Cultural spending comparison

Statistics Canada is out with their annual government spending figures on culture.  Would it surprise you to konw that all three levels of government combined in New Brunswick spend less on culture than all but British Columbia?  The government spends an estimated $209.8 per per person on culture in New Brunswick.  The northern figures are out of whack because of the small population base. It is interesting to see how much the Feds spend on culture in Quebec – 78% more than New Brunswick. 

Government expenditures on culture, by province or territory and level of government, 2006/2007 (Per Capita)

11 thoughts on “Cultural spending comparison

  1. I wonder how Sackville stacks up to the rest of the province since it recently receive [2007-08] half a million from the feds for being the Culture Capital of Canada (population under 50,000)?

    Plus, the municipality recently declared an action plan to further promote itself as a cultural mecca. I think Alec Bruce would be happy to hear that since he did some pretty detailed research on how culture and economic development were beneficial to each other.

  2. With respect, I believe the stats canada figures may be skewed. Do they include provincial funding that falls under RDC/Northern Development Fund? Perhaps more importantly, do they include the cost of running a dual education system, with an explicit mandate to make schooling a locus for Acadian and francophone culture?
    The recent provincial commission report on reforming the francophone education system stressed the necessity of investing more in the cultural component – but this investment may not be visible to federal statisticians, because it will fall under Dept. of Education. Likewise,funding from RDC and the northern development fund(s) have been spent on projects/facilities in the cultural sector. The RDC/petty cash fund model makes it more difficult to categorize and track provincial investments.
    I’d trust the figures more if I could see what was included.

  3. “Culture” is such a vague term. Does hockey count as culture? Tall ships? Literacy classes?

    All I see here is a set of vague figures and the sqame old tired argument that “Quebec gets too much.”

    Culture is (literally) what we make it. If we don’t get much cultural funding, I think we should look at ourselves (and our miniscule local investment in it) rather than grumble (again) about Quebec.

  4. Showing the spread between the highest receiver of federal cultural spending and New Brunswick seems to me the point of showing per capita spending. If you read “Quebec gets too much” out of that, I guess interpretation is a personal thing. I have always disliked statistics out of context. That is why I show as much as possible per capita or some other standardized measurement and showing the high and low spending is good analysis. The rest, that’s up to personal preference and personal chips on personal shoulders.

  5. @David Campbell

    I can’t help but notice the absurdly low levels of cultural spending by municipalities in Atlantic Canada. I am not a fan of Richard Florida (in fact, quite the opposite), but these numbers would fit with his creative class theory. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why it is so difficult for the region to retain highly qualified professionals who could help build the new economy in the region (but I also recognize that correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causality).

  6. Well why aren’t the culturals spending on culture. Hunters are spending on hunting, tourists are spending on travelling. Boaters are spending on boating. Readers are spending on books. Families are spending on kids, and kids sports. OHHHH, I see, you want these people to stop doing that wasteful spending of THIER money and give it to the, could we say, “layabouts”, for something called culture? I would sooner draw UI then have my money spend by somebody else. It is something I strongly advise!

  7. @ Anonymous 20:53:

    You got it wrong. This link is a little outdated, but it will give you a good idea of what cultural spending comprises, how many jobs it creates (611,000 or 4.1% of the work force in 2001), and its GDP share ($39.9 billion in 2002, which is in fact a good ROI for roughly $7 billion spent by the three levels of government).

    And, as I implied in my comment above (July 23rd, 2009 at 12:57), there are strong intangibles and spillovers. I don’t work in the cultural industry, but I can tell you that one of the reasons why I didn’t stay in Atlantic Canada (unfortunately, because I like the people of the region) was the lack of cultural options.

  8. You post the same thing on all blogs where this welfare stuff is discussed. Crime and pornography creates a lot of jobs.

  9. @ Anonymous July 24th, 2009 at 16:24:
    Nothing personal, but I find extremely worrisome that somebody who is interested in a blog on economic development could equate cultural spending to welfare, crime and pornography.
    I am happy to spend an average of $1,000 every month in that kind of “welfare” because, as somebody once said, “culture is what makes us different from all the other animal species that populate the face of earth” (no offense intended here, please). I truly fail to see how spending in libraries, publishing, film and sound recording could be seen as wasteful.

  10. Notice “somebody” said!
    And I am able to use other things, to Identify an Animal from a Human!
    Probably why you think I would care whether you intend an offense or not! In fact , any normal person who spends 1000 dollars a month on supporting the part of Arts and Culture, that can’t support itself, should be avoided.
    Publishing, Film, and sound recording can do fine without your charity! Ask Madonna! To better your ability to distinguish between an animal and Human, try visiting a library. I do!

  11. Quebec got the higher level mainly because obviously they create culture, in fact there’s something to invest in, is it the case in NB, let me doubt about it.

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