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Government expenditures on culture, 2003/04

March 29, 200629 March 2006

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In 2003/04, governments spent $7.3 billion on culture in Canada, a 4.1% increase from 2002/03 (not adjusted for inflation). Federal government spending on culture was $3.5 billion (45% of spending by all levels of government), while the provinces and territories spent $2.2 billion (29%) and municipalities $2.0 billion (26%). (The federal, provincial and municipal breakdowns include transfers between governments and therefore do not equal the $7.3 billion total, which is net of transfers.)

The federal spending of $3.5 billion was dominated by the cultural industries ($2.2 billion), followed by heritage resources ($937 million). The performing arts, in contrast, received $185 million in federal support.

The largest portions of the $2.2 billion in provincial spending went to libraries ($856 million), heritage resources ($557 million), the cultural industries ($299 million) and the performing arts ($179 million).

Seventy-five percent of total municipal support ($1.5 billion of $2.0 billion total) went to libraries.

On a per capita basis, the combined spending of all levels of government was highest in Quebec ($309 per capita), Prince Edward Island ($245) and Ontario ($242) and lowest in Alberta ($170), New Brunswick ($176), Newfoundland and Labrador ($185) and British Columbia ($188).

In fact, Quebec had the highest per capita spending by both the federal and provincial levels of government. Manitoba was a close second with regard to per capita provincial support. Per capita federal spending was lowest in the three western-most provinces, while per capita provincial spending was lowest in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and British Columbia.

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