Art Has Significant Impact on Winnipeg's Economy

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Winnipeg has an international reputation for its arts scene. Now its got some more numbers to back it up. The Winnipeg Arts Council has just released its new economic impact report, Ticket to the Future, that shows that the performing arts have a significant impact on the city's economy.

The Winnipeg Free Press' headline, "Arts double the draw of pro sports in city," is one indication of the 42-page study's content. The brief article goes on to summarize a few of the study's findings:

The Winnipeg Arts Council's new Economic Impact Reports, released Tuesday, shows that the city's arts and creative industries contribute $1 billion to the economy and employ 6.3 per cent of the labour force, or 25,000 people.

Some more findings from WAC's release:

    • Each year, city residents volunteer almost 1.6 million hours of their time to local non-profit arts organizations, equivalent to nearly 800 full-time positions.
    • Cultural activities are the third most popular activity for tourists visiting Winnipeg, ahead of both sightseeing and outdoor sports and activities. The report estimates that tourists spent about $85 million in 2007 while enjoying arts and culture in the city.
    • Every dollar of municipal funding attracts another $18.23 in support to local non-profit arts and cultural organizations by the private sector and other levels of government.
    • Municipal arts funding per resident has declined from $6.34 in 2007 to $5.98 in 2009.
    • According to local business leaders interviewed for the study, Winnipeg’s arts and creative industries significantly enhance the quality of life for the city’s residents, and serve to attract skilled workers and keep them here.

WAC's executive director and Winnipeg Cultural Capital  of Canada 2010 executive producer, Carol A. Phillips, says in the release:

Ticket to the Future confirms the strategic importance of arts and culture to the social, economic, and commercial fabric of Winnipeg. However, without a new plan for arts investment in Winnipeg, the future may be a repeat of previous decades, when funding plateaued and arts in Winnipeg suffered increasingly diminished support.”

 Click here to download the study.

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