Museum and Art Gallery Attendance (March 2003)

This report shows that 7.8 million Canadians 15 years of age or older visited a museum in 1998. This represents about one-third of Canadians in this age range. Public art galleries, attended by about one-quarter of Canadians 15 or older, are the most popular sub-group of museums, followed by science and technology museums as well as general and community museums.

Reaching Canadians who speak languages other than English or French appears to be a relatively successful aspect of Canada's museums. The report also examines attendance rates by sex, urban/rural residence and marital status.

The report demonstrates how Canadians who attend museums or art galleries have high attendance rates at other arts events, volunteer in their communities, and participate in sports activities.

The attendance rate at museums decreased during the 1990s, but the attendance rate at public art galleries increased significantly. The reports include a detailed examination of the changes in attendance for various demographic groups during the 1990s.

An important feature of the report is the extensive provincial information provided, including attendance profiles, trends and comparisons between the provinces. Provincial museum and art gallery attendance rates vary significantly, but museum attendance is not highest in the provinces with the largest populations.

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