Finances of Performing Arts Organizations

Canada, 2006-07

Canadian performing arts organizations generate $2.70 in revenues for every dollar received from governments

  • Largest share of total revenues came from box office revenues (38% of total revenues), larger than total government or total private funding
  • Private sector revenues grew the fastest over the past ten years: increasing by 53%, double the growth rate of earned revenues (27%) and government revenues (25%).
  • Fundraising from individuals doubled in value between 1996-97 and 2006-07
  • Substantial shift in corporate funding from donations to sponsorships.

Finances of Performing Arts Organizations in Canada in 2006-07, the 24th report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series from Hill Strategies Research, finds that performing arts organizations generate $2.70 in revenues for every dollar received from governments. The report also shows that fundraising revenues grew the most between 1996-97 and 2006-07.

The report examines the situation of non-profit performing arts organizations in Canada, based on the 2006-2007 Business for the Arts Annual Survey of Performing Arts Organizations. A total of 216 Canadian performing arts organizations participated in the survey, including 117 theatre companies, 64 orchestras, choirs and other music organizations, 15 dance companies, 13 opera companies and seven multidisciplinary organizations. Organizations responding to the Business for the Arts survey are based in all 10 provinces and two of the three territories.

Total operating revenues for the 216 performing arts organizations were $557 million in 2006-07. Total expenses ($550 million) were slightly less than total revenues, leaving a season surplus of $7 million, or 1% of total revenues. This surplus resulted in an increase in the overall accumulated surplus of the 216 performing arts organizations, which amounted to $15 million (3% of total revenues) at the end of 2006-07.

$2.70 in non-government revenues for every $1 in government revenues

The report finds that performing arts organizations generate $2.70 in revenues for every dollar received from governments. This figure includes $1.84 in earned revenues (largely from box office) and $0.86 in private sector revenues (fundraising from individuals, businesses and foundations).

Earned revenues represented one-half of the $557 million in total revenues ($276 million). Revenues from government sources accounted for 27% of total revenues ($151 million), while private revenues amounted to 23% of total revenues ($130 million). The largest single share of total revenues came from box office revenues ($210 million, or 38% of total revenues). In fact, this amount is larger than total government or total private funding for the 216 organizations.

Total attendance of 10 million

The 216 organizations presented 38,000 performances to a total audience of 10 million.

Fundraising revenues grew the most between 1996-97 and 2006-07

For the 105 organizations with a consistent reporting history between 1996-97 and 2006-07, growth in total revenues was 32% after adjusting for inflation. Total expenses nearly kept pace with total revenues, growing by 29% after inflation.

Of all revenue categories, private sector revenues grew at the fastest rate between 1996-97 and 2006-07 (53%, after inflation). This is nearly double the growth rate of earned revenues (27%) and government revenues (25%). Fundraising from individuals has become an increasingly important component of performing arts organization revenues, doubling in value between 1996-97 and 2006-08. In the past 10 years, there has also been a substantial shift in corporate funding from donations to sponsorships.

While the number of performances increased by 29% between 1996-97 and 2006-07, attendance at the 105 performing arts organizations increased by only 3%, from 7.5 million in 1996-97 to 7.8 million in 2006-07.

Among four different organization sizes, the revenues of the smallest organizations grew the most, led by earned revenues.

The report also provides profiles of theatre companies, music organizations, opera companies, dance companies and multidisciplinary organizations in Canada.

For more information

Many more details are available in a 5-page Executive Summary and the 42-page full report. Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council, with data and financial support from Business for the Arts, the report is available free of charge on the Hill Strategies Research website (http://www.hillstrategies.com) and the websites of the funding organizations.

Additional information and data files

All participating arts organizations in the survey now have access to a new benchmarking tool developed by Business for the Arts and available on their website at www.businessforthearts.org The benchmarking tool will allow arts organizations to compare their individual data with other arts organizations in their discipline and size category. CD-ROMs with full survey data on the Performing Arts, along with full survey data on Festivals and Presenters, and the Visual Arts and Public Museums will also be sent free of charge to participating arts organizations and available for purchase at $40. For more information, please contact Business for the Arts at researcher@businessforthearts.org or (416) 869-3016 x221

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Related documentation
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Executive Summary (5 pages)211.23 KB