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A Portrait of 77 Art Museums and Public Art Galleries

Understanding Canadian Arts Through CADAC Data

January 27, 201627 January 2016

Finances and attendance of arts organizations

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This report examines the finances and activities of 77 public art galleries “that receive recurring funding from the Visual Arts Section of the Canada Council for the Arts”, based on their financial and statistical data submitted to CADAC (Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada). The report cautions that “financial figures from CADAC are reconciled, while statistical data are not validated and represent what is reported by organizations and may include double counting.”

In 2013, the 77 galleries had total operating revenues of $245 million, 45% of which was received from government sources (all such sources, not just the Canada Council), 26% from earned revenues, 20% from private sector fundraising, and 9% from other revenue sources.

Between 2010 and 2013, the galleries’ total revenues decreased by 1% (not adjusted for inflation). Private sector revenues grew by 12%, and earned revenues increased by 3%. On the other hand, public sector revenues decreased by 7%, and other revenues decreased by 11%.

The galleries had 1,614 full-time equivalent staff members in 2013. Salaries and professional fees accounted for 47% of total expenses in that year. Over 3,800 people in 2013 were paid artist fees or artistic salaries in 2013, and 87% of these artists were Canadian (over 3,300). Artist fees and salaries represented about 16% of the galleries’ total expenses.

The report provides two specific benchmarks related to marketing and fundraising expenses. “For each dollar spent in marketing activities, art museums and galleries made $3.13 as total earned revenue.” Regarding fundraising, each $1 spent generated $3.82 in private sector revenues.

Collectively, the 77 galleries’ accumulated surplus stood at $28 million in 2013. Another important financial indicator is the working capital ratio, which is an indication of “the ability of an organization to meet its payment obligations as they become due”. The report indicates that “a ratio of less than 1% indicates financial vulnerability regarding the organization’s capacity to cover its short-term payables.” In 2013, the galleries’ working capital ratio was 0.95%.

The galleries presented 1,057 exhibitions in 2013, of which the vast majority were presented locally (907, or 86%). Of the 8,436 artists featured in local exhibitions, 81% were Canadian. Total attendance at local exhibitions was 4.4 million. In addition, 1.3 million people participated in arts education activities at reporting galleries. Galleries also engaged 15,500 people via 72 artist-in-residence projects and over 6,000 people via 237 professional training and development programs.

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