Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

Starting with the 2011 data year, the Department of Canadian Heritage has assumed responsibility for surveying Canada’s heritage institutions (formerly a Statistics Canada survey). In 2011, a total of 1,269 not-for-profit heritage institutions responded to the survey, representing approximately “45% of the entire heritage sector” and “the largest sample to be measured in over 12 years”.

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.

Results of Business for the Arts’ 2014 Research Initiative

As the report’s title indicates, one of the key findings of this presentation of ongoing research is that many Canadians look favourably on companies that support the arts. A public survey found that 52% of respondents “feel more favourably towards businesses that support arts and culture”.

Summary Report

Based on discussions at the Kingston Colloquium of the Visual Arts Alliance in 2011, this position paper attempts to identify “ways to make the visual arts more central in the lives of Canada and Canadians”. Five key themes emerged from the colloquium debates.

(La fréquentation des institutions muséales en 2012 et 2013, Optique culture no 32, May 2014)

This report highlights attendance statistics at 440 Quebec museums, interpretive centres, and exhibition spaces (excluding artist-run centres). In 2013, total attendance was 14.2 million, the highest level since the Observatoire began this survey in 2003. Total attendance at 22 art museums was 1.8 million in 2013, which was a record high since the start of the survey in 2003. Between 2003 and 2013, art museum attendance in Quebec increased by 38%, the largest increase of any type of museum or heritage organization.

Key findings

The goal of the research outlined in this presentation was to provide “reliable, detailed data on public art galleries across Ontario”, thereby influencing art gallery sector analysis as well as organizations’ benchmarking and future planning.

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.

This English report attempts to provide a conceptualization of the quality of arts experiences that is flexible (i.e., relevant to various contexts, art forms, and levels of audience familiarity with the arts) and “meaningful in the context of Arts Council England’s role and philosophy”. The authors argue that, alongside an emphasis on accountability, a structure for learning could be an important component of an arts council’s activities. In addition to quality of experience, a learning evaluation system could include value for money, organizational strength and resilience, as well as artist development.

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”.

(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.