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Ontario Arts Council

Stat of the Day

Total number of Ontario communities where resident artists and arts organizations received OAC grant


Kathryn Townshend

Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7456

Michael Choo

Research Analyst
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7445

Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture in Ontario

February 27, 2018

Statistics Canada's release of the Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2010 to 2016 provides insight into the economic contribution of arts and culture in Ontario and across Canada.

The indicators measure the contribution of culture to the Ontario economy in 2016 for two unique perspectives:
  • Arts and culture products represent $25.7 billion or 3.5% of the province's gross domestic product (GDP) and over 269,000 jobs. This "product perspective" includes the contribution of culture products (goods and services) produced in both culture industries and non-culture industries.
  • Ontario's arts and culture sector represents $27.5 billion or 3.7% of the province's GDP and almost 287,000 jobs. This "industry perspective" measures all of the culture sector's output – including both culture and non-culture products (e.g. a theatre company may generate GDP from both ticket sales – a culture activity – and food and beverage services – a non-culture activity).

The figures show that Ontario was responsible for 48% of the total GDP of Canada's culture products and 41% of Canadian culture jobs. Between 2010 and 2016, the GDP of Ontario's arts and culture products increased by 23% – similar to the growth in the overall economy over the same period (26%). 

Ontario’s culture GDP is larger than that of the utilities industry ($15.6 billion), accommodation and food services ($15.5 billion), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($7.2 billion), and the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries combined ($6.4 billion).1   

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is one of several government partners – federal, provincial and municipal – as well as non-governmental organizations that contribute to Statistics Canada's Cultural Satellite Account (CSA), an accounting framework to measure the economic importance of culture, arts, heritage and sport in Canada. The Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI) are derived directly from the CSA.

For more information:

The Daily: Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2016 (February 27, 2018):

Culture Satellite Account:

1 Statistics Canada. CANSIM Tables 384-0037 and 379-0028