Performing arts, 2016

Publisher: 

Every two years, Statistics Canada provides detailed information about not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in five areas of the performing arts: 1) theatre companies (except musical theatre); 2) musical theatre and opera companies, including dinner theatre; 3) dance companies; 4) musical groups and artists, including orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and popular music groups; and 5) other performing arts companies such as circus companies and ice skating shows. The data cover a sample of about 810 producing companies, not performing arts presenters.

Hill Strategies has analyzed Statistics Canada’s detailed data for 2016, with a particular focus on not-for-profit organizations, for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor. Because of Statistics Canada’s substantial methodological changes in 2014, historical comparisons are only made between 2014 and 2016. (Inflation adjustments have not been made in the historical comparisons.)

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. E-commerce transactions represented 16% of all sales in 2016.

Not-for-profit performing organizations had $883 million in total revenues in 2016, substantially less than for-profit organizations ($1.27 billion). Total operating expenses of not-for-profit performing organizations ($889 million) were slightly higher than operating revenues, leaving an operating deficit of 0.7%. Among for-profit companies, total operating revenues ($1.27 billion) exceeded expenses ($1.01 billion) by 21%.

Between 2014 and 2016, operating revenues of not-for-profit organizations increased by 5%, while operating expenses grew by 7%. As a result, the operating profit margin of 1.2% in 2014 turned into an operating deficit of 0.7% of revenues in 2016.

Salaries, wages, and benefits (excluding fees paid to contract workers) were $316 million in 2016, or 35% of the operating expenses of not-for-profit organizations. Performing companies reported a total of 42,000 volunteers and over 1.6 million volunteer hours in 2016.

Total attendance was 12.7 million at 37,900 performances by not-for-profit performing organizations in 2016, for an average of 335 attendees per performance. Total attendance increased by 4% from 2014, while the number of performances grew by 6%. This resulted in a 3% decrease in the average number of attendees per performance.

On a per-attendee basis, total revenues were $69 in 2016, with performance-related revenues amounting to $23 per attendee. (Performance-related revenues include subscriptions, single ticket sales, contract production revenues, and touring income.) On a per- performance basis, total revenues equalled $23,300, and performance-related revenues were $7,700.

Key statistics for not-for-profit organizations in each discipline in 2016 follow.

Not-for-profit performing arts organizations by discipline, 2016

Type of organization

Operating revenues

Surplus / deficit as % of revenues

Attendance

Performances

Average attendance

Theatre

$399 million

0.1%

7.7 million

28,000

274

Music

$240 million

1.2%

2.7 million

4,700

575

Opera, musical theatre, and dinner theatre

$105 million

-8.0%

1.0 million

2,000

467

Dance

$118 million

-1.9%

940,000

2,400

393

Multidisciplinary and other

$20 million

3.9%

470,000

900

556

Total

$883 million

-0.7%

12.7 million

37,900

335

 

The table below highlights key statistics for not-for-profit organizations in nine provinces in 2016. (Data for Prince Edward Island and the three territories were suppressed by Statistics Canada to ensure respondent confidentiality.)

Not-for-profit performing arts organizations by province, 2016

Province

Operating revenues

Surplus / deficit as % of revenues

Attendance

Performances

Average attendance

British Columbia

$110 million

-0.5%

1.7 million

7,100

242

Alberta

$113 million

1.3%

1.1 million

4,700

239

Saskatchewan

$19 million

-4.9%

448,000

1,200

362

Manitoba

$34 million

-15.1%

697,000

1,400

488

Ontario

$369 million

-0.9%

3.6 million

9,600

375

Quebec

$207 million

0.8%

4.3 million

9,900

439

New Brunswick

$7 million

8.5%

155,000

1,100

140

Nova Scotia

$16 million

-5.1%

486,000

1,700

292

Newfoundland and Labrador

$7 million

5.7%

128,000

900

141

Canada

$883 million

-0.7%

12.7 million

37,900

335

 
Summary: 

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%.