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CBAC Annual Survey of Performing Arts Organizations, 2004-05

October 25, 200625 October 2006

Performing arts / Book publishing / Arts attendance

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This survey from the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada highlights the situation of non-profit performing arts companies in 2004-05. Although this study provides statistics on a much smaller group of organizations than Statistics Canada’s performing arts survey (and is therefore less reliable as a source of sector-wide information), the CBAC report does provide a level of detail that is not available in the Statistics Canada survey. For example, data for individual arts organizations is provided, allowing arts managers to compare their own activities with other specific organizations in their field. The CBAC survey also provides results by detailed revenue categories, allowing for a finer analysis of revenue sources. In addition, because the CBAC methodology has not changed over time, there is the ability to examine data over longer timeframes than the Statistics Canada data.

The 200 performing arts companies responding to the CBAC survey represent 42% of the 473 non-profit organizations that are covered by the Statistics Canada survey. The scope of the CBAC survey excludes for-profit organizations, while the Statistics Canada “industry-wide” results also include for-profit organizations.

Because CBAC respondents tend to be larger organizations, the 200 respondents have total revenues of $449 million, or 77% of the estimated $580 million in revenues for the 473 non-profit organizations in the Statistics Canada survey.

The 200 performing arts companies reporting to CBAC put on 24,000 performances in 2004-05, drawing 9.3 million spectators. The data in the report shows that box office revenues are much larger than any other single source of revenues. Overall, provincial council grants are larger than Canada Council grants, which in turn are much larger than municipal or other government grants to performing arts organizations. Individuals contribute the largest share of private sector revenues, followed by corporations and foundations.

For the 96 organizations reporting in both 1996-97 and 2004-05, total revenues increased by 18% after adjusting for inflation. There were, however, only relatively minor changes in the organizations’ sources of funding: private funding increased from 23% to 26% of total revenues; earned revenues decreased from 48% to 45% of revenues; and government funding remained stable at 29% of revenues.

In 2004-05, the 96 organizations had a collective deficit of $1.9 million, exactly the same figure as in 1996-97. However, accumulated deficits decreased sharply, from $20.0 million in 1996-97 to $10.1 million in 2004-05.

Between 1996-97 and 2004-05, total attendance first decreased (reaching its lowest point in 1999-2000) then increased to be nearly the same in 2004-05 as in 1996-97. The number of performances increased between 1996-97 and 2004-05, meaning that performing arts organizations played to somewhat smaller average audiences per performance in 2004-05 than in 1996-97.

The results of the CBAC survey are available for free on CD-ROM for arts and heritage organizations as well as businesses. Please contact

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