Based on the 90 reports examined, the literature review found that the “arts and culture play an important role in promoting social and economic goals through local regeneration, attracting tourists, the development of talent and innovation, improving health and wellbeing, and delivering essential services”.

Canadian Evidence regarding the Relationship between the Arts and the Quality of Life, Well-being, Health, Education, Society, and the Economy

This literature review, conducted in May 2014, synthesized the findings of 46 Canadian research articles regarding the “holistic case for the arts, i.e., outcomes of the arts related to the quality of life, well-being, health, society, education, and the economy”. The report concluded that “there are a myriad of potential benefits of the arts”. That being said, the report cautions that “studies of causal links (rather than statistical associations) are very challenging to conduct”.

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).

Based on interviews with 14 technology professionals as well as a literature review of evidence related to music and skills development, this report (supported by Music Canada) contends that rich music environments help attract high-technology jobs to local areas. According to the study, music helps develop many skills that are critical for high-tech workers.

Based largely on a 2011 survey of 502 music company representatives and 1,094 artists in Canada’s independent music industry, this report attempts to “determine the breadth and scope of the Canadian-owned, independent music industry as a whole and to measure its importance to both national and provincial economies”. The survey results show that total revenues of independent music companies were $292 million in 2011. More than one-half of independent music companies (60%) have less than $50,000 in revenues, and almost one-half are sole proprietorships (46%).