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Introductory notes regarding Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2016

March 21, 201821 March 2018

Economic benefits of culture

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Statistics Canada’s recent release of Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI) provides estimates of the direct economic and employment impact of the arts, culture, and heritage, similar to the 2010 and 2013 Culture Satellite Account (CSA). The PTCI estimates for 2015 and 2016 are based on economic projections, so they should not be considered as precise as the data for 2010 through 2014 (which could be considered “actuals” rather than “projections”). Full explanations of the methodological changes are available at

Both datasets capture 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.) Direct economic impacts are sometimes referred to as value added or gross domestic product (GDP).

Statistics Canada provides two sets of related estimates: culture products (i.e., production of culture goods and services from establishments in both culture and non-culture industries) and culture industries (i.e., production of culture and non-culture goods and services from establishments within the culture industries). Of note, the national industry-based estimate was 10% higher than the product-based one in 2016.

This summary presents both sets of statistics and focuses on the culture industry estimates when making comparisons with other sectors of the Canadian economy. Statistics Canada has previously stated that “the industry perspective of the PTCI is more comparable to GDP by industry” than the product perspective. An estimate of the value added of the arts (i.e., separate from other cultural and heritage elements) is not possible from the data, since many elements of the arts are combined into broader categories with other cultural and heritage elements.

In addition to the article Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2016, the culture sector data in this summary are drawn from Statistics Canada’s CANSIM tables related to Culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain, by province and territory, product perspective (Table 387-0012) and industry perspective (387-0013). Overall GDP was drawn from CANSIM Table 384-0037, and comparative data for other economic sectors were calculated using sectoral proportions available in Table 379-0028.

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