On June 21, Hill Strategies Research released its report, "Vital Signs: Arts & Belonging." The study was commissioned jointly by Community Foundations of Canada and CAPACOA, and can be found online here.
According to its abstract, the report summarizes existing research studies and incorporates new analyses of existing statistical sources to demonstrate that arts participation builds belonging. Among the statistics cited in the report, it's noted that:
- 77% of Canadians agree or strongly agree that arts and heritage experiences help them feel part of their local community;
- Canadians who rate arts, culture and leisure in their city or town as ‘excellent’ are 2.8 times more likely to report a ‘very strong’ sense of belonging to their city or town, compared to those who rate arts as ‘poor’; and
- 92% of Canadians believe arts experiences are a valuable way of bringing together people from different languages and cultural traditions.
The report concludes with 17 recommendations for communities to continue to build belonging through the arts, including exploring art as a vehicle for reconciliation, improving accessibility for people with disabilities, and promoting early, affordable, and frequent exposure to the arts.