New Edmonton Arts and Culture Study Shows Steady Growth Over Past Decade

September 2017

(EDMONTON) Edmonton’s arts and culture communities continued to show steady growth over the past decade, according to a new economic impact assessment commissioned by the Prefessional Arts Coalition of Edmonton (PACE).

The new study was conducted by the Edmonton firm of Nichols Applied Management, Inc., with funding from the Edmonton Community Foundation and the Edmonton Arts Council. A total of 182 arts organizations took part in the new survey, conducted between late October and the end of December, 2016.

Highlights of the study show that total revenue received by participating Arts organizations in Edmonton totalled %105.5 Million last year. Of that, 57% was earned revenue (eg. sales, admissions, workshops, classes, and other). Government and foundation support accounted for 24% of revenue, corporate sponsorship 9%, fund raising 8% and gaming revenue 1%. Municipal grants accounted for 43$ of all grant revenue, with the provincial government providing 31% and the federal government 21%.

The music sector was the largest generator of revenue at 35%, followed by love theatre at 21%, dance at 17%, visual art at 14%, literary arts at 6%, with Screen Arts, Fine Crafts, Digital Arts and Folk Arts all 2% or less.

Arts organizations in Edmonton spent $98 Million last year, paying out just over $20 Million to artists. A significant majority of that money was spent in Edmonton.

The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of Edmonton arts and culture to the province’s economy is set at $104.7 Million in the Nichols report.

City arts organization employed almost 1, 700 people last year with about a third of those full-time. The arts sector is people driven- a much more labour intensive endeavor than other major capital-intensive industries. Although the remuneration may not be on par with some higher-paying sectors, the employees of arts organization are many and their contributions contribute to the development of the broader artistic community in the City.

Volunteerism continues to be an important backbone of our arts communities, with over 13, 000 volunteers providing over 440 thousands hours of their time.

Edmontonians continue to demonstrate how much they love arts and cultural events. Over 3.9 Million people attended public arts and cultural events in Edmonton last year, with attendance at festival accounting for 61% of the total.

“The 2017 Economic Impact Study on Arts and Culture in Edmonton is an important update on the impact of our local Arts sector in Edmonton and Alberta,” said PACE shair Ken Davis. “It provides an essential baseline for discussions with government and others when assessing how the Arts community can evolve in our city.”

“The principle value of the Arts in Edmonton is intrinsic; a vital component of what makes this city desirable as a place to invest in a business, to seek employment, or to raise a family. Beyond that, the Arts sector also contributes notable economic impact and provides skilled, creative professionals whose talents are frequently tapped by the broader community.”

“The Arts also are inherently fragile in their financial underpinnings. Without the on-going patronage of government, business and supportive public, this vibrant, creative community can wither and vanish. We applaud the people of Edmonton for their strong historic support of Arts and Culture in our city and ask for their continued participation in building an even more dynamic arts community in the future.”