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Live Performance In Canada: A $3.8B Industry And Growing

A new statistical analysis offers insights into the state of Canada’s arts and culture industries.

Live Performance In Canada: A $3.8B Industry And Growing

By External Source

A new statistical analysis offers insights into the state of Canada’s arts and culture industries.


 The statistical analysis of the performing arts industries is made available by the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) and includes the following insights:

  • The live performance domain was comprised of 11,503 organizations and businesses in 2022 in Canada.

  • Of these, 8,617 were performing arts companies, and 2,886 were presenters/promoters and festivals. 2,174 had employees; 9,329 did not have employees.

One of the main sources of funding for live presentations at the federal level is the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. In 2021-2022, the CAPF provided $39.8M in grants and contributions to 781 professional arts festivals and performing arts series in more than 270 cities or communities across Canada. From 2013-14 to 2017-18, the program supported an average of 38,210 performances per year and the average number of attendees was 22.4 million per year. For every dollar invested by the program, an average of $8.50 is directly spent in the Canadian economy.

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Seven in ten Canadians (68%) attended a performing arts event or an artistic or cultural festival in 2016. This attendance rate is high across all demographic groups.

  • 86% of Canadians are accessing performing arts presentations via television, Internet or other media channels. Yet, they are twice as likely to ascribe high importance to live performing arts attendance than to any media-based consumption.

  • 79% of Canadians say they would miss it if there were no live, professional performing arts available in their community (21% to a moderate extent and 58% to a high extent).

  • The live performance domain contributed $3.3 billion to the Canadian Gross Domestic Product in 2022.

  • The live performance domain accounted for 72,000 jobs in 2022.

  • The live performance GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.9% between 2010 and 2019.

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  • Live performance jobs grew at an annual rate of 3.9% between 2010 and 2019.

  • In 2019, revenues from admissions to live performing arts performances in Canada totalled $3.8 billion. This represented GST/HST revenues of $190 million for the federal government.

  • International visitors spent $220M in direct spending for live performance events in Canada in 2016 ($188M for performing arts events and $32M for festivals and celebrations). This represents 1.1% of total tourism spending and 6.4% of non-tourism commodities (expenses other than travel, accommodation and food). This is more than for any other culture and sports sub-domains, including organized sports ($171M).

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Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion

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Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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