1. Home
  2. Research
  3. Research Library
  4. Canadians' Arts, Culture, and Heritage Participation in 2016

Canadians’ Arts, Culture, and Heritage Participation in 2016

November 14, 2018

Partners: The Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Ontario Arts Council

Context

This report contains many details about arts, culture, and heritage participation by Canadians, including frequency of participation and historical comparisons. It is the 47th report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series from Hill Strategies Research, based on Statistics Canada's 2016 General Social Survey (Canadians at Work and Home).

Complementary Report (March 20, 2019):

In additional to national data from 2016, there is a complementary report available that examines provincial and local cultural participation: Arts, Culture, and Heritage Participation in Canada’s Provinces and Largest Census Metropolitan Areas in 2016 (link below). The report includes profiles of each province and the nine largest CMAs as well as a comparative analysis.

Purpose of study

A shared commitment to making arts research available to inform the work of Canada's arts community and inform the general public about Canada's arts sector.

Methodology

Statistical descriptions based on Statistics Canada's 2016 General Social Survey (Canadians at Work and Home).

Overview/Key Findings

In 2016, virtually all Canadians (15 or older) participated in some type of arts, culture, or heritage activity (100%, or 99.5% if rounded to one decimal place).

Arts attendance levels were very high in 2016, with nearly nine in ten Canadians (86%) attending an art gallery, an arts performance, an artistic or cultural or festival, or a movie theatre.

Even when movie theatre attendance is excluded, 73% of Canadians attended an arts performance or exhibition (including art galleries, performing arts, and artistic or cultural festivals).

The most common arts practice is crafts (18% of Canadians 15 or older), followed by music (15%), visual arts (13%), writing (11%), dancing (9%), audio-visual and interactive media (4%), theatre (1.4%), and another creative arts activity (5%).

Regarding trends over time, the report finds that participation rates for many arts, culture, and heritage activities have increased over 25 years, based on those questions that were also asked in previous General Social Surveys. This is evidenced by strong increases in the art gallery and historic site attendance rates between 1992 and 2016. Movie theatres, museums, and other heritage activities have also seen increasing attendance rates.

Canadians' Arts Attendance

Canadians 15 or older attended the arts in 2016, based on Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey. Further insights: Canadians’ Arts, Culture, and Heritage Participation in 2016, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Statistical Insights on the Arts

Hill Strategies Research

Arts Activity Percentage of Canadians 15 or older that attended
Attended an arts activity 86%
Art gallery attendance 39%
Movie theatre attendance 71%
Arts performance or festival 68%
Artistic or cultural festival 31%
Live performance (theatre/comedy) 40%
Live music 46%
Other cultural performance 20%
Heritage or ethnic performance 20%
Pop music 42%
Classical music 16%