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Saskatoon’s Investment in Culture, 2009 to 2012

With Comparisons to Twelve Other Canadian Cities

July 30, 201430 July 2014

Government spending on culture / Donors / Arts funding and finances

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While focussed on cultural investments by the City of Saskatoon, this research document also provided information regarding the expenditures of other municipal governments that have participated in a similar benchmarking process over the past few years. Emphasizing that cities want to know where they stand in relation to others, the presentation summarized the findings of a recent study of seven cities (Edmonton, Hamilton, Halifax, Saskatoon, Windsor, Richmond, and Oakville).

Two key statistics were highlighted: per capita investment in the arts, culture, and heritage in 2012 and average per capita spending between 2009 and 2012. The local investments included in the study were operating, grant, and capital expenditures related to the performing arts, visual arts, media arts, crafts, design, museums, heritage, special events, multidisciplinary activities, creative and cultural industries, city-owned cultural facilities, cultural districts, public art, and other art purchases. Spending on libraries were excluded from the study. The presentation focussed on “net” investment figures, excluding funds transferred from other levels of government as well as other sources of revenue for civic theatres and other municipal facilities that charge admission. The net investment figures provided estimates of spending from the municipal tax base.

Regarding average yearly spending on culture between 2009 and 2012, Edmonton had the highest per capita investment ($34.39), followed by Saskatoon ($32.36), Richmond ($23.52), Hamilton ($23.51), Oakville ($19.28), Halifax ($17.19) and Windsor ($12.49).

The most recent year’s data (2012) show that Saskatoon had the highest overall investment in culture ($47.05), followed by Edmonton ($38.68), Richmond ($31.85), Hamilton ($24.10), Halifax ($17.25), Oakville ($16.69), and Windsor ($15.30).

Compared with six large cities that had used the same definition and methodology with 2009 data, Saskatoon ranked fourth (investment of $29.38 in 2009), compared with $54.91 in Montreal, $47.33 in Vancouver, $42.39 in Calgary, $27.58 in Ottawa, $18.98 in Toronto, and $9.44 in Mississauga.

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