Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada

A group of audience members sitting outside in front of the Arden Theatre, watching a musician performing under a tent.

Refreshing Performing Arts Statistics

Performing arts organizations did remarkably well in 2022 and are still on a growth curve in 2023.

A dancer dressed in a plaid suit leaps on the street, in front of a reflective window.

Recovery continues in spite of inflation

The recovery of the live performance sector continued during the third quarter of 2022. Nominal GDP increased 2.8%. Jobs increased 5.3%.

Audience members are standing in their seats, smiling and clapping, while enjoying a performance at Le Pôle culturel de Chambly.

Live performance sector picked up pace after lifting of restrictions

After a tough year’s start amid the sixth wave of the pandemic, the live performance sector bounced back in the second quarter of the year.

Musician singing and playing guitar, with a drummer in the background.

Recovery slowed down amid fifth wave

The GDP growth of the live performance sector stalled during the first quarter of 2021, but employment performed better than other sectors.

Man and woman wearing traditional clothing singing together.

Encouraging signs of recovery for the performing arts

The GDP and employment increases observed over the second half of 2021 echo government interventions announced a year before.

A singer performing with a guitar. On the foreground, dark silhouettes of audience members and of a technician recording the performance.

Employment among arts and entertainment industries falls back to square one

According to the Labour Force Survey, employment among performing arts, spectator sports and related industries declined for a third consecutive month in January 2022.

Two musicians performing before a socially distanced audience in a wooden church building.

Beginning of a resurgence in the performing arts

The live performance sector saw its first signs of a recovery during the third quarter of 2021.

Socially-distanced audience watching a concert.

No recovery in sight for the performing arts

Despite a gradual easing of public health restrictions in the provinces and territories, performing arts companies, presenters and festivals still showed no signs of economic recovery in the second quarter of 2021.

Jamaican-Canadian reggae musician Ammoye during a live streamed performance with Small Word Music. Photo credit: Jonathan Campbell.

A closer look at the “hardest hit”: the National Culture Indicators for the first quarter of 2021

While the Canadian economy as a whole almost fully recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the culture sector still lags behind.

A blurred image saying "Sensitive Content"

A close-up shot of the live performance domain – May not be suitable for sensitive viewers

New quarterly indicators released today by Statistics Canada provide an accurate measure of the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the live performance domain.

Employment in arts and culture industries, February 2021

While employment rebounded across the Canadian economy in February, the live performance sector took another dive. Self-employed artists and technicians, who had managed to hold on thanks to emergency support, are most severely impacted.

Socially-distanced audience members wearing masks and talking while awaiting the start of the performance.

Government regulations and uncertainty about demand remain large obstacles for arts organizations

Government regulations were the top obstacle reported by arts, entertainment and recreation organizations, followed by demand-related concerns.

A sad person backstage, looking down.

2020: The Year One in Four Arts Worker Lost Their Job

The COVID pandemic took a particularly heavy toll on the arts sector in 2020. One in four arts, entertainment and recreation workers lost their job in 2020, compared to 2019. That’s 114,400 artists, technicians, marketing staff, arts administrators and other cultural workers who could no longer earn...Read More

A building with red lights, and the LightUpLive logo

Employment in arts and culture industries, December 2020

Employment declined in most industries in December, including the arts sector and in cultural industries in December 2020.

Photo of an empty theatre with a grand piano in the middle of the stage, lit up in red

Employment in arts and culture industries, November 2020

Last week, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced that certain “fiscal guardrails will help [the government] establish when the stimulus will be wound down.” One of these indicators – total hours worked – is particularly fitted to account for under-employment in sectors, such as the arts, t...Read More

A nearly empty theatre, with seats marked for social distancing

Employment in arts and culture industries, October 2020

New public health restrictions ordered by provincial governments in response to spiking COVID-19 cases impacted many industries in October. Those that were already among the hardest hit reported further job losses.

An empty theatre lit up with red lights

Employment in arts and culture industries, September 2020

On September 22nd, nearly 700 venues lit up in red across the country to raise awareness of job losses among live event workers. As a matter of fact, all employment indicators in performing arts and entertainment industries once again fell in September.

Three women sing and play joyously, along with a guitarist at the back. The side angle from the photo could lead to believe that the performers were close to one another, but physical distancing is implemented.

Employment in arts and culture industries, August 2020

While the Canadian economy is slowly recovering, another 6,600 live performance workers lost their job in August.

Still from a video showing the face of a woman in front of a white wall. The caption reads "I feel very alone".

Employment in arts and culture industries, July 2020

Nearly all arts, culture and heritage industries showed signs of recovery in July 2020. Employment in performing arts industries is still 23% below pre-COVID levels, but hours worked continued to rebound.

Seven dancers stand still on a wooden stage set up by the seashore.

Employment in arts and culture industries, June 2020

Performing arts companies saw the largest decrease in total hours worked in June 2020: -73,5%.

Artists and cultural workers still among most impacted by the COVID outbreak

Employment in the information, culture and recreation industry was 83.1% of its pre-COVID level, the second-lowest proportion across all industries.

This chart shows a steep and profound decline for Information, culture and recreation, while the rest of the labour force is seeing a smaller decline and then a rebound.

Employment rebounds, but culture workers aren’t seeing signs of recovery just yet

Between February and May 2020, 192,300 workers in information, culture and recreation industries lost their job. Employment declined from 778,700 to 586,400: a 24.7% drop.

Main entrance of Showplace Performance Centre, in full daylight.

Arts and entertainment among the most impacted by the COVID-19

According to Statistics Canada, businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector are the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, along with accommodation and food.