2016 Performance Measurement Report

Noting that, “in today’s environment, there is an expectation that governments measure their performance”, this report compares 173 measures of municipal activities in 36 service areas in 2016, one of which is culture. Overall, 15 municipalities from five provinces participated, but only eight reported data on their cultural grants and overall cultural expenditures (Calgary, Greater Sudbury, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor). Participating municipalities submitted their own data, and their estimates were reviewed by their peers.

The report cautions that the overall “results can be influenced by a number of factors”, including “population, geographic size, organizational form, government type and legislation”. Regarding population differences, the smallest city reporting cultural data is Thunder Bay (population of 108,000 in 2016), while the largest is Toronto (2.7 million).

Influencing factors specifically related to the cultural estimates include in-kind services (not reported here), the presence or absence of a municipal cultural policy, tourists’ use of local cultural services, and the roles and responsibilities assumed by provincial governments in the cultural sector.

In 2016, the median overall cost for cultural services in the eight cities was $25.05 per capita. The median cost among the eight cities decreased by 2% between 2014 ($25.48 per capita) and 2016 ($25.05). In 2016, expenses for cultural services were above the median level in Montreal ($46.93), Toronto ($32.00), Hamilton ($28.77), and Thunder Bay ($26.64). In the other four cities, cultural expenditures were below the median: Calgary ($23.46), Windsor ($17.58), London ($16.53), and Sudbury ($9.38).

Median grants for the arts, heritage, and festivals were $7.52 per capita in 2016, with the highest level being in Montreal ($18.52), followed by Thunder Bay ($18.27), Toronto ($10.34), and Calgary ($9.47). Grant levels were below the median in the four other cities: Hamilton ($5.56), Sudbury ($5.09), London ($4.72), and Windsor ($1.07).

The report notes that specific factors influencing the 2016 results for Montreal include “provincial contributions as well as a large heritage project related to Montreal’s 375th anniversary” (which took place in 2017).

Summary: 

This report compares 173 measures of municipal activities in 36 service areas in 2016, one of which is culture. Overall, 15 municipalities from five provinces participated, but only eight reported data on their cultural grants and overall cultural expenditures (Calgary, Greater Sudbury, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor).