Consumer spending on culture: 3 times larger than government spending on culture

 Consumer Spending on Culture in Canada, the Provinces and 12 Metropolitan Areas in 2008,the 32nd report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series from Hill Strategies Research, shows that Canadian consumers spent over $27 billion on cultural goods and services in 2008. Some key findings of the report include:
  • The $27.4 billion in consumer spending on culture in Canada represents $841 for every Canadian resident.
  • Consumer spending on culture is three times larger than the $9.2 billion spent on culture by all levels of government in 2007/08.
  • Consumer spending on culture is three times larger than consumer spending on hotels, motels and other travel accommodations ($9.2 billion).
  • Canadians’ spending on live performing arts ($1.4 billion) is more than double their spending on live sports events ($650 million).
  • After adjusting for inflation, cultural spending increased by 28% between 1997 and 2008, double the growth in the Canadian population.
  • The 28% increase in cultural spending is lower than the 37% increase in spending on all goods and services between 1997 and 2008.
  • Between 1997 and 2008, consumer spending on art works and events grew by 59%, more than any other category of cultural spending.
  • Cultural spending per capita varies significantly between the provinces and is highest in Alberta ($963) and Saskatchewan ($905). The five western-most provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario) have per capita levels of cultural spending that are above the Canadian average ($841).
  • Among the provinces, Alberta had the highest growth in consumer spending between 1997 and 2008, both on cultural goods and services (40%) and on all goods and services (69%), after adjusting for inflation.
  • Among 12 metropolitan areas, Calgary and Saskatoon have the highest per capita consumer spending on cultural goods and services.
The report examines the spending of Canadians on cultural goods and services, including art supplies and musical instruments, art works and events, home entertainment, movie theatre admissions, photographic equipment and services, and reading material. The data is drawn from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, a yearly questionnaire on Canadians’ spending habits.

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