Vital Signs 2011
IssueArts attendance and participation / Provincial and local information
The Vital Signs series provides local information about a range of social issues, including the arts. The overall report highlights challenges such as “obesity, personal bankruptcy, youth unemployment, and child poverty”, as well as “strong improvements in indicators regarding safety, education, the environment, and community belonging”.
The arts-related information in the Vital Signs series examines performing arts and festival participation rates in eight Census Metropolitan Areas in five provinces (Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Sudbury, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and Saint John). This information is based on a special request from Statistics Canada’s 2010 General Social Survey.
Victoria residents have the highest participation rates for all four indicators in the report:
- Theatrical performances (53%, compared with the Canadian average of 44%, as reported in the Hill Strategies study Canadians’ Arts, Culture and Heritage Activities in 2010);
- Classical or symphonic music performances (30%, compared with the Canadian average of 13%);
- Popular music concerts (55%, compared with the Canadian average of 39%); and
- Cultural festivals (50%, compared with the Canadian average of 37%).
The report notes that the high participation rates in Victoria may be related to the “higher average age of its populace”. There are differences in the availability of cultural activities between the metropolitan areas that may also have an impact on the participation rates.
Five of the eight metropolitan areas have a participation rate at theatrical performances that is above the Canadian average (44%). Theatre participation rates are highest in Victoria (53%), Toronto (50%) and Calgary (47%). Sudbury has the lowest participation rate (24%).
In seven of the eight metropolitan areas, the participation rate in classical music performances is above the Canadian average (13%). The exception is Sudbury, with a classical music participation rate of 8%.
Most of the metropolitan areas have a participation rate at popular music performances that is above the Canadian average (39%). The highest rates are in Victoria (55%), Calgary (46%), Saint John (44%) and Hamilton (also 44%). The two largest metropolitan areas have the lowest participation rates: 38% in Montreal and 36% in Toronto.
Five of the eight metropolitan areas have a participation rate at cultural festivals that is above the Canadian average (37%). Festival participation rates are highest in Victoria (50%) and Hamilton (44%) and lowest in Kelowna (27%) and Saint John (25%).
The report notes that “the removal of a screening question in 2010 has made the most recent data incomparable” with similar surveys in 1992, 1998 and 2005.