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Artists in Small and Rural Municipalities

Cape Dorset, Nunavut: Canada’s Most Artistic Municipality

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February 13, 200613 February 2006

A key finding of this report – that there are significant concentrations of artists in small and rural municipalities across the country – demonstrates that the arts contribute to the quality of life and the social and economic vitality of many small and rural communities in Canada.

Many Canadians may be surprised to learn that the municipality with the most artists as a percentage of the local labour force is not Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver. Rather, Canada’s most artistic municipality is a small northern community with no paved roads.

Cape Dorset, Nunavut, with almost one in four labour force workers in the arts, is the most artistic municipality in Canada. The artistic concentration in Cape Dorset (23%) is:

  • more than double the artistic concentration in the second most artistic  municipality (Squamish-Lillooet D Regional District Electoral Area, largely situated between Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., 9.4%);
  • almost triple the concentration of artists in “Canada’s most creative neighbourhood” – the H2W postal area on Montreal’s Plateau (8.0%); and
  • almost 30 times the national average of 0.8%.
  • Our contest winner is Michèle Bourgeois-Doyle of Ottawa, who correctly guessed Cape Dorset as Canada’s most artistic municipality. Michèle chose a gift certificate to an Ottawa bookstore.

    Of the 10 most artistic small and rural municipalities in Canada:

    * Seven are in British Columbia.

  • Nine have an overall labour force of fewer than 5,000 people.
  • *The most artistic small and rural municipalities have much higher artistic concentrations than larger Canadian municipalities (population over 50,000). In fact, the large municipality with the highest artistic concentration ranks only 28th among the smaller municipalities. (A subsequent report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series will examine 92 large municipalities in Canada.)

    *The two municipalities with the highest artistic concentrations are also the two smallest municipalities with reliable data on artists.

    The full report and regional summaries are available below.

    Full Report

    Download full report

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