Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts funding & finances

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.

This report examines data on 243 visual arts organizations regarding their finances and activities, as reported by the organizations in their submissions to CADAC (Canadian Arts Database / Données sur les arts au Canada).

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”.

Based on data on 942 arts organizations from CADAC (Canadian Arts Database / Données sur les arts au Canada), this report highlights changes in the revenue streams, expenses, and net assets of arts organizations between 2007-08 and 2011-12.

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”.

Commissioned by the Visual Arts Alliance with a financial contribution from the Canada Council for the Arts, this literature review attempts to provide a synthesis of existing research in the visual arts in Canada and to identify gaps in this research. The report notes that the goal was not to outline the state of the visual arts sector in Canada but rather the state of research into the visual arts in the country.

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.

GIA’s Annual Research on Support for Arts and Culture

These brief articles highlight government support for the arts in 2013 and foundation support for the arts and culture in 2011 in the United States. The article on public funding indicates that total government funding for the arts in the U.S. was estimated at $1.14 billion in 2013. Local governments provided the most support for the arts (over $700 million, although exact figures by level of government were not provided in the article). State legislatures appropriated nearly $300 million for the arts, and the federal appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts was under $140 million in 2013. Total government funding for the arts decreased by 30% after inflation between 1992 and 2013. Based on a sample of 1,122 larger foundations in the U.S., the article on foundation funding estimated arts and culture funding to be 10% of foundation funding for all fields of giving.