Arts, Culture, and Heritage Participation in Canada’s Provinces and Largest Census Metropolitan Areas in 2016
IssueLocal and provincial data on arts and culture
Hill Strategies Research
Based on an analysis of 28 questions from Statistics Canada’s 2016 General Social Survey (GSS), this report examines the percentage of residents (15 or older) of Canadian provinces and nine large Census Metropolitan Areas who attended or participated in cultural activities. The report provides indicators of Canadians who, in 2016: 1) made or performed art; 2) attended arts performances or exhibitions; 3) visited cultural heritage sites; and 4) read books.
The provincial data were queried from the GSS dataset (9,844 respondents, including by telephone and online). There were over 600 respondents in each province except Prince Edward Island (n=318). Metropolitan area data were obtained via a custom data request. Readers should note that “the survey sample design excluded residents of the three territories. As such, no territorial data are available.”
Compared to the national average for making and performing art (50%), residents of Prince Edward Island (61%) and Nova Scotia (60%) have the highest rates of creating or performing art (including dancing, singing, crafts, making music, writing, performing etc.). Among the CMAs, Ottawa-Gatineau residents have the highest rate (55%), followed by residents of Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary (53% each).
The report finds that residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan are most likely to have attended arts activities, excluding movie theatres, in 2016 (77% in each province, above the national average of 73%). Among the CMAs, Winnipeg had the highest rate (81%), followed by Calgary (79%) and Edmonton (78%).
In terms of heritage participation, residents of Manitoba (78%), British Columbia (74%), and Alberta (73%) are most likely to have attended heritage activities in 2016, above the national average of 70%. Residents of Winnipeg and Calgary have heritage attendance rates of 80%, the highest of all nine CMAs.
Compared to the national average of 48%, residents of British Columbia (56%) and Manitoba (53%) are most likely to have visited museums or art galleries in 2016. Among the CMAs, residents of Ottawa-Gatineau have the highest attendance rate (63%), followed by those in Calgary (59%) and Vancouver (56%).
Book reading (as a leisure activity, not as paid work or for studies) is most common among residents of British Columbia and Alberta (82% each). Among the CMAs, residents of Edmonton are most likely to read books for leisure (84%), followed by residents of Ottawa-Gatineau (83%).