Volume: 17 Issue: 4
In this issue: A focus on arts and culture participation and the situation of the performing arts, including two Canadian surveys and two American studies.
Culture Track Canada summarizes survey findings related to Canadian cultural consumers’ engagement and their “attitudes, motivators, and barriers to participation”. A key finding of the survey is that Canadians “are true cultural omnivores”, with at least one-half of cultural consumers participating in activities such as community festivals (73%), food and drink experiences (68%), historic attractions or museums (66%), zoos or aquariums (66%), music festivals (56%), variety or comedy shows (55%), science, innovation, or technology museums (54%), natural history museums (52%), public art (51%), and plays (50%).
Every two years, Statistics Canada provides detailed information about not-for-profit and for-profit (producing) organizations in the performing arts. Operating revenues were $2.16 billion for all performing arts groups in 2016. Operating expenses were $1.90 billion, resulting in a collective operating surplus equivalent to 12.0% of revenues. Not-for-profit performing organizations had total operating revenues of $883 million, slightly lower than operating expenses ($889 million), leaving an operating deficit of 0.7%.
This report aims to provide a “nuanced picture of consumers’ preferences and behavior across a broad cross-section of performing arts organizations”, including four in Canada and 54 in the United States. An online survey in August 2017 received 26,996 responses from performing arts ticket buyers.
Based on data from various American sources including the National Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage Study from IMPACTS Research and Development, this brief research post indicates that “there is a long lead time in peoples’ intent to visit cultural organizations – even for locals”. On the other hand, “the time between a ticket purchase and redemption is very quick”.