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Attendance at Quebec museums and heritage institutions in 2010

(La fréquentation des institutions muséales au Québec en 2010, Optique culture, no 4)

October 20, 201120 October 2011

Audience engagement / Heritage organizations

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The 431 Quebec museums, interpretive centres and exhibition spaces (excluding artist-run centres) responding to this survey had total attendance of 12.8 million in 2010, the highest level since the Observatoire began collecting such statistics in 2003. This number includes relatively large off-site attendance at Montreal museum events in public places in 2010. Excluding off-site exhibitions, total attendance was 11.9 million in 2010. This is close to the average for the past five years.

In the Quebec museums and heritage organizations covered by the survey, the 982,000 school visitors in 2010 represented about 8% of total attendance. School attendance has decreased in four consecutive years, declining by a total of 7.6% over this period. The report notes that demographic changes may have had an effect on this statistic, as the number of Quebec children between five and 16 years old decreased by 7.5% during the same timeframe.

The report highlights the importance of the summer season for Quebec museums and heritage institutions. For all survey respondents, the summer quarter (July-September) represents 47% of total attendance.

Total attendance at 20 art museums was 1.3 million in 2010. While four of six types of heritage institutions saw their attendance increase between 2009 and 2010, art museums saw a 2.2% decrease during this timeframe. Among the past five years, art museum attendance was highest in 2008 (attendance of 1.8 million).

The report divides the 431 responding organizations into three groups based on subject matter. Arts-related organizations (including art museums and arts-related exhibition centres) had total attendance of 2.0 million (16% of the overall total), behind science-related organizations (4.5 million, or 35%) and historical, ethnological and archaeological organizations (6.3 million, or 49%).

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