Arts participation / Performing arts

Volume: 17 Issue: 4

In this issue: A focus on arts and culture participation and the situation of the performing arts, including two Canadian surveys and two American studies.

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Articles

  • Culture Track Canada summarizes survey findings related to Canadian cultural consumers’ engagement and their “attitudes, motivators, and barriers to participation”. A key finding of the survey is that Canadians “are true cultural omnivores”, with at least one-half of cultural consumers participating in activities such as community festivals (73%), food and drink experiences (68%), historic attractions or museums (66%), zoos or aquariums (66%), music festivals (56%), variety or comedy shows (55%), science, innovation, or technology museums (54%), natural history museums (52%), public art (51%), and plays (50%).

  • Every two years, Statistics Canada provides detailed information about not-for-profit and for-profit (producing) organizations in the performing arts. Operating revenues were $2.16 billion for all performing arts groups in 2016. Operating expenses were $1.90 billion, resulting in a collective operating surplus equivalent to 12.0% of revenues. Not-for-profit performing organizations had total operating revenues of $883 million, slightly lower than operating expenses ($889 million), leaving an operating deficit of 0.7%.

  • This report aims to provide a “nuanced picture of consumers’ preferences and behavior across a broad cross-section of performing arts organizations”, including four in Canada and 54 in the United States. An online survey in August 2017 received 26,996 responses from performing arts ticket buyers.

  • Based on data from various American sources including the National Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage Study from IMPACTS Research and Development, this brief research post indicates that “there is a long lead time in peoples’ intent to visit cultural organizations – even for locals”. On the other hand, “the time between a ticket purchase and redemption is very quick”.