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Consumer spending on culture in Canada in 2003

Canadian consumers spent $22.8 billion on cultural items in 2003

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May 31, 200531 May 2005

Canadian consumers spent $22.8 billion on cultural goods and services in 2003, an amount that is greater than consumer spending on tobacco, alcohol and games of chance combined. The $22.8 billion in consumer spending is over three times larger than the $7.4 billion spent on culture in Canada by all levels of government in 2002/03. The report also shows that consumer spending on live performing arts events ($980 million) is nearly double the spending on live sporting events ($530 million). The $22.8 billion in consumer spending on culture in Canada represents $758 for every Canadian resident and about $1 out of every $30 spent by Canadian consumers.

Spending on cultural goods and services grew by 36% between 1997 and 2003, much higher than the 14% rise in the Consumer Price Index during the same period. After adjusting for inflation, cultural spending increased by 19% between 1997 and 2003, over three times the 6% growth in the Canadian population. The 36% increase in cultural spending is slightly higher than the 33% increase in consumer spending on all goods and services between 1997 and 2003.

Of the 15 metropolitan areas examined, the report finds that consumers’ cultural spending varies from a high of $957 per person in Ottawa to a low of $654 in Saint John. The report provides a profile of cultural spending in each province and in 15 municipal areas.

The report compares metropolitan areas’ bohemian index rankings with two indicators of cultural spending: per capita cultural spending and per capita spending on art works and events. Overall, it appears that the bohemian index and the two spending indicators do not follow a consistent pattern.

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