On November 29, CAPACOA director of research and development Frédéric Julien published an article on barriers to attendance for performing arts audiences. The article, entitled Attendance Trends: Why Won’t They Come?, sources a number of recent reports on Canadian and American live arts event audiences, including Arts and Heritage Access and Availability Survey 2016-2017, Culture Track 2017 and 2016 Canadian Index of Wellbeing National Index Report: How Are Canadians Really Doing?.
Drawing from these reports, Julien isolates "lack of interest or relevance" as the main barrier to potential audiences -- that is, these potential audience members feel the arts are "not for someone like me." As Julien explains, this could "signal a lack of knowledge of the arts, false impressions of it, or a genuine disinterest." This feeling is particularly prominent among visible minority and immigrant respondents, who don't see their backgrounds reflected in cultural activities.
Canadians also reported inconvenience around time and distance as potential barriers, as well as monetary costs, and issues around health and disabilities ("people with disabilities are 59% more likely than those without to say they do not attend cultural activities because they had a negative experience last time").
To read the full article, which dives into each of these barriers in more depth, click here.