Overview of Key Demographic Trends - Possible Impact on Canadian Arts Attendance
Over the past fifty years, Canada has matured into a democratic nation offering a high quality of life and a strong, vibrant and inclusive culture to its citizens. As a result, many of Canada’s long-term demographic trends such as immigration levels and sources of immigration have changed significantly. Our aging population, declining birth rate and increasing cultural and linguistic diversity are factors that will continue to alter the demographic profile of Canadian arts audiences in years to come.
Canadians’ level of cultural participation can be examined using data on population and immigration trends, leisure time, household expenditures on culture, and arts attendance at different cultural activities. Selected issues for analysis include:
- Are younger Canadians (aged 15-24 and 24-29) as well as culturally diverse Canadians participating in the arts? Do they have the leisure time and disposable income to do so? If so, what events are they attending? What artistic forms do they practice?
- Do Canadian families, as well as single, divorced and widowed Canadians invest their time and income in cultural activities? How much can Canadians afford to spend on cultural activities and expenditures in a given year?
- The increasing number of baby boomers, as well as the increasing proportion of the population aged 65 and over, should create unprecedented consumer demand for goods and services within the next 20 years. Will this demand translate into an important opportunity for Canadian artists and arts organizations to sell their products to larger audiences?
- Increased immigration is rapidly changing the composition of Canadian society. Will Canada’s performing arts events and cultural activities interest recent immigrants and/or Canadians of ethnic minority backgrounds? Will Canadians of ethnic minority backgrounds practice and promote artistic forms that reflect their heritage?
This profile provides an overview of current key demographic trends in Canadian society, and examines the possible future impact of demographic changes on arts attendance and participation in cultural activities using serveral data sources. The most recent demographic statistics from Statistics Canada sources included in this document are based on 2001 Census figures where available. Where 2001 Census figures are not yet available, 1996 figures have been retained. This report will be updated on an annual or biennial basis as new data become available.
Additional information on sources of demographic and cultural statistics is provided in a bibliography appended to this document.
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