Changing demographics and their effect on values, beliefs and attitudes toward performing arts presentation
Value of Presenting Study
IssueArts participation / Public engagement
The bulk of this presentation provides information about key demographic trends in Canada: a growing and aging population, differences in average age by location, increased immigration from Asian countries, and an increasing Aboriginal population. The report compares census data with attendance data to see whether different age groups are over or under-represented among performing arts audiences. The presentation indicates that classical music and theatre audiences skew older than the overall population, while popular music skews younger.
The presentation also provides information about perceived benefits of the performing arts. In terms of personal benefits from attendance, there is general agreement among different age groups about the most important benefits. For all age ranges, “entertainment, fun” was by far the most commonly cited benefit. Other important benefits include “stimulation”, “experience something new”, “exposure to different cultures”, and “social opportunity”. Interestingly, the two younger age groups (i.e., those under 25 and between 25 and 34) were more likely to agree with each of the benefits of attendance than other age groups.
In terms of benefits to the whole community from local performing arts, four benefits were most commonly cited by all age groups (albeit in slightly different order): bringing energy and vitality to the community, improving quality of life and well-being of residents, fostering a more creative community, and promoting economic development. There were, however, some differences between the age groups. Those between 25 and 54 were more likely than other age groups to recognize the economic development impacts of the performing arts, while those under 25 were more likely than other age groups to cite a “better understanding between cultures”.