The Arts and Culture in Canada

Below are some quick facts about the arts and culture in Canada. Share these with your candidates and on social media with the hashtags #artsvote#elxn42, and #cdnpoli.

It is important to emphasize that the arts and culture manage to accomplish what they do with diminishing levels of support, and that the potential for growth in our sector is massive with support from government. In fact, 90% of Canadians agree that the federal government should support the arts and culture in Canada.

You can download a PDF version of these points here.

The Economy

Arts and culture GDP was $53.4 billion, or 3.4% of the total Canadian GDP in 2010. Compared to other sectors, this GDP input is greater than:

  • utilities;
  • accommodation and food services;
  • and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.

Arts and culture accounted for 707,012 jobs in 2010, or 4.1% of all Canadian jobs.

Arts and culture generated $25 billion in tax revenue for all levels of government in 2007. This is three times more than all government spending on culture, emphasizing the arts and culture sector's large return-on-investment potential.

Culture industries had an productive output of $99.3 billion in 2010, or 3.2% of the total Canadian output.

Canadians spend 97 million hours volunteering in the arts and culture, equivalent to 51,000 full time jobs.

Performing arts industries alone attracted 13 million spectators in 2012.

Arts and culture have massive induced and ancillary economic impacts, spurring urban and rural regeneration, fueling small businesses, attracting tourism, and growing the local and national economies.

The charitable sector employs approximately 13% of the total work force in Canada which includes thousands of arts and culture organizations.  

Social Benefits

87% of Canadians agree that arts and culture "define what it means to be Canadian." The prevalence of culture brings the nation together by fostering a sense of pride, belonging, and identity.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that culture is a spark for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. As a powerful avenue for sharing the truth of our history, it creates a process for fostering understanding, respect, and meaningful relationships moving forward.

Environmental conservation and concerns surrounding climate can be addressed through cultural activities, which are often environmentally friendly. Creative innovation through culture can provide solutions and options in this field.

Cultural activity discourages crime and increases community security.

The arts and culture reinforce Canadian multiculturalism by preserving, celebrating, and sharing heritage, language, and identity.

The Individual

Arts and culture improve the health of individualslower anxiety, and alleviate depression.

Health and wellness to individuals who are involved in the culture sector include enhanced interpersonal relationships, and physical fitness.

Arts and culture empower youth in our society, increasing academic achievement, reducing crime, and solving issues faced by at-risk youth in Canada.

Arts and culture education is imperative to the emotional, intellectual, and social development of our children.


The Canadian Arts Coalition has put together infographics with some of the information above! We encourage you to share this as well. Click here to see it.

We maintain a database of research and publications in arts and culture on our website. Click here to be redirected to our Resources page.