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Performing arts attendance in Quebec in 2015

(La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec en 2015, Optique culture no 51)

October 19, 201619 October 2016

Performing arts

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This Quebec report provides information about attendance at theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic performances in 2015. There were 17,700 performances with an admission fee in Quebec in 2015 (a 3% increase from 2009), which attracted 6.7 million attendees (a 9% decrease from 2009). (This study includes a broader range of organizations than Statistics Canada’s performing arts survey. As such, the performance, attendance, and revenue numbers are much higher than Statistics Canada’s estimates.)

Box office revenues decreased from $274 million in 2009 to $233 million in 2015 (-15%). Box office revenues per paying spectator decreased from $41.97 in 2009 to $38.72 in 2015 (a 2% decrease). Revenues per paying attendee (an approximation of the average ticket price) decreased by 8%, from $41.97 in 2009 to $38.72 in 2015. There was a decrease in complimentary tickets given away for Quebec performances, from 11.9% of attendees in 2009 to 10.8% in 2015.

Variety performances (including comedy, circus, magic, music theatre, and music hall) attracted the largest attendance (2.2 million, 32% of overall attendance) and 32% of box office revenues ($75 million). Attendance at variety performances decreased by 7% between 2009 and 2015.

Performances by singers attracted 1.9 million attendees in 2015 (28% of overall attendance) and $80 million in box office revenues (34% of the total). Attendance at song-based performances varies significantly from year to year and was 14% lower in 2015 than in 2009.

In 2015, attendance at theatre performances in Quebec was 1.5 million (22% of overall attendance), earning $37 million in box office revenues (16% of the total). Theatre attendance decreased by 7% between 2009 and 2015.

Music performances (excluding singers) received 976,000 attendees (14%) and $32 million in box office receipts (also 14%) in 2015. Music attendance decreased by 2% between 2009 and 2015.

Dance performances attracted 225,000 attendees in 2015 (3%) and $9 million in box office revenues (4%). Attendance at dance performances decreased by 17% between 2009 and 2015.

The report highlights a number of other interesting aspects of performing arts attendance in Quebec in 2015:

  • The 6.7 million paid admissions represented 66% of total tickets available.
  • Quebec productions accounted for 75% of total attendance and 67% of box office receipts.
  • Performances in Montreal accounted for 47% of total attendance and 52% of box office receipts.
  • Among the 25 performances with the highest attendance in 2015, there were 13 comedy performances, three theatre performances, three circus or magic performances, two concerts by singers (both in English), one music theatre performance, one ballet, one storytelling performance, and one vaudeville show.


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