StatsCan Releases Economic Figures for Culture in BC

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Statistics Canada released this week new Culture Satellite Account (CSA) statistics about the economic importance of culture in Canadian provinces and territories. 

Culture activities accounted for $47.7 billion in the Canadian economy, and 642,486 jobs in 2010. Across the provinces and territories, culture GDP varied in importance from 1.4% of provincial GDP in Newfoundland and Labrador to 3.7% in Ontario. Culture jobs as a share of the total economy ranged from 2.2% to 4.1% among the provinces and territories.  The data come from the first ever Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Account, which measures the economic importance of culture in terms of output, GDP and employment (number of jobs) for every province and territory.

In British Columbia, culture GDP was $5.7 billion in 2010, representing 3.0% of the province’s economy. The number of culture jobs in the province was 87,996, or 3.8% of total jobs in British Columbia. Audio-visual and interactive media ($1.8 billion) had the largest share of culture GDP, followed by visual and applied arts ($1.2 billion) and written and published works ($961 million). Together they accounted for 69.9% of culture GDP in British Columbia.

The report also included figures for sport, which contributes $0.9 billion or 0.5% of total provincial GDP. Total sport jobs (20,398 jobs) accounted for 0.9% of total jobs in the province.

“British Columbia’s cultural sector contributes more to the economy than agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting combined,” said Rob Gloor, executive director of the Alliance for Arts + Culture. “Culture contributes more to GDP than accommodation and food services combined, and over six times more than sport. Still, compared to some other provinces, BC’s cultural economy has a smaller share of the total GDP, and a smaller proportion of the workforce. We must continue to strengthen support for BC’s cultural sector in order to remain competitive on a national level.”

Quick Facts

  • The Culture Satellite Account (CSA) is a comprehensive and reliable data source that presents the economic importance of culture, arts, heritage and sport in Canada.
  • The CSA figures announced this week are the result of a methodologically rigorous and transparent approach to measuring the economic importance of culture, arts, heritage and sport in Canadian provinces and territories and are the most precise and reliable data available.
  • The CSA was successfully developed through a joint effort of the Government of Canada, all provinces and territories, numerous municipalities, and a number of non-governmental organizations, including the Alliance for Arts + Culture

The full report is available at the Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Account main page:

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