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Provincial Government Spending on the Arts and Culture in Saskatchewan in 08/09

July 25, 201125 July 2011

Government spending on culture

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This report, prepared for the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance by Hill Strategies Research, relies on Statistics Canada data to examine provincial government spending on culture in 2008-09. The provincial data includes operating spending, capital spending and grants. While the detailed findings are specific to Saskatchewan, the comparisons between provinces provide information related to the entire country. Included are comparisons of overall provincial expenditures on culture, provincial spending on the arts, provincial arts grants, provincial expenditures on the cultural industries, and provincial spending on heritage.

The report notes that, on a per capita basis, provincial spending on culture is highest in Newfoundland and Labrador ($139 per capita), Saskatchewan ($132), Prince Edward Island ($123) and Quebec ($121).

The report examines in detail the components of provincial cultural spending. In the Statistics Canada dataset, “the arts” include arts education, performing arts and visual arts and crafts (excluding art galleries). Provincial arts spending averages $13 across the provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest spending level on the arts ($30 per capita), followed by Alberta ($25), Quebec ($24), and Nova Scotia ($14). The detailed tables in the report show that Ontario has the lowest level of public arts funding ($5 per capita), followed by British Columbia ($7), New Brunswick ($8), Manitoba ($9) and Saskatchewan ($11).

Delving further into the arts spending data, the report shows that provincial grants, transfers and contributions to the arts average $10 among the provinces. Provincial arts grants are highest in Alberta ($23 per capita), Quebec ($15), Nova Scotia ($14) and Saskatchewan ($10). While not included in the report, an analysis of the government spending dataset shows that provincial arts grants are below the national average in Manitoba ($9), PEI ($8), Newfoundland and Labrador ($7), British Columbia (also $7), Ontario ($5) and New Brunswick (also $5).

On average, the cultural industries (including film and video, literary arts/publishing, broadcasting, and sound recording) receive $11 from provincial governments. The report notes that “Saskatchewan’s $24 in provincial per capita spending is the highest level in Canada”, followed by Quebec ($21), Alberta ($10), Ontario ($9) and Nova Scotia ($6). The detailed tables in the report show that PEI has the lowest level of public funding for the cultural industries ($1 per capita), followed by Newfoundland and Labrador ($3). Provincial government spending on the cultural industries is $5 per capita in Manitoba, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

The detailed tables in the report also provide a summary of provincial government spending on heritage (museums, archives, parks, historic sites, etc.), which averages $27 across the provinces. PEI and Manitoba rank first ($46 per person), followed by New Brunswick ($44), Nova Scotia ($43), Newfoundland and Labrador ($42) and Saskatchewan (also $42). British Columbia has by far the lowest level of public funding for heritage ($8 per capita), followed by Quebec ($21), Alberta ($27), and Ontario ($29).

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