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Performing arts 2012

April 29, 201529 April 2015

Performing arts / Theatres

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Statistics Canada's biennial performing arts survey provides information about not-for-profit and for-profit theatre, musical theatre, dinner theatre, opera, dance, musical groups (e.g., orchestras, chamber music and popular music groups) and other organizations (e.g., circus, ice skating shows). Hill Strategies has analyzed Statistics Canada’s detailed preliminary data for 2012, with a particular focus on not-for-profit organizations, for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor. Statistics Canada’s data tables are based on a sample of 622 organizations. As is the case with many large-scale surveys, larger organizations may be better represented than smaller ones.

Operating revenues were $1.48 billion for all performing arts groups in 2012, a 3.1% decrease from 2010. (The changes reported in this article have not been adjusted for inflation.)

In 2012, not-for-profit performing arts organizations in Canada had collective operating revenues of $783 million, representing 53% of the $1.48 billion sector total and a 4.5% increase from 2010. Earned revenues accounted for 49% of operating revenues, followed by public sector grants (26%), private sector contributions (24%) and other revenues (2%).

Collectively, operating expenses ($794 million) were $11 million higher than operating revenues, leaving a deficit of 4.5% of total revenues. Salaries, wages, and benefits (excluding fees paid to contract workers) accounted for 35% of not-for-profit performing arts organizations' expenses.

In 2012, total attendance was 13 million at 48,500 performances, for an average of 267 attendees per performance. On a per-performance basis, total revenues equalled $14,700, while performance-related revenues were $5,900. (Performance-related revenues include subscriptions, single ticket sales, contract production revenues, and touring income.) Total revenues per attendee were $55, with performance-related revenues amounting to $22 per attendee.

For each discipline, the key statistics on not-for-profit organizations in 2012 were as follows:

  • Theatre: Operating revenues were $364 million, a 2.1% increase from 2010. Collectively, theatre companies reported a $12.3 million deficit (3.4% of revenues). Total theatre attendance was 7.5 million at 37,100 performances, for an average of 204 attendees per performance.
  • Music organizations: Operating revenues were $188 million, a 4.4% increase from 2010. Collectively, music organizations registered a deficit of $2.3 million (1.2% of revenues). Music organizations reached 2.7 million people at 4,800 performances, for an average of 557 people per performance.
  • Opera, musical theatre, and dinner theatre organizations: Operating revenues were $104 million, a 5.9% increase from 2010. Operating expenses matched revenues, leaving a collective balanced budget in 2012. Opera, musical theatre, and dinner theatre organizations reached 1.1 million people at 3,000 performances, for an average attendance of 370.
  • Dance companies: The financial statistics for not-for-profit dance organizations were suppressed to protect confidentiality. Total dance attendance was 1.3 million at 2,500 performances, for an average of 521 attendees per performance.
  • Multidisciplinary and other performing organizations: The financial statistics for other not-for-profit organizations were suppressed to protect confidentiality. Total attendance at multidisciplinary and other performing arts organizations was 307,000 at nearly 1,100 performances, for an average of 292 attendees per performance.

On a provincial basis, Ontario-based not-for-profit organizations accounted for $306 million in revenues in 2012 (44% of the Canadian total). The revenues of Quebec-based organizations totalled $215 million (31% of the Canadian total). Alberta-based not-for-profit performing arts organizations had operating revenues of $98 million (14%), while their British Columbia counterparts accounted for $93 million (13% of national revenues). The Statistics Canada tables also contain information about the revenues of not-for-profit organizations in four other provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador), as well as further details regarding expenses, surplus, attendance and other data.

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