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Canadians’ Arts, Culture and Heritage Activities in 2010

Based on the 2010 General Social Survey

February 21, 201221 February 2012

Arts attendance and participation

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Based on a survey of approximately 7,500 Canadians 15 years or older, this report finds that virtually “all Canadians participated in an arts, culture or heritage activity in 2010”. In fact, 99.7% of Canadians 15 or older participated in at least one of the 18 arts, culture or heritage activities covered by the survey.

The report also provides other key groupings of the cultural participation data:

  • 47.8% of Canadians 15 or older visited a museum in 2010.
  • 72.4% attended a performing arts event or a cultural festival in 2010.
  • 73.8% visited a heritage venue (including historic sites, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, planetariums, observatories, conservation areas and nature parks) in 2010.
  • 97.5% read a newspaper, magazine or book in 2010.
  • 87.2% watched a movie or a video in 2010.
  • 86.7% listened to downloaded music or music on CDs in 2010.

Another key finding is that “the percentage of Canadians participating in most of the 18 activities measured in the report – including art galleries, museums, festivals, historic sites, book reading, and more – reached record levels in 2010, higher than in 1992, 1998 and 2005, when this type of survey was also conducted.”

The report points out that, while “a broader range of Canadians participated in arts, culture and heritage activities in 2010 than in prior survey years…, this does not necessarily mean that arts, culture and heritage organizations are achieving record attendance levels, as the survey questions regarding frequency of participation are not specific enough to calculate overall attendance. In addition, the increase in attendance may be spread over a larger number of arts, culture and heritage organizations in 2010 than in 1992.”

The survey asked respondents about their arts, culture and heritage activities during the 12 months prior to the survey. The survey did not ask respondents about “participatory arts activities, such as painting, making crafts, playing music, acting, or dancing”.

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