May 28, 2022

Canada: National Culture Indicators, Third Quarter 2021

From Statistics Canada:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the culture and sport sectors in Canada increased 2.9% to $13.5 billion in the third quarter, marking five consecutive quarterly increases, nearing pre-pandemic levels. By comparison, real GDP for the total economy rose 1.3% during the same period. Household spending on recreational and culture services was up again in the third quarter, which helped bolster growth in GDP for the culture and sport sectors.


Nominal GDP for the culture sector exclusively increased 3.5% to $14.0 billion in the third quarter, largely driven by increases in the live performance domain (+29.1%), marking the largest growth on record—but still below pre-pandemic levels. This domain fared quite well during the third quarter in comparison to the same quarter in 2020, as a majority of provinces loosened or entirely removed restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, thus allowing live performances such as concerts, music festivals and live theatre to occur. This is in stark contrast to the height of the pandemic when such events were either reduced or cancelled.

The heritage and libraries domain was also up (+12.5%) during the third quarter, namely in culture heritage and natural heritage, as attendance during the quarter increased for attractions such as zoos and museums.

Source: Statistics Canada

Sound recording was the only domain to post a decrease (-1.1%), albeit slight. Overall, this domain has been the least impacted by COVID-19-related restrictions. According to the Financial impacts of the pandemic on the culture, arts, entertainment and recreation industries in 2020, increased access to mobile platforms and online streaming services allowed for modest growth in this domain during the pandemic.


During the third quarter, culture jobs increased 4.2% to 632,310 with employment up in all nine culture domains. Driving growth was an increase in jobs in the live performance domain (+24.6% or +8,989), as restrictions loosened. As well, the heritage and libraries domain posted a 6.7% job increase, as the increased attendance during the quarter resulted in increased labour needs in the culture and natural heritage subdomains.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.