Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts attendance & participation

University of Waterloo, October 2012

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) aims to deliver “a measure that provides a broader depth of understanding that, when partnered with [Gross Domestic Product], gives citizens and decision-makers a more comprehensive package of information they need to assess our progress as a society and make decisions based on evidence for a fair and sustainable future”. The CIW tracks sixty-four indicators related to eight domains, including “leisure and culture”.

The Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada

In addition to providing a profile of performing arts presenters and summarizing research into arts attendance in Canada, this report examines potential benefits of the arts, including impacts on the quality of life, well-being, social engagement, health, education, and communities.

Based on a survey of 1,001 Canadians 18 or older in June and July of 2012, this report examines Canadians’ attendance and personal involvement in the arts, culture, and heritage, as well as their perceptions regarding cultural activities and government support of culture.

Value of Presenting Study
The bulk of this presentation provides information about key demographic trends in Canada: a growing and aging population, differences in average age by location, increased immigration from Asian countries, and an increasing Aboriginal population. The report compares census data with attendance data to see whether different age groups are over or under-represented among performing arts audiences. The presentation indicates that classical music and theatre audiences skew older than the overall population, while popular music skews younger. The presentation also provides information about perceived benefits of the performing arts.
An Analysis of Attendance at Art Galleries, Theatres, Classical Music Performances, Popular Music Performances, and Cultural Festivals
Based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey, an in-depth telephone survey of about 7,500 Canadians 15 or older, this report concludes that “there is an arts-interested public that transcends demographics”. For example, the report indicates that “someone with less than a secondary school diploma was not very likely to visit an art gallery in 2010: only 20% did so. However, someone with the same level of education who attended a classical concert in 2010 was much more likely to visit an art gallery: 44% did so in 2010”.
Based on large-scale surveys of English adults, this report aims to provide “a tool to inform marketing and audience development plans for arts organisations, local authorities and other agencies working in the arts”. The report outlines 13 arts consumer segments, based on patterns of arts consumption, attitudes toward the arts, leisure pursuits, socio-demographic factors, media consumption, and lifestyle elements. The segments, although tailored to English adults, might also be useful for Canadian artists and arts organizations in thinking about the possible attitudes, opinions, and motivations of their current and potential audiences.
Discussion paper
The goal of this discussion paper is to provide “a high-level overview of current thinking and practices in the sphere of public engagement in the arts”. The report indicates that public engagement is increasingly seen to be important “for cultural rights, arts education, expressive life, citizen participation, social cohesion, and cultural diversity”.
(United Kingdom)

Based on 11,111 on-site interviews in the summer of 2011 with visitors at 49 British art galleries, this report highlights a range of characteristics of art gallery visitors. Despite a caution regarding representation of all gallery visitors, the report does provide some interesting findings about survey respondents.

This study attempts to address three key research questions: 1) "How is digital media currently used in theatres both in Ontario and beyond and what is the potential for expanding its use?"; 2) "How can the content developed for the stage be adapted and repurposed for use on digital media platforms?"; and 3) "How can theatres use digital media to reach a wider and more demographically diverse audience?"

Prepared by David Poole

This discussion paper, intended for use by arts funding bodies, provides a useful overview of "current knowledge on the theme of digital transition and the impact of new technology on the arts". The paper indicates that "the electronic, networked and interactive nature of the digital world has a significant impact on the arts".