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Introductory notes regarding Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2017

June 19, 201919 June 2019

Economic benefits of culture in 2017

Statistics Canada

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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. The PTCI estimates for 2015, 2016, and 2017 are updated projections based on aggregate economic indicators and should not be considered as precise as prior data from the Culture Satellite Account (which could be considered “actuals” rather than “projections”). Full explanations of the methodological differences are available at

Both datasets capture direct impacts only, which represent the value added to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment of direct expenditures in the sector. Estimates of the direct impacts tend to be relatively modest, because they exclude commonly-captured elements such as indirect impacts (the re-spending of the expenditures of cultural organizations) and induced impacts (the re-spending of wages earned by cultural workers and suppliers’ workers).

Statistics Canada provides two sets of related estimates:

  • The culture products estimates examine the production of culture goods and services from establishments in both culture and non-culture industries.
  • The culture industries estimates capture the production of culture and non-culture goods and services from establishments within the culture industries. Of note, the national industries-based estimate was 11% higher than the product-based one in 2017.

This summary presents both sets of statistics and focuses on the culture industries 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, 2017, the culture sector data in this summary are drawn from Statistics Canada’s detailed tables related to Culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain, by province and territory, product perspective (Table 36-10-0452-01) and industry perspective (36-10-0453-01). Overall GDP and jobs were obtained from Table 36-10-0221-01 and Table 36-10-0480-01, and comparative data for other economic sectors were calculated using sectoral proportions available in Table 36-10-0400-01.

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