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Heritage institutions 2009

October 20, 201120 October 2011

Audience engagement / Heritage organizations

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Statistics Canada recently released data on heritage institutions in 2009, including for-profit and not-for-profit heritage organizations such as art galleries, museums, historic sites, zoos and botanical gardens. Organizations that are part of a larger institution, such as university-affiliated art galleries, are excluded from the heritage institutions survey.

In 2009, as in other odd-numbered years, detailed data is available, including attendance data and breakdowns of revenue sources (earned, public or private sector). In even-numbered years, only summary data is provided. Hill Strategies has analyzed the detailed data for 2009 for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor. The changes reported below have not been adjusted for inflation.

The total revenues of all heritage organizations were $1.2 billion in 2009, a 3.1% increase from 2008. Total expenditures were also $1.2 billion in 2009, including $547 million in staff salaries, wages and benefits (representing 45% of total expenditures). Total expenditures increased by 2.5% between 2008 and 2009, while spending on salaries, wages and benefits increased by 5.0%.

Not-for-profit heritage organizations in Canada had total revenues of $1.1 billion in 2009, representing 91% of the sectoral total. Total revenues of not-for-profit heritage organizations increased by 4.3% between 2008 and 2009. Government revenues accounted for just over one-half of operating revenues (52%). Earned revenues represented 37% of revenues, while private sector fundraising accounted for 11% of operating revenues.

Total expenses ($1.1 billion) essentially equalled total revenues, resulting in a very small surplus of $20 million in 2009 (1.7% of total revenues).

The key data for each type of not-for-profit heritage organization in 2009 follows:

  • Not-for-profit museums (other than art galleries) had total revenues of $605 million in 2009, a 4.0% increase from 2008. Collectively, museums reported a $21 million surplus in 2009 (3.5% of revenues).
  • Not-for-profit art galleries had total revenues of $281 million in 2009, a 9.9% increase from the previous year. Despite the increase in revenues, art galleries reported a $3.3 million deficit (1.2% of revenues).
  • Not-for-profit zoos and botanical gardens reported total revenues of $158 million in 2009, a 0.4% increase from 2008. Zoos and botanical gardens reported a $0.4 million deficit (0.3% of revenues).
  • Not-for-profit historic and heritage sites had revenues of $82 million in 2009, a 3.1% decrease from 2008. Historic and heritage sites reported a $1.8 million surplus in 2009 (2.2% of revenues).

Total attendance at not-for-profit heritage organizations was 27 million in 2009, a 2.0% decrease from 2007 (the last time that attendance data was collected).

On a provincial basis, Ontario-based non-profit heritage organizations accounted for $463 million in revenues (41% of the Canadian total). The revenues of Quebec-based organizations totalled $313 million in 2009 (28% of the Canadian total). British Columbia-based non-profit organizations had operating revenues of $128 million (11% of national revenues), while their Alberta counterparts accounted for $113 million (10%). The Statistics Canada tables also contain information about the revenues of organizations in other provinces, as well as expense, surplus, attendance and other data for organizations in all provinces.

There are relatively few for-profit heritage organizations in Canada. The total revenues of for-profit heritage organizations were $107 million in 2009, representing 9% of the sectoral total and an 8% decrease from 2008. Despite the decrease, for-profit heritage organizations earned an average profit margin of 7.2%. Ontario’s for-profit heritage organizations had revenues of $52 million (49% of the national total), while for-profit organizations based in British Columbia generated revenues of $37 million (35%).

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