Canadian Culture Satellite Account, 2010

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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. However, this methodology differs significantly from previous estimates of the economic value of culture in Canada. As such, comparisons with previous estimates cannot be made.

The report outlines key elements of the methodology used to capture the economic output and jobs associated with the cultural sector. First, the definition of culture was drawn from the 2011 Conceptual Framework for Culture Statistics (also a Statistics Canada document). Second, the accounting of the output was calculated using the Canadian System of National Accounts, based on a four-year feasibility study of extracting culture-related data from the National Accounts. The methodology captures direct impacts only, thereby excluding potential indirect and induced impacts of culture. (Indirect impacts would capture the re-spending of the expenditures of cultural organizations, and induced impacts would include the re-spending of wages earned by cultural workers and suppliers’ workers.)

Based on this methodology, 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 report also provides a second set of estimates based on the total output of culture industries (rather than culture products produced in various industries of the economy). The culture industries estimates are $53.2 billion direct contribution to the GDP and 703,900 jobs.

Furthermore, the report provides an estimate of the direct economic impact of sports. The direct economic impact of culture ($47.8 billion) is about 10 times larger than the sports estimate ($4.5 billion). The jobs estimate in the culture sector (647,300) is about seven times larger than the estimate for the sports sector (93,500).

The economic impact of culture is larger than the impact of utilities ($35 billion), accommodation and food services ($32 billion), and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($23 billion). Culture’s economic impact is less than that of transportation and warehousing ($63 billion), construction ($113 billion), and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($115 billion).

Estimates of the impact from cultural products in various domains are also provided:

  • Audio-visual and interactive media: $14.8 billion, 125,000 jobs.
  • Visual and applied arts: $10.2 billion, 168,000 jobs.
  • Written and published works: $10.0 billion, 143,000 jobs.
  • Live performance: $1.9 billion, 52,000 jobs.
  • Heritage and libraries: $0.8 billion, 19,000 jobs.
  • Sound recording: $0.6 billion, 13,000 jobs.

Estimates are also provided for the impacts from cultural products in three support-related and cross-cutting domains:

  • Governance, funding, and professional support: $5.7 billion, 72,000 jobs.
  • Education and training: $3.4 billion, 52,000 jobs.
  • Multi-domain: $0.5 billion, 4,000 jobs.

The detailed areas with the largest economic impact from cultural products are broadcasting ($8.1 billion), film and video ($3.4 billion), interactive media ($3.3 billion), design ($3.2 billion), newspapers ($2.8 billion), and crafts (also $2.8 billion).

The report does not provide provincial or local estimates of the impacts of the cultural sector. However, work is being undertaken to ensure that provincial and territorial estimates are available in the future.

Summary: 

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).