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Financial and Statistical Analysis of 50 Canadian Orchestras: 2004-05 to 2010-11

September 14, 201214 September 2012

Performing arts

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This report and two presentations were prepared by Kelly Hill using data submitted by 50 members of Orchestras Canada. The resources focus on the changes in the situation of Canadian orchestras more than the current financial state of orchestras. Between 2004-05 and 2010-11, 50 orchestras consistently reported their revenues, expenses, number of performances, total attendance, and endowment fund value. The report indicates that the 50 orchestras represent “two-thirds of the 75 ‘in-scope’ orchestras in Canada” and an even higher proportion of total revenues (because the respondents “include all but one orchestra with revenues of $2 million or more”).

The presentation at the 2012 National Orchestras Meeting in Montreal on May 27 highlighted the overall situation of Canadian orchestras as well as regional differences between 2004-05 and 2010-11. The webinar conducted on May 9 provided details about changes in the situation of smaller orchestras between 2004-05 and 2010-11. The initial report prepared for Orchestras Canada provided the greatest level of detail but concluded with 2009-10 data (rather than the updated 2010-11 data in the two presentations). Some of the key statistics in these resources are highlighted below.

Total revenues of the 50 orchestras equalled $158 million in 2010-11, with earned revenues accounting for the largest share (37%), followed by government revenues (34%) and private sector fundraising (29%). The breakdown of revenues by source remained fairly stable between 2004-05 and 2010-11.

After inflation, there was a 10% growth in operating revenues between 2004-05 and 2010-11, with government revenues growing the most (by 13%), followed by private sector fundraising (9%) and earned revenues (8%). Among detailed revenue components, individual donations increased the most (by 43%).

Operating revenue increases were quite widespread, with 64% of orchestras experiencing a real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) increase in revenues. This includes at least one-half of the orchestras in all five regions of the country (British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces). In general, smaller orchestras experienced poorer financial results than larger orchestras between 2004-05 and 2010-11.

The collective deficit of 1.9% of revenues in 2004-05 was transformed into a very small surplus (0.3% of revenues) in 2010-11. The accumulated deficit situation of the 50 orchestras also improved, from 12.5% of total revenues in 2004-05 to 8.4% in 2010-11.

Between 2004-05 and 2010-11, total attendance and the number of performances both increased (by 12% and 9% respectively). Total revenues per performance decreased very slightly, as did revenues per attendee. The value of endowment funds increased, with more orchestras reporting an endowment fund in 2010-11 than in 2004-05.

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