Friday, 19 November 2010

Alberta has Canada's biggest appetite for culture - again

A statistics Canada study released this Wednesday has ranked Alberta as the country's biggest spenders on cultural goods, services, and activities.

The report showed that in 2008 Albertans' per capita cultural spending was $963 nearly 15 per-cent higher than the 2008 national per capita average of $841.

The statistics were derived from a study of almost $10,000 households nationwide and listed Calgary as the country's most cultural city by expenditures. Calgarians spent $1020 each on arts events and art works, Saskatoon was 2nd at $1000 per capita. Canada's most populous city, Toronto, ranked 7th ($868), Vancouver 11th ($795) and Montreal 12th ($722).

Among Canadians, Albertans spent the most per capita attending movies - $48.15, with overall theatre admissions totalling $160-million. The most astounding statistic was that in 2008 overall consumer spending on culture reached 27.4 billion dollars.

Other findings in the report include

  • In 2008, Canadians spent $1.4 billion attending live cultural events, more than double the $650 million they paid to attend live sports events.
  • In 2008 consumer spending on culture totalled $27.4 billion - three times what Canadians spent on hotels and travel accommodation that year (9.2 billion).
  • Adjusted for inflation, cultural spending rose by 28 per-cent between 1997 and 2008, double the 14 per-cent increase in Canada's population.


  1. Was Fort McMurray also included in this study? If so, how did the people here spend their money? Did they spent similar amounts on cultural events and fine artworks as well as Calgarians?

  2. Hi Louise:

    Unfortunately Fort McMurray was not mentioned in the study though it would be extremely interesting to discover those numbers. Thanks for the post!