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Government expenditures on culture, 2004-05 and 2005-06

December 8, 20088 December 2008

Government expenditures on culture / Museums and art galleries / Performing arts organizations

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In 2005-06, governments spent $7.8 billion on culture, excluding transfers between different levels of government. This represents a 1% increase over 2004-05, after adjusting for inflation.

A comparison of the most recent data with a 2005 report from the Canadian Conference of the Arts shows that, between 1992-93 and 2005-06, there has been a 4% increase in government spending on culture, after adjusting for inflation. For more information on the CCA report, which was prepared by Hill Strategies Research, please see

In 2005-06, federal government spending on culture was $3.5 billion (43% of spending by all levels of government), while the provinces and territories spent $2.4 billion (29%) and municipalities $2.3 billion (28%). (The federal, provincial and municipal breakdowns include transfers between governments and therefore do not equal the $7.8 billion total, which is net of transfers.)

The federal government’s share of total government spending decreased from 46% in 1992-93 to 43% in 2005-06. Similarly, the provincial and territorial share decreased from 32% to 29%. The municipal share, in contrast, increased substantially, from 22% in 1992-93 to 28% in 2005-06.

Federal government spending on culture in 2005-06 was dominated by the broadcasting sector (47% of total spending) and heritage organizations (26%, including museums, art galleries, public archives, nature parks and historic sites). Federal government grants, contributions and transfers (which represent 20% of total federal cultural spending) decreased by nearly 3% between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Further details about spending in 2005-06, although not available at the time of publication, will be made available by Statistics Canada through updates to the data tables on government spending on culture, available at

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