Performing arts attendance in Quebec in 2016
(La fréquentation des arts de la scène au Québec en 2016, Optique culture #56)
IssueArts attendance and participation
This recent report from Quebec’s cultural observatory analyzes performances, paid attendance, and box office revenues related to theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and magic performances in 2016, based on a census of Quebec-based performing arts presenters. The 17,200 performances with an admission fee in Quebec in 2016 (a 1% increase from 2009) attracted 7.1 million paid attendees (a 5% decrease from 2009).
Box office revenues increased from $275 million in 2009 to $278 million in 2016, a 1% increase (and the first time that box office revenues exceeded 2009 levels). Box office revenues per paying spectator (an approximation of the average ticket price) increased by 4%, from $41.97 in 2009 to $43.75 in 2016. There was a decrease in complimentary tickets given away for Quebec performances, from 11.9% of attendees in 2009 to 9.9% in 2016.
Performances by singers attracted the largest attendance (2.3 million attendees, 32% of overall performing arts attendance) and box office revenues (nearly $117 million, 42% of the total). Attendance at song-based performances varies significantly from year to year and was 31% higher in 2016 than in 2009.
Variety performances (including comedy, circus, magic, music theatre, and music hall) attracted 2.1 million attendees (29% of the total) and generated box office revenues of $80 million (also 29%). Attendance at variety performances decreased by 11% between 2009 and 2016.
In 2016, attendance at theatre performances in Quebec was 1.5 million (21% of overall attendance), earning $38 million in box office revenues (14% of the total). Theatre attendance decreased by 7% between 2009 and 2016.
Music performances (excluding singers) received 951,000 attendees (13%) and $33 million in box office receipts (12%) in 2016. Music attendance decreased by 2% between 2009 and 2016.
Dance performances attracted 224,000 attendees in 2016 (3%) and nearly $10 million in box office revenues (also 3%). Attendance at dance performances decreased by 18% between 2009 and 2016.
The report highlights other interesting aspects of performing arts attendance in Quebec in 2016:
- The 7.1 million paid admissions represented 67% of total tickets available.
- Quebec productions accounted for 73% of total attendance and 66% of box office receipts.
- Performances in Montreal accounted for 50% of total attendance and 57% of box office receipts.
- Focussing on just the 50 performances with the highest attendance in 2016, comedy dominated (with 31% of attendance at these 50 performances), followed by circus and magic (17%), theatre (16%), Francophone singers (also 16%), and Anglophone singers (10%).