“This is the most cogent, detailed review of the industry I have ever seen.”

Ken Coulter, consultant, Coulter Creative

“The information captured is incredibly valuable and will provide you with statistical support in your day to day operations.”

Laurie Gillis, Executive Director, Atlantic Presenters Association

“Brilliant.”

Catherine O'Grady, Director, Ottawa Jazz Festival

Value of Presenting Final Report

The Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada is the culmination of two years of intensive action research, which involved two pan-Canadian surveys, and consultations of more than 1,000 stakeholders.

This report includes a comprehensive historical and contemporary overview of the performing arts ecosystem. It reveals that performing arts are valued by the vast majority of Canadians – across socio-economic differences – and it provides a new perspective on younger Canadians’ interest in live performing arts. Most importantly, the study identifies a broad range of public benefits associated with performing arts presentation, including better health and well-being, greater energy and vitality in communities, and a more caring and cohesive society.

The Value of Presenting report cover Infographic of performing arts attendance data Infographic about the benefits of performing arts
Read the full report View the infographic View the infographic

Key Findings

Canadians value the performing arts, with 3 in 4 reporting attending a wide range of live events.

  • Professional performing arts reach across socio-economic differences with 2 in 3 who earn less than $40,000 per year having attended a live performance.
  • Younger Canadians embrace live performing arts at high levels: 83% of the 18-34 age group attended a live performance compared to 70% of 55 plus.

Canadians attend events predominantly in specialized performing arts facilities and outdoor venues, and most say these facilities are important to the quality of life in their communities.

  • Canadians believe that performing arts venues provide benefits such as improved quality of life (87% say moderate to high importance), fostering a sense of community pride (87%), contributing to economic development (88%), and greater community safety through increased activity at night (60%).

Canadians are invested in performing arts presentation through ticket buying, volunteering and donating.

  • Canadians’ spending on live performing arts ($1.4 billion) was more than double their spending on live sports events ($650 million) in 2008.
  • Canadians volunteered 100 million hours for arts and culture organizations in 2010.
  • For each paid staff member, there are 17 volunteers giving their time to performing arts presenting organizations.

Media viewing of performing arts doesn’t replace live attendance; it supplements it.

  • 86% of Canadians are accessing performing arts presentations via television, Internet or other media channels.
  • 94% of people who attend live performances also watch performances in media.
  • Canadians are twice as likely to ascribe a high importance to live performing arts attendance than to any media-based viewing.

Performing arts benefits span many aspects of life.

  • Canadians believe that the presentation of performing arts equally benefits the individual who attends and the community as a whole.
  • Canadians who attend performing arts events are first and foremost looking for a fun, entertaining experience (84%). They are also seeking emotional, intellectual or spiritual stimulation (58%), as well as the opportunity to experience or learn something new (57%).
  • For Canadians, the highest-rated benefits of the performing arts in their communities are energy and vitality along with improved quality of life, and a more creative community.
  • The broader society also benefits from the spill-over effects of the performing arts on health, education, social cohesion and economic development.

Performing arts presenters of all types play an active role in communities across Canada.

  • There are more than 1,400 presenting organizations of all types in Canada: volunteer presenters and professionally-run organizations, based in a purpose-built theatre or operating in non-specialized venues, presenting festivals and series of performances, specialized in a single artistic form or presenting several disciplines such as music, theatre, dance, comedy and storytelling.
  • Nearly all presenters partner with other organizations, in areas such as education (78%) social services (37%), cultural diversity/immigration (33%) and health (29%). The main objective of these partnerships is the enrichment of the community (84%).

The Ripple Effect of the Performing Arts from CAPACOA on Vimeo.