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Michael Choo

Research Analyst
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Elena Bird

Associate Director of Research and Analysis
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Georgia Steele

Granting Programs Coordinator
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Kim Kinnear

Business Analyst
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture in Ontario

April 25, 2019

Statistics Canada's release of the Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators, 2017 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 2017 for two unique perspectives:
  • Arts and culture products represent $25.0 billion or 3.3% of the province's gross domestic product (GDP) and over 286,232 jobs (3.9% of total Ontario employment). 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 $26.7 billion or 3.5% of the province's GDP and almost 300,378 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 47% of the total GDP of Canada's culture products and 43% of Canadian culture jobs. Between 2010 and 2017, the GDP of Ontario's arts and culture products increased by 19%.

Ontario’s culture GDP is larger than that of the accommodation and food services industry ($16.2 billion), the utilities industry ($14.6 billion), the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries combined ($7.4 billion) and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($6.9 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, 2017 (April 25, 2019)

Culture Satellite Account:
1 Statistics Canada. Tables 36-10-0221-01 and 36-10-0400-01