Diversity and Arts Attendance by Canadians in 2010

Executive Summary

Based on data from the 2010 General Social Survey, this report examines diversity and arts attendance in Canada, including attendance by:

  • Visible minority Canadians.[1]
  • First-generation immigrants.
  • Aboriginal people.
  • Canadians with disabilities.
  • Youth (15 to 24 years of age).
  • Seniors (65 and older).
  • Members of official language minority communities.

Six key statistics on arts attendance are analyzed:

  • Attendance at art galleries.
  • Attendance at theatre performances.
  • Attendance at popular music performances.
  • Attendance at classical music performances.
  • Attendance at cultural festivals.
  • Attendance at one or more of the above arts activities.

A key finding of the report is that the range of arts offerings in Canada – from art galleries, classical concerts, and theatre performances to pop concerts and cultural festivals – manages to attract most Canadians to at least one type of activity. Overall, 71% of Canadians attended at least one of the five key arts activities in 2010.

As shown in Figure ES1, there are relatively few statistically significant differences between diverse groups and other Canadians regarding this broad indicator of arts attendance.[2] Four of the eight diverse groups examined in the report have similar attendance rates to other Canadians:

  • First-generation immigrants.
  • Aboriginal people.
  • Anglophones in Quebec (official language minority community).
  • Francophones outside Quebec (official language minority community).

Youth 15 to 24 years of age have significantly higher arts attendance rates than Canadians 25 or older. This high overall attendance rate is due to the higher attendance rates of youth at three of the five key arts activities: theatres, popular music performances, and cultural festivals.

However, there are three demographic groups that have a lower arts attendance rate that is statistically significant compared with other Canadians: Canadians with a disability, seniors, and visible minority Canadians (although the difference in this case is relatively small).

Diversity and overall arts attendance

A demographic comparison of arts attendees with non-attendees for the six diverse groups where demographic analysis was feasible[3] shows that:

  • Higher education and above-average household incomes are factors for all six diverse groups.
  • Women are more likely than men to attend arts events in four cases: Aboriginal people, Canadians with a disability, youth, and seniors.
  • Canadians under the age of 55 who are also from a visible minority group, Aboriginal, or disabled are more likely to attend than older Canadians from these same groups.
  • Urban residents are more likely than rural residents to attend in three cases: Aboriginal people, Canadians with a disability, and seniors.

There was a range of results for the five arts activities:

  • Art galleries: significantly lower attendance by Canadians with a disability and Aboriginal people. The other differences are not statistically significant.
  • Theatre performances: significantly lower attendance by visible minority and immigrant Canadians, Aboriginal people, and Canadians with a disability; significantly higher attendance by youth 15 to 24 years of age. The other differences are not statistically significant.
  • Popular music performances: significantly lower attendance by visible minority and immigrant Canadians, Canadians with a disability, and those between 65 and 74 years of age; significantly higher attendance by youth 15 to 24 years of age. The other differences are not statistically significant.
  • Classical music performances: significantly lower attendance by youth 15 to 24 years of age; significantly higher attendance by immigrant Canadians and those between 65 and 74 years of age. The other differences are not statistically significant.
  • Cultural festivals: significantly lower attendance by Canadians with a disability as well as those between 65 and 74 years of age; significantly higher attendance by youth 15 to 24 years of age and visible minority Canadians. The other differences are not statistically significant.

Previous studies have shown that a person’s childhood arts education is an important factor in adult arts participation. Other studies have examined motivations, values, and beliefs related to arts attendance. However, the General Social Survey did not ask respondents about these other potential factors, and, as such, they are not analyzed in this report.

Data source

The data in this report are drawn from Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey of 2010, an in-depth telephone survey of about 7,500 Canadians 15 years of age or older. The report summarizes data on Canadians who attended at least one of five different arts activities during the 12 months prior to the survey.

Individuals are counted as an “attendee” at a particular activity if they went at least once in 2010. However, respondents are counted only once in each activity regardless of how many times they attended during the year. It is also important to note that the data include attendance of Canadian residents while travelling out of the country and exclude attendance by residents of other countries while travelling in Canada.

The General Social Survey’s target population was “all non-institutionalized persons 15 years of age or older, living in the ten provinces of Canada”. As such, there are no data on the three territories.

 

Section 1: Introduction

Based on data from the 2010 General Social Survey, this report examines diversity and arts attendance in Canada, including attendance by:

  • Visible minority Canadians.
  • First-generation immigrants.
  • Aboriginal people.
  • Canadians with a disability.
  • Youth.
  • Seniors.
  • Members of official language minority communities.

An appendix contains summary statistics for all Canadians.

Six key statistics on arts attendance are analyzed:

  • Attendance at art galleries.
  • Attendance at theatre performances.
  • Attendance at popular music performances.
  • Attendance at classical music performances.
  • Attendance at cultural festivals.
  • Attendance at one or more of the above arts activities.

The report summarizes data on Canadians 15 years of age or older who attended these arts activities during the 12 months prior to the survey. The data are drawn from Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey of 2010, an in-depth telephone survey of 7,502 Canadians 15 years of age or older.

Individuals are counted as an “attendee” at a particular activity if they went at least once in 2010. Respondents are counted only once in each activity regardless of how many times they attended during the year. It is also important to note that the data include attendance of Canadian residents while travelling out of the country and exclude attendance by residents of other countries while travelling in Canada.

The General Social Survey’s target population was “all non-institutionalized persons 15 years of age or older, living in the ten provinces of Canada”. As such, there are no data on the three territories.

Basic information about arts attendance was provided in Factors in Canadians’ Arts Attendance in 2010, a previous report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series. This report delves further into demographic factors in arts attendance for each group.

Previous studies have shown that a person’s childhood arts education is an important factor in adult arts participation. Other studies have examined motivations, values, and beliefs related to arts attendance. However, the General Social Survey did not ask respondents about these other potential factors, and, as such, they are not analyzed in this report.

The remaining sections of the report are based on each of the demographic groups.

 

Section 2: Arts attendance by visible minority Canadians in 2010

­This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by Canadians who are members of a visible minority group. Visible minority, as defined in the Employment Equity Act (and used in the General Social Survey), refers to "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab, West Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese and Korean.[4] According to the 2010 General Social Survey, visible minorities represent 15% of the Canadian population (15 or older).[5]

Attendance rates at each of five key arts activities are provided in Figure 1, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities.

The data in Figure 1 show that there is a relatively small but statistically significant difference between the overall arts attendance rates of visible minority Canadians (68%) and other Canadians (i.e., non-visible minority Canadians, 72%).[6]

Visible minority Canadians are more likely than other Canadians to attend a cultural festival (42% vs. 36%).

Attendance rates are similar between visible minority Canadians and other Canadians for:

  • Art galleries (34% vs. 36%).
  • Classical music performances (12% vs. 13%).

Visible minority Canadians have significantly lower attendance rates than other Canadians at two of the five key arts activities. Compared with other Canadians, visible minority Canadians are much less likely to attend:

  • Theatre performances (33% vs. 46%).
  • Popular music performances (28% vs. 42%).

Visible minority attendees and non-attendees

This segment examines whether visible minority Canadians who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from visible minority Canadians who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, age, urban or rural residence, sex, and marital status.

The data presented in Table 1 show that, compared with visible minority Canadians who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, visible minority Canadians who did attend at least one event are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (45% vs. 27%).
  • More likely to have household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 (but slightly less likely to have household incomes of $150,000 or more).
  • Less likely to be married or living common-law (53% vs. 62%).
  • Slightly less likely to be 55 years of age or over (13% vs. 17%).

For two other demographic characteristics, there is no difference between visible minority attendees and non-attendees. Visible minority Canadians who did attend at least one activity are as likely as non-attendees to reside in an urban area (98% for both attendees and non-attendees) and to be female (50% for both).

A Statistical Insights on the Arts report on Factors in Canadians’ Arts Activities in 2010 found that cultural crossovers are a significant predictor of arts attendance. The analysis of "cultural crossovers" examined whether participants in one cultural activity were more or less likely to attend other arts activities. The existence of “cultural crossovers” appears to hold true for visible minority arts attendees and a few other cultural activities (not included as one of the five key arts activities in this report). Specifically, visible minority Canadians who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are much more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (44% vs. 6%).
  • Visited an historic site (48% vs. 19%).
  • Read a newspaper (90% vs. 82%).

Table 1: Visible minority arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees (68% of visible minority Canadians)

Non-attendees (32% of visible minority Canadians)

All visible minority Canadians

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

45%

27%

39%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

20%

11%

17%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

11%

13%

11%

14%

Married or living common-law

53%

62%

56%

62%

55 years of age or over

13%

17%

14%

31%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

98%

98%

98%

82%

Female

50%

50%

50%

51%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

 

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the three arts activities where visible minority Canadians have a significantly lower or higher attendance rate than other Canadians: theatre performances, popular music performances, and cultural festivals. In general, the characteristics of visible minority attendees at these specific arts events match the overall portrait of visible minority arts attendees, with the following exceptions:

  • Theatre attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (13% vs. 15%) but are more likely to be female (55% vs. 48%).
  • Popular music attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to read newspapers (89% vs. 87%).
  • Cultural festival attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to have high household incomes (18% vs. 16% between $100,000 and $149,999 and 12% vs. 11% with $150,000 or more).

 

Section 3: Arts attendance by immigrants in 2010

­This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by first-generation immigrants to Canada, with an additional focus on recent immigrants.[7]

Table 2 shows that, according to the 2010 General Social Survey, immigrants represent 18% of the Canadian population 15 or older.[8] Three percent of the Canadian population immigrated between 2006 and 2010, and the same percentage immigrated between 2001 and 2005. Canadians who immigrated prior to 2001 represent 12% of the population.

While 15% of Canadians are a member of a visible minority group (according to the 2010 General Social Survey), 56% of immigrants are considered visible minorities. About three-quarters of recent immigrants are from visible minority groups (73% of those who immigrated between 2006 and 2010 and 74% of those who immigrated between 2001 and 2005).

Despite these demographic differences, there is not a significant difference between the overall arts attendance rates of immigrants (69%) and other Canadians (72%). Similarly, 68% of the most recent immigrants attended at least one of five arts activities, while 71% of other recent immigrants did so.

Table 2: Immigrants and arts attendance, Canada, 2010

 

% of population

% in a visible minority group

% who attended at least 1 of 5 key arts activities

All Canadians

100%

15%

71%

First-generation immigrants

18%

56%

69%

Non-immigrants

82%

5%

72%

Most recent immigrants (2006-2010)

3%

73%

68%

Other recent immigrants (2001-2005)

3%

74%

71%

Immigrants prior to 2001

12%

48%

68%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

Attendance details

Arts attendance rates for first-generation immigrants are provided in Figure 2, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities. The data in Figure 2 show that immigrant status has a statistically significant connection with three of the five arts activities. Compared with Canadians by birth[9], immigrants are:

  • Much less likely to attend a theatre performance (37% vs. 46%).
  • Much less likely to attend a popular music performance (28% vs. 42%).
  • More likely to attend a classical music performance (16% vs. 12%).

The most recent immigrants (like other immigrants) are much less likely to attend theatre and popular music performances. However, the most recent immigrants are not more likely to attend classical music performances. (The theatre and classical music attendance rates for the most recent immigrants have relatively high margins of error and should be used with caution.)

Attendance rates are similar between immigrants and Canadians by birth for:

  • Art gallery attendance (39% vs. 35%).
  • Attendance at cultural festivals (38% vs. 37%).

Immigrant attendees and non-attendees

This segment examines whether immigrants who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from those who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, age, urban or rural residence, visible minority status, sex, and marital status.

The data presented in Table 3 show that, compared with immigrants who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, immigrants who did attend at least one activity are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (44% vs. 25%).
  • More likely to have high household incomes (higher proportions in both income groups of $100,000 or more).
  • Less likely to be from a visible minority group (52% vs. 63%).

For other demographic characteristics, there are no discernable differences between immigrant attendees and non-attendees. Immigrants who did attend at least one activity are about as likely as non-attendees to:

  • Reside in an urban area (95% vs. 94%).
  • Be female (49% vs. 52%).
  • Be married or living in a common-law arrangement (68% vs. 70%).
  • Be 55 years of age or older (34% vs. 32%).

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between immigrant arts attendance and other cultural activities. Specifically, immigrant Canadians who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (37% vs. 9%).
  • Visited an historic site (50% vs. 17%).
  • Read a newspaper (90% vs. 82%).

Table 3: Immigrant arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees (69% of immigrants)

Non-attendees (31% of immigrants)

All immigrants

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

44%

25%

38%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

19%

12%

17%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

14%

9%

13%

14%

Visible minority

52%

63%

56%

15%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

95%

94%

95%

82%

Female

49%

52%

50%

51%

Married or living common-law

68%

70%

69%

62%

55 years of age or over

34%

32%

33%

31%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

 

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the three arts activities where immigrants have a significantly lower or higher attendance rate than non-immigrants: theatre attendance, popular music attendance, and classical music attendance. In general, the characteristics of immigrant attendees at these specific arts events match the overall portrait of immigrant arts attendees, with the following exceptions:

  • Theatre attendees are more likely than non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (37% vs. 31%) and to be female (55% vs. 47%).
  • Similarly, classical music attendees are more likely than non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (48% vs. 30%) and to be female (55% vs. 49%).

 

Section 4: Arts attendance by Aboriginal people in 2010

­This section examines arts attendance rates and demographic patterns of arts attendance for Aboriginal people in Canada. In the General Social Survey, an Aboriginal person refers to First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit). Aboriginal people represent 3.6% of the Canadian population 15 years of age or older, according to the 2010 General Social Survey.[10]

Figure 3 provides the attendance rates of Aboriginal people at each of the five arts activities, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities. The data in Figure 3 show that there is a moderate but not statistically significant difference between the overall arts attendance rates of Aboriginal people (66%) and other Canadians (72%).

Aboriginal people have significantly lower attendance rates than other Canadians at two of the five key arts activities. Compared with other Canadians, Aboriginal people are much less likely to:

  • Visit an art gallery (26% vs. 36%).
  • Attend a theatre performance (32% vs. 45%).

There are moderate but not statistically significant differences in the attendance rates of Aboriginal people and other Canadians for attendance at:

  • Popular music performances (43% vs. 39%).
  • Classical music performances (12% vs. 13%). (Note: The Aboriginal attendance rate at classical music performances has a relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.)
  • Cultural festivals (33% vs. 37%).

Aboriginal attendees and non-attendees

This segment examines whether Aboriginal people who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from those who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, age, urban or rural residence, sex, and marital status.

As shown in Table 4, compared with Aboriginal people who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, Aboriginal people who did attend at least one activity are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (16% vs. 5%).
  • Much more likely to have household incomes of $100,000 or more (29% vs. 4%).[11]
  • Much more likely to reside in an urban area (76% vs. 56%).
  • More likely to be female (57% vs. 49%).
  • Less likely to be 55 years of age or over (16% vs. 23%).

Aboriginal arts attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to be married or living in a common-law relationship (43% vs. 40%).

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between Aboriginal arts attendance and other cultural activities. Specifically, Aboriginal people who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (35% vs. 15%).
  • Visited an historic site (50% vs. 24%).
  • Read a newspaper (84% vs. 78%).

Table 4: Aboriginal arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees

(66% of Aboriginal people)

Non-attendees

(34% of Aboriginal people)

All Aboriginal people

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

16%

5%

12%

26%

Household income $100,000 or more

29%

4%

20%

34%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

76%

56%

69%

82%

Female

57%

49%

54%

51%

55 years of age or over

16%

23%

18%

31%

Married or living common-law

43%

40%

42%

62%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

 

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the two arts activities where Aboriginal Canadians have a significantly lower attendance rate than other Canadians (art gallery and theatre attendance). In general, the characteristics of Aboriginal attendees at these specific arts events match the overall portrait of Aboriginal arts attendees, with the following exceptions:

  • Art gallery visitors are more likely (not less) to be 55 years of age or over (22% vs. 17%), much more likely to be married or in a common-law relationship (53% vs. 39%), and about as likely to be female (53% vs. 55%).
  • Theatre attendees are as likely as non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (18% for both groups) and slightly less likely to have a university degree (10% vs. 13%).

 

Section 5: Arts attendance by Canadians with a disability in 2010

­This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by Canadians with a disability, using a description of health and activity limitations that is available in the General Social Survey: people who often or always experience difficulties due to physical, psychological, emotional, or mental conditions.

Using this broad definition, Canadians with a disability represent 20% of the population 15 or older. This estimate from the 2010 General Social Survey is higher than the estimate from the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability (14%).[12]

Figure 4 provides the attendance rates of Canadians with a disability at each of the five arts activities, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities. As shown in Figure 4, Canadians with a disability are significantly less likely than other Canadians to attend at least one of the five arts activities (61% vs. 74%).

The low overall attendance rate is due to the significantly lower attendance rates of Canadians with a disability at four of the five key arts activities:

  • Art galleries (29% vs. 37%).
  • Theatres (36% vs. 46%).
  • Popular music performance (29% vs. 42%).
  • Cultural festivals (28% vs. 39%).

Attendance rates are similar between Canadians with a disability and other Canadians for classical music performances (11% vs. 13%).

The above differences hold true when Canadians with a disability under 65 years of age are compared with able-bodied people in the same age range.[13]

Attendees and non-attendees with a disability

This segment examines whether Canadians with a disability who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from those who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, age, urban or rural residence, visible minority status, sex, and marital status.

The data presented in Table 5 show that, compared with Canadians with a disability who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, Canadians with a disability who did attend at least one activity are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (21% vs. 9%).
  • Much more likely to have household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 (18% vs. 6%) or of $150,000 or more (11% vs. 4%).
  • More likely to reside in an urban area (81% vs. 75%).
  • More likely to be female (58% vs. 52%).
  • Less likely to be 55 years of age or over (49% vs. 57%).

For two other demographic characteristics, there are insignificant differences between disabled attendees and non-attendees. Compared with Canadians with a disability who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, disabled people who did attend at least one activity are about as likely to be from a visible minority group (9% vs. 7%) and as likely to be married or living common-law (61% for both).

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between arts attendance by Canadians with a disability and other cultural activities. Specifically, Canadians with a disability who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (29% vs. 3%).
  • Visited an historic site (51% vs. 19%).
  • Read a newspaper (85% vs. 79%).

Table 5: Arts attendees and non-attendees with a disability, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees (61% of Canadians with a disability )

Non-attendees (39% of Canadians with a disability)

All Canadians with a disability

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

21%

9%

16%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

18%

6%

13%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

11%

4%

8%

14%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

81%

75%

79%

82%

Female

58%

52%

56%

51%

55 years of age or over

49%

57%

52%

31%

Visible minority

9%

7%

8%

15%

Married or living common-law

61%

61%

61%

62%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the four arts activities where Canadians with a disability have a significantly lower attendance rate than other Canadians: art galleries, theatres, popular music performances, and cultural festivals. In general, the characteristics of attendees with a disability at these specific arts events match the overall portrait of arts attendees with a disability, with the following exceptions:

  • Theatre attendees are more likely than non-attendees to be married or living in a common-law relationship (66% vs. 58%).
  • Popular music attendees are less likely than non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (42% vs. 56%), about equally likely to reside in urban areas (80% vs. 78%), and equally likely to be female (56% for both).
  • Cultural festival attendees are less likely than non-attendees to be 55 years of age or over (40% vs. 57%), slightly more likely to be from a visible minority group (11% vs. 7%), and less likely to be female (53% vs. 57%).

 

Section 6: Arts attendance by youth in 2010

This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by youth in Canada in 2010. In this report, youth are defined as people between 15 and 24 years of age.

According to the 2010 General Social Survey, youth represent 16% of Canadians 15 years of age or older.

Youth arts attendance rates are provided in Figure 5, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five arts activities.

As shown in Figure 5, youth are significantly more likely than other Canadians to attend at least one of the five arts activities (80% vs. 70%).

This high overall attendance rate is due to the higher attendance rates of youth at three of the five key arts activities:

  • Theatres (50% vs. 43%).
  • Popular music performances (51% vs. 37%).
  • Cultural festivals (41% vs. 36%).

While youth are slightly more likely than other Canadians to visit art galleries (39% vs. 35%), this difference is not statistically significant.

On the other hand, youth are less likely to attend classical music performances (10% vs. 13%), a difference that is statistically significant.

Youth attendees and non-attendees

This segment examines whether youth who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from youth who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, urban or rural residence, visible minority status, and sex.[14]

Table 6 shows that, compared with youth who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, youth Canadians who did attend at least one activity are:

  • More likely to have a university degree or to be currently pursuing their post-secondary education (39% vs. 32%).
  • More likely to have high household incomes, especially between $100,000 and $149,999 (28% vs. 14%).
  • More likely to be female (50% vs. 41%).
  • Less likely to be from a visible minority group (18% vs. 33%).

There is only a small difference between youth attendees and non-attendees regarding urban residence (85% of attendees and 82% of non-attendees).

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between youth arts attendance and other cultural activities. Specifically, youth who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are much more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (29% vs. 6%).
  • Visited an historic site (55% vs. 27%).
  • Read a newspaper (80% vs. 64%).

Table 6: Youth arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees (80% of youth)

Non-attendees (20% of youth)

All youth

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher, or currently in post-secondary education

39%

32%

37%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

28%

14%

26%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

18%

17%

18%

14%

Female

50%

41%

48%

51%

Visible minority

18%

33%

21%

15%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

85%

82%

85%

82%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

 

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the three arts activities where youth have a significantly higher attendance rate than other Canadians: theatres, popular music performances, and cultural festivals. The characteristics of youth attendees at these arts events match very closely the overall portrait of youth arts attendees. The only exception is that cultural festival attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to be from a visible minority group (18% vs. 16%).

 

Section 7: Arts attendance by seniors in 2010

This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by seniors in Canada in 2010, with a particular focus on people between 65 and 74 years of age. According to the 2010 General Social Survey, seniors represent 16% of the Canadian population, with those between 65 and 74 accounting for 9% and those 75 or older accounting for 7%. (All of these statistics represent the percentage of the population 15 or older.)

The focus on Canadians between 65 and 74 years of age helps reduce the influence of disability on the results. The proportion of those 75 or over reporting significant health difficulties is 47%, much higher than those between 65 and 74 (29%) and those under 65 (17%).[15] Given these statistics, it is not surprising that people 75 or older are much less likely than Canadians under 65 to attend four of the five arts activities, the exception being classical music attendance.[16]

Arts attendance rates for Canadians between 65 and 74 years of age are provided in Figure 6, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five arts activities.

As shown in Figure 6, seniors are less likely than younger Canadians to attend at least one of the five arts activities (67% vs. 73%). This difference is statistically significant.

The relatively low overall attendance rate is due to the significantly lower attendance rate of seniors for two of the five key arts activities:

  • Popular music performances (26% vs. 43%).
  • Cultural festivals (26% vs. 40%).

On the other hand, Canadians between 65 and 74 years of age are much more likely than younger Canadians to attend classical music performances (19% vs. 12%).

Seniors between 65 and 74 are about as likely as younger Canadians to visit art galleries (37% vs. 36%) and attend theatre performances (48% vs. 45%).

Senior attendees and non-attendees

This segment examines whether seniors who attended an arts event in 2010 have different demographic characteristics from seniors who did not attend. The analysis focuses on education levels, household income, urban or rural residence, disability, visible minority status, sex, and marital status.

The data presented in Table 7 show that, compared with seniors who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, seniors who did attend at least one activity are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (30% vs. 9%).
  • More likely to have household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 (10% vs. 6%) or of $150,000 or more (8% vs. 1%).
  • More likely to reside in an urban area (79% vs. 70%).
  • More likely to be female (55% vs. 48%).
  • Less likely to have a disability (26% vs. 37%).

For two other demographic characteristics, there are insignificant differences between senior attendees and non-attendees. Seniors who did attend at least one of the five types of arts events are about as likely as non-attendees to be from a visible minority group (6% vs. 7%) and married or living in a common-law relationship (74% vs. 71%).

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between seniors’ arts attendance and other cultural activities. Specifically, seniors who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (30% vs. 3%).
  • Visited an historic site (52% vs. 16%).
  • Read a newspaper (95% vs. 87%).

Table 7: Senior arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees (67% of seniors)

Non-attendees (33% of seniors)

All seniors

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

30%

9%

23%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

10%

6%

8%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

8%

1%

6%

14%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

79%

70%

76%

82%

Female

55%

48%

53%

51%

With a disability

26%

37%

30%

20%

Visible minority

6%

7%

6%

15%

Married or living common-law

74%

71%

73%

62%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

A demographic analysis was also conducted for the two arts activities where seniors have a significantly lower attendance rate than younger Canadians: popular music performances and cultural festivals. The characteristics of seniors who attend these arts events match very closely the overall portrait of senior arts attendees.

The only exceptions are that popular music attendees are about as likely as non-attendees to reside in an urban area (75% vs. 76%) and cultural festival attendees are less likely than non-attendees to be female (47% vs. 55%).

 

Section 8: Arts attendance by official language minority Canadians in 2010

This section provides an analysis of arts attendance by official language minorities in Canada in 2010. “Official language minorities” refer to Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones outside Quebec. These two official language minority groups are examined separately in this section.[17]

Anglophones in Quebec

The 630,000 Anglophones in Quebec (15 or over) represent 2.3% of Canada’s population and 11% of Quebec’s population, according to the 2010 General Social Survey.

Arts attendance rates for Anglophones in Quebec are provided in Figure 7, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five arts activities.

There are no statistically significant differences between the arts attendance rates of Anglophones in Quebec compared with majority-language Francophones in Quebec. Overall, Anglophones in Quebec are slightly less likely than Francophones in Quebec to attend at least one of the five arts activities (67% vs. 73%).[18]

Anglophones in Quebec are slightly more likely than Francophones in Quebecto visit art galleries (41% vs. 37%), attend theatre performances (50% vs. 39%), and attend popular music performances (43% vs. 39%).

Anglophones in Quebec are about as likely as Francophones in Quebec to attend classical music performances (16% vs. 14%) and cultural festivals (39% vs. 41%). (The classical music attendance rate has a relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.)

Francophones outside Quebec

The 330,000 Francophones outside Quebec (15 or over) represent 1.2% of Canada’s population and 1.8% of the population outside Quebec (according to the 2010 General Social Survey).

Figure 8 provides the attendance rates of Francophones outside Quebec at each of the five arts activities, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities.

There are no statistically significant differences between the arts attendance rates of Francophones outside Quebec compared with Anglophones outside Quebec. Overall, Francophones outside Quebec are slightly more likely than Anglophones outside Quebec to attend at least one of the five arts activities (78% vs. 72%).[19]

In addition, Francophones outside Quebec are slightly more likely than Anglophones outside Quebec to visit art galleries (42% vs. 35%) and attend cultural festivals (46% vs. 35%).

Francophones outside Quebec are slightly less likely than Anglophones outside Quebec to attend theatre performances (42% vs. 48%) and popular music performances (35% vs. 42%).

Note: The art gallery and theatre attendance rates of Francophones outside Quebec have relatively high margins of error and should be used with caution. In addition, the classical music attendance rate is not reliable for Francophones outside Quebec.

Because of the relatively small numbers of official language minority Canadians, demographic breakdowns of these groups using the 2010 General Social Survey would have very limited statistical reliability[P1] . As such, a comparison of the demographic characteristics of attendees and non-attendees is not provided here.

 

Appendix: Arts attendance by all Canadians in 2010

­This appendix provides data regarding the arts attendance patterns of all Canadians 15 years of age or older. This is baseline information for comparison with the statistics for specific groups of Canadians in the body of the report.

Figure 9 provides the attendance rates of all Canadians at each of the five arts activities, along with a combined statistic for at least one of the five activities. As shown in Figure 9:

  • 71% of Canadians attended at least one of the five key arts events in 2010.
  • 36% visited “a public art gallery or art museum (including attendance at special art exhibits)”.[20]
  • 44% attended “a theatrical performance such as a drama, musical theatre, dinner theatre, comedy”.
  • 39% attended “a popular music performance such as pop/rock, jazz, blues, folk, country and western”.
  • 13% attended “a symphonic or classical music performance”.
  • 37% attended “a cultural or artistic festival (such as film, fringe, dance, jazz, folk, rock, buskers or comedy)”.

Arts attendees and non-attendees

This segment compares basic demographic information about Canadians who attended an arts event in 2010 with those who did not attend, including education levels, household income, age, urban or rural residence, sex, and marital status.

As shown in Table 8, compared with Canadians who did not attend any of the five types of arts events in 2010, those who did attend at least one activity are:

  • Much more likely to have a university degree (31% vs. 13%).
  • Much more likely to have household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 (23% vs. 12%).
  • Much more likely to have household incomes of $150,000 or more (16% vs. 8%).
  • Much more likely to reside in an urban area (84% vs. 75%).
  • Less likely to be 55 years of age or over (29% vs. 37%).
  • Slightly less likely to be married or living in a common-law relationship (61% vs. 65%).
  • Slightly more likely to be female (51% vs. 49%).

Table 8: Arts attendees and non-attendees, Canada, 2010

 

Attendees

(71% of Canadians)

Non-attendees

(29% of Canadians)

All Canadians

Bachelor's degree or higher

31%

13%

26%

Household income $100,000 to $149,999

23%

12%

20%

Household income $150,000 or more

16%

8%

14%

Reside in an urban area (i.e., within a Census Metropolitan Area)

84%

75%

82%

55 years of age or over

29%

37%

31%

Married or living common-law

61%

65%

62%

Female

51%

49%

51%

All statistics analyzed by Hill Strategies Research based on Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.

 

In addition to these demographic factors, there appear to be cultural crossovers between Canadians’ arts attendance and other cultural activities. Specifically, Canadians who attended one of the five arts activities in 2010 are more likely than non-attendees to have also:

  • Attended a performance of cultural or heritage music, theatre, or dance (e.g., Aboriginal, Chinese, Ukrainian) (31% vs. 4%).
  • Visited an historic site (56% vs. 20%).
  • Read a newspaper (89% vs. 81%).

Other non-demographic factors, such as ticket prices, respondents’ arts education experiences, and the perceived quality and relevance of arts experiences, may also have an impact on arts attendance. However, because these factors were not available in the General Social Survey, they are not examined in this report.



[1] Definitions of “visible minority” (the term that is used in the General Social Survey) and all other demographic groups are provided in the body of this report.

[2] “Statistically significant” means that a difference in attendance rates between diverse groups and other Canadians is likely to be a “true” difference, taking into account the margin of error of the estimates. Nineteen times out of 20, differences marked as “statistically significant” will be different (i.e., if 20 similar surveys were conducted).

[3] For smaller population groups, such as official language minority communities, demographic analysis of the 2010 General Social Survey data was not reliable.

[4] Definition and examples taken from Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/concepts/definitions/minority-minorite1-eng.htm.

[5] The 2011 National Household Survey estimated that 19% of Canadians are members of a visible minority group, a figure that is somewhat higher than the estimate from the 2010 General Social Survey.

[6] “Statistically significant” means that the estimate of the attendance rate of visible minority Canadians (68%) is “truly” different from the estimate for other Canadians (72%), taking into account the margin of error of the estimates. Nineteen times out of 20, these estimates should indeed be different (i.e., if 20 similar surveys were conducted).

[7] The term “immigrant” refers to people who are, or have been, landed immigrants in Canada. A landed immigrant is a person who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Recent immigrants refer to people who immigrated between 2001 and 2010.

[8] The 2011 National Household Survey estimates that 21% of Canadians are immigrants, a figure that is somewhat higher than the percentages from the 2010 General Social Survey.

[9] This category also includes temporary residents, who accounted for just under 2% of Canada’s population as of December 1, 2010. Given their relatively small number compared with Canadians by birth, this category is often referred to as “Canadians by birth” in this report.

[10] This estimate is very close to the estimate from the 2011 National Household Survey (4.3%).

[11] Given the relatively small number of Aboriginal respondents, the two highest household income categories were combined for this statistic.

[13] The statistics for Canadians with a disability under 65 vs. other residents under 65 are: at least one of the five arts activities (65% vs. 75%); art galleries (32% vs. 37%); theatres (37% vs. 46%); popular music performances (34% vs. 45%); cultural festivals (33% vs. 42%), and classical music performances (10% vs. 12%).

[14] Because very few youth between 15 and 24 are married or living common-law, marital status is excluded from the analysis.

[15] Further information related to health difficulties is captured in the section of this report on arts attendance by Canadians with a disability.

[16] The attendance rates for people 75 or older, compared with those under 65, are: at least one of the five arts activities (52% vs. 73%); art galleries (26% vs. 36%); theatres (35% vs. 45%); popular music (16% vs. 43%); classical music (18% vs. 12%); and cultural festivals (15% vs. 40%).

[17] Unfortunately, given the sample size of the General Social Survey and the relatively small population sizes of the official language minority communities, less detail is available for official language minority communities than for other diverse groups.

[18] While some of the differences may seem quite large, the relatively high margins of error of the estimates for this small population group mean that the differences are not statistically significant.

[19] While some of the differences may seem quite large, the relatively high margins of error of the estimates for this small population group mean that the differences are not statistically significant.

[20] The quotes are from the General Social Survey questionnaire, Statistics Canada, 2010.

 

 

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