Culture Track is a national survey of cultural consumers’ attitudes, motivators, and barriers to participation. 2018 is the first year for the Canadian study.
Business / Arts, a Canadian association of business members who support the arts, led the research in collaboration with LaPlaca Cohen.
A variety of funders across Canada supported the study and the questionnaire was edited with input from stakeholders representing Canadian cultural organizations, business, and government.
- 6,444 Cultural consumers from across Canada participated in a bilingual online survey
- 1,004 respondents were from Alberta
All respondents were 18 years or older, and were screened into the survey based on two criteria:
- their participation in at least one cultural activity in the past twelve months
- and their definition of that activity as a “cultural” activity.
Cultural consumers were most likely to participate in the following arts activities at least once a year:
- Music festival: 56%
- Art of Design Museum/Gallery: 54%
- Musical : 51%
- Public/Street Art: 51%
- Non-musical Play: 50%
Key conclusions of the report include:
- Canadians are cultural omnivores, and their relationship with culture is purpose-driven. Specifically, they value experiences that ultimately nurture belonging, empathy, and perspective.
- While fun, novelty and escape are desired attributes of a cultural experience, relevance is a precondition for success. Audiences will not consider participating if they do not feel connected to the content or experience.
- Audiences have limited experience with tech in cultural settings, and are divided on whether it should even have a role. The opportunity ahead is to reframe digital as a tool to foster deeper connection, rather than a solution unto itself.
- A fundamental shift has occurred in what individuals seek in committing to organizations: they now value empathy and reciprocity. This new relationship-based approach is replacing transactional models.
- Canadians are philanthropically active, but culture is rarely their top priority. To generate increased support, a greater emphasis must be placed on culture’s distinctive social impact, as well as the need for non-governmental funding.
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