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National estimates from Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Account, 2010

August 19, 201519 August 2015

Economic benefits of culture

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The Culture Satellite Account (CSA) examines the direct economic and employment impact of the arts, culture, and heritage in Canada, the provinces, and the territories. The CSA’s methodology captures direct impacts only, thereby excluding potential indirect and induced impacts of culture. (Indirect impacts would capture the re-spending of the expenditures of cultural organizations, and induced impacts would include the re-spending of wages earned by cultural workers and suppliers’ workers.) The methodology allows for comparisons to be made to other sectors of the economy. This summary focuses on the culture industry estimates, rather than the culture products estimates, for comparability to other sectors. Culture industries estimates at the domain level are drawn from unpublished data provided by Statistics Canada. Data for other industry sectors in each province are drawn from CANSIM Table 381-0030: Provincial gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by sector and industry, annual.

The provincial and territorial CSA provides slight revisions to previous national estimates (reviewed in a recent issue of the Arts Research Monitor, which focused on the estimates of culture products produced in various industries of the economy). The new estimates indicate that the direct economic impact of culture industries was $53.4 billion in Canada in 2010, or 3.4% of Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2010, there were 707,000 jobs directly related to culture industries, or 4.1% of total employment. (The jobs figures include full-time and part-time jobs, while part-year employment is included on a pro-rated basis.)

The CSA also provides estimates of the direct economic impact of sports industries ($5.2 billion, or 0.3% of Canada’s GDP). The direct economic impact of culture ($53.4 billion) is ten times larger than the sports estimate ($5.2 billion). The jobs estimate in the culture sector (707,200) is about seven times larger than the estimate for the sports sector (105,300).

Nationally, the GDP (also known as value added or direct economic impact) of culture industries is much larger than the value added of utilities ($35 billion), accommodation and food services ($32 billion), and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($23 billion). On the other hand, the value added of culture industries is less than that of transportation and warehousing ($63 billion), construction ($113 billion), and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($115 billion).

Some key contributors to the GDP of culture industries include the following domains:

  • Audio-visual and interactive media: $13.9 billion.
  • Visual and applied arts: $13.4 billion.
  • Written and published works: $10.2 billion.
  • Live performance: $2.0 billion.
  • Heritage and libraries: $0.6 billion.
  • Sound recording: $0.5 billion.

An estimate of the value added of the arts is not possible from the data provided, since some elements of what would be included in the arts are rolled into other categories (e.g., art galleries within culture heritage rather than visual arts, film festivals within film and video industries rather than festivals).

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