The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Trade of culture and sport products, 2019

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2021-09-28

In 2019, exports of culture (such as arts, films and music) and sport products increased 4.1% to $20.4 billion, outpacing the growth in imports which rose 3.1% to $25.2 billion. Culture and sport exports represented 2.8% of Canada's total exports, while culture and sport imports accounted for 3.2% of Canada's total imports.

The gap between exports and imports of culture and sport products has been steadily narrowing since 2010. In 2010, just over two-fifths (40.9%) of trade were in exports, compared with 44.8% in 2019.

While the economic and social landscape of Canada's international trade may be quite different at the time of this release than it was in 2019, these data provide a valuable baseline to better understand the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in later reference years.

Canada's international trade of culture products rises in 2019, led by increases in crafts, film and video, and design subdomains

The visual and applied arts and audio-visual and interactive media domains accounted for almost two-thirds of all international trade of culture products in 2019, led by increases in crafts, film and video, and design subdomains. Together, these domains made up 69.3% of exports and 53.6% of imports.

Canada exported $18.7 billion in culture products in 2019, up 4.2% from the previous year. This increase was led by design (+8.8%), crafts (+7.1 %) and film and video products (+2.3%). Canada's growing film sector contributed to increased exports, including movie and television production, and post-production and editing services. British Columbia represented almost half of the $4.6 billion in exports of Canada's film and video products. Crafts, predominantly made up of exports of jewellery and silverware, accounted for $4.3 billion of culture exports.

Culture imports also rose in 2019, as Canada imported 2.8% more culture products than in the previous year, totalling $22.3 billion. Similar to exports, the imports of design (+11.1%) and film and video (+5.6%), and crafts products (+0.8%) accounted for a large portion of total culture imports.

Culture products accounted for 2.5% of total exports and 2.9% of total imports.

Chart 1  Chart 1: International trade of culture products, by domain, 2019
International trade of culture products, by domain, 2019

Canada exported $1.7 billion of sport products and imported $2.8 billion worth in 2019. Sport products accounted for 0.2% of all Canadian exports, and 0.4% of all imports. For both imports and exports, amusement and recreation services—part of governance, funding and professional support—continued to be the largest traded products.

Chart 2  Chart 2: International trade of sport products, by domain, 2019
International trade of sport products, by domain, 2019

United States continues to be Canada's largest trading partner

The United States was Canada's largest trading partner for culture and sport products in 2019, representing 57.9% of exports and 61.7% of imports. The European Union ranked second, accounting for 12.5% of exports and 10.6% of imports.

However, these two trading partners have seen their share of international trade decline slightly in recent years. For example, the United States and the European Union went from representing 76.2% of total culture and sport trade in 2010 to 71.4% in 2019. However, this change is mainly a result of increased trade with other trading partners like China, with trade increasing from $772.8 million in 2010 to just over $2.6 billion in 2019. The most significant source of trade between Canada and China was within the audio-visual and interactive media domain—particularly general purpose software and movie, television program and video production, as well as post-production and editing services.

Broadcasting top contributor to interprovincial trade in 2017

In 2017, interprovincial and territorial trade in culture products amounted to $18.4 billion, accounting for 4.5% of total interprovincial trade. Broadcasting continued to be the largest contributor, totalling $4.3 billion. Nevertheless, since 2010, film and video and interactive media have had higher growth rates, accounting for a progressively larger share of trade between the provinces and territories.

Interprovincial trade of sport products totalled $1.3 billion or 0.3% of total interprovincial trade in 2017. Governance, funding and professional support (which includes public sport facilities and rentals) and organized sport led interprovincial trade of sport products.

  Note to readers

The Trade of Culture and Sport Products (TCSP) provides measures of the international and interprovincial trade of goods and services attributed to both culture and sport (inclusive of the arts and heritage).

These data were developed as an extension of the Canadian Culture Satellite Account (CSA) and the Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Indicators (PTCI) by providing additional information about the state of culture and sport for Canada, the provinces and territories.

The TCSP is a joint initiative of Statistics Canada, other federal agencies, all provincial and territorial governments, and non-governmental organizations.

All estimates of international trade are recorded or converted to Canadian dollars using daily or monthly average exchange rates.

Culture products are goods and services produced from creative artistic activity or from the preservation of heritage.

Sport products includes goods and services related to recreational sports and physical activities, and professional, semi-professional and amateur sport clubs and independent athletes that are primarily engaged in presenting sporting events before an audience. The classification excludes goods and services that are inputs for producing sport products such as equipment, but it includes merchandise sold at sporting events.

Due to data availability, interprovincial trade can only be derived up until 2017.


The Crafts sub-domain includes various manufactured products that originate from creative artistic activities. It includes items such as jewellery, pottery, and knives. However, due to measurement limitations estimates of trade for the Crafts sub-domain may be overstated.

Film and video

The Film and video sub-domain has undergone major enhancements starting with reference year 2015. The sources and methods for estimating this sub-domain, including the Film, Television and Video Production Industry Survey, have been revised to incorporate improved estimation methods. The new methodology increases the use of administrative data in combination with survey data to build the estimates. These improvements were applied to all economic variables, including trade.

As a result, estimates for the Film and video sub-domain for 2015 onward should not be compared with historical estimates.

Users should exercise caution when using aggregate estimates that include the Film and video sub-domain such as estimates of the Audio-visual and interactive media domain and the total aggregate for culture. These aggregates will reflect the improvements to the methodology and, depending on the economic importance of the Film and video sub-domain, could be significantly impacted by the refinements.

Digital culture products

Technological advancements in recent years have improved the efficiency of delivery methods and consumption of services. However, this has created challenges in measuring international trade of digital services. This includes digital culture products, such as online streaming services, subscriptions, and downloads that are purchased by Canadian households directly from foreign suppliers.


The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of our website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: