Performing Arts 2010

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Statistics Canada's annual performing arts survey provides information about not-for-profit and for-profit theatre, musical theatre, dinner theatre, opera, dance, musical groups (e.g., orchestras, chamber music and popular music groups) and other organizations (e.g., circus, ice skating shows).

Statistics Canada provided brief text highlights and preliminary data of the situation of performing arts organizations in 2010. In even-numbered years, the data are quite detailed, including, for example, attendance data and breakdowns of revenue sources (earned, public or private sector). Hill Strategies has analyzed the detailed data, with a particular focus on not-for-profit organizations, for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor.

Operating revenues were $1.55 billion for all performing arts groups in 2010, an 11.0% increase from 2009. (The changes reported in this article have not been adjusted for inflation.)

In 2010, not-for-profit performing arts organizations in Canada had operating revenues of $752 million, representing 49% of the $1.55 billion sector total and an 8.8% increase from 2009. Operating expenses ($755 million) were slightly higher than operating revenues, leaving a very small collective deficit in 2010 ($3 million, or 0.4% of total revenues). Salaries, wages and benefits (excluding fees paid to contract workers) accounted for 35% of not-for-profit performing arts organizations' expenses.

Earned revenues accounted for one-half of operating revenues, followed by public sector grants (27%), private sector contributions (22%) and other revenues (2%).

The detailed data on revenue sources show that:

  • Single-ticket sales were almost twice as high as subscription ticket sales ($157 million vs. $81 million).
  • Provincial or territorial grants equalled $92 million in 2010, nearly one-half (49%) of all public sector grants ($187 million). Federal grants were $63 million in 2010 (34%) and municipal grants were $32 million (17%).
  • Of the $152 million in private sector revenues, individual donations accounted for the largest share ($52 million, or 34%), followed by corporate sponsorships ($33 million, or 22%), fundraising events ($31 million, or 20%), foundations ($17 million, or 11%), corporate donations ($10 million, or 6%), and other private revenues ($9 million, or 6%).

In 2010, total attendance was 14.0 million at 46,300 performances, for an average of 302 attendees per performance. On a per-performance basis, total revenue equalled $15,200, while performance-related revenues were $6,400. Total revenue per attendee was $51, with performance-related revenues amounting to $21 per attendee.

For each discipline, the key statistics on not-for-profit organizations in 2010 are as follows:

  • Theatre: Operating revenues were $357 million, a 6.9% increase from 2009. Collectively, theatre companies reported a $3.8 million deficit (1.1% of revenues). Total theatre attendance was 8.0 million at 34,000 performances, for an average of 238 attendees per performance.
  • Music organizations: Operating revenues were $183 million, a 10.1% increase from 2009. Collectively, music organizations registered a surplus of $1.4 million (0.8% of revenues). Music organizations reached 3.2 million people at 5,500 performances, for an average of 585 people per performance.
  • Opera, musical theatre and dinner theatre organizations: Operating revenues were $97 million, a 17.6% increase from 2009. Opera, musical theatre and dinner theatre companies reported a $493,000 deficit (0.5% of revenues). Opera, musical theatre and dinner theatre organizations reached 1.2 million people at 2,700 performances, for an average attendance of 401.
  • Dance companies: The financial statistics for not-for-profit dance organizations were suppressed to protect confidentiality. Total dance attendance was 1.2 million at 2,400 performances, for an average of 486 attendees per performance.
  • Multidisciplinary and other performing organizations: The financial statistics for other not-for-profit organizations were suppressed to protect confidentiality. Total attendance at multidisciplinary and other performing arts organizations was 504,000 at nearly 2,100 performances, for an average of 244 attendees per performance.

On a provincial basis, Ontario-based not-for-profit organizations accounted for $272 million in revenues in 2010 (39% of the Canadian total). The revenues of Quebec-based organizations totalled $196 million (28% of the Canadian total). British Columbia based not-for-profit performing arts organizations had operating revenues of $90 million (13%), while their Alberta counterparts accounted for $83 million (12% of national revenues). The Statistics Canada tables also contain information about the revenues of organizations in four other provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador), as well as further details regarding expenses, surplus, attendance and other data.

The operating revenues of for-profit performing arts organizations were $795 million in 2010, 51% of the sector total and an 11.2% increase from 2009. Before-tax profits amounted to $101 million, for a profit margin of 12.7%. Quebec's for-profit performing arts sector is quite large, possibly due to the presence of for-profit circus groups based in the province. The province's for-profit performing arts groups accounted for $371 million, or 47% of the operating revenues all for-profit performing arts organizations in Canada.

Summary: 

Statistics Canada's annual performing arts survey provided brief text highlights and preliminary data of the situation of performing arts organizations in 2010. Hill Strategies has analyzed the detailed data, with a particular focus on not-for-profit organizations, for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor. Operating revenues were $1.55 billion for all performing arts groups in 2010, an 11.0% increase from 2009. In 2010, not-for-profit performing arts organizations in Canada had operating revenues of $752 million, representing 49% of the $1.55 billion sector total and an 8.8% increase from 2009.

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50789