Annual Survey of Performing Arts Organizations, 2005-06


This survey from the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada highlights the situation of non-profit performing arts companies in 2005-06 and trends between 1996-97 and 2005-06. In 2005-06, 226 performing arts organizations participated in the survey, including 32 dance companies, 68 music organizations, 13 opera companies, 102 theatre companies and 11 multidisciplinary organizations. The overall summary of 2005-06 data and the trends fact sheets were prepared by Hill Strategies Research.

The 226 organizations had total revenues of $556 million in 2005-06, with earned revenues accounting for $273 million (49% of total revenues). Government revenues were $155 million (28% of total revenues), while private revenues equalled $128 million (23% of total revenues).

Total expenses were $550 million in 2005-06, $6 million less than total revenues. The vast majority of the organizations reported a surplus or (essentially) balanced budget in 2005-06. The collective accumulated surplus of the 226 performing arts organizations was $12 million (2% of 2005-06 revenues) at the end of 2005-06.

The 226 performing arts companies put on more than 35,000 performances in 2005-06, drawing 10 million spectators (over 8 million at home and nearly 2 million on tour). Box office revenues ($204 million) were the most important source of revenues - larger than total government or total private funding for the 226 organizations.

The survey data also shows that 37 performing arts organizations raised a total of $32 million in capital funds in 2005-06, of which $11 million (35%) came from private sector sources.

The trends analysis provides information about 101 performing arts organizations responding over a 10-year period, from 1996-97 to 2005-06. The trend organizations include 12 dance companies, four multidisciplinary organizations, 31 music organizations, 12 opera companies and 42 theatre companies.

For these 101 organizations, total revenues increased by 23% after adjusting for inflation. Revenue increases were quite widespread, with 71% of the performing arts organizations (72 of 101 organizations) registering a real increase in revenues. Total expenses nearly kept pace with the increase in total revenues, with 20% growth (after adjusting for inflation). Of all the revenue categories, private sector revenues grew at the fastest rate (a 41% increase after adjusting for inflation).

Between 1996-97 and 2005-06, there were minor shifts in the organizations' sources of funding: earned revenues decreased slightly as a percentage of total revenues, from 50% in 1996-97 to 48% in 2005-06. Government funding remained fairly stable (30% of total revenues in 1996-97 and 29% in 2005-06). Private sector revenues increased from 20% to 23% of total revenues.

Attendance at the 101 performing arts organizations increased by 13%, from 7.0 million in 1996-97 to 8.0 million in 2005-06. This figure includes home and tour attendance.

The fact sheets on trends by type of organization shows that theatre companies experienced the strongest growth in revenues between 1996-97 and 2005-06. The 42 theatres reporting between 1996-97 and 2005-06 collectively experienced 39% growth in total revenues (after adjusting for inflation). For the 31 music organizations reporting historical data, real growth in total revenues was 24%. For the 12 dance companies, real growth in total revenues was 12%. For the 12 opera companies, real growth in total revenues was 11%.

The trends analysis by size of organization shows that the smallest performing arts organizations (revenues under $500,000 in 1996-97) experienced the highest growth in revenues between 1996-97 and 2005-06 (38% after adjusting for inflation).

Additional fact sheets highlight some differences in revenue sources in 2005-06 by type of organization.

The results of the Business for the Arts survey are available on CD-ROM free of charge for participating arts and heritage organizations as well as Members of Business for the Arts. The CD-ROM is also available for purchase ($40) from Éilis Karry at Business for the Arts.

This survey from the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada highlights the situation of non-profit performing arts companies in 2005-06 and trends between 1996-97 and 2005-06.
Legacy ID (artUID):