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National culture indicators, second quarter 2023

Released: 2023-09-28

Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the culture and sports sectors in Canada rose 0.6% in the second quarter of 2023. This was the slowest growth on record since the first quarter of 2022, when COVID-19-related attendance rules in certain provinces restricted activity among several culture and sport subdomains. Despite this slower growth, GDP attributable to culture and sport grew faster than that for the total economy for the second quarter of 2023. On a nominal basis, GDP for the culture and sports sectors combined was up 1.3% in the second quarter.

Employment attributable to culture and sport edged up 0.1% in the quarter, the weakest growth for these combined sectors since the height of the pandemic, and total jobs reached 825,825.

Gross domestic product growth slows in culture and sport sectors

Nominal GDP in the culture sector grew 1.2% during the second quarter of 2023, slowing from a 1.8% increase in the first quarter. Despite the slowdown, all culture domains recorded growth in nominal GDP. The heritage and libraries domain showed the fastest growth (+4.5%), with natural heritage (+4.8%) and cultural heritage (+4.6%) being among the fastest growing subdomains across the whole sector. The slowest rate of growth was in the governance, funding and professional support domain (+0.6%), which was affected by the federal government strike action in the second half of April 2023.

The sport sector saw nominal GDP grow 1.8% in the second quarter, down from 2.7% in the previous quarter. The organized sport subdomain (+2.7%) led the growth in this sector for a fifth consecutive quarter.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Culture and sport nominal gross domestic product (GDP), quarterly
Culture and sport nominal gross domestic product (GDP), quarterly

Culture sector jobs fail to grow for first time since early 2020

Employment in the culture sector was flat in the second quarter of 2023, following a 0.2% increase in the first quarter. The second quarter was the first without job growth in the culture sector since the second quarter of 2020, when the initial stages of the pandemic shut down many workplaces. Employment remained at roughly 718,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2023, which is 8.0% above the level seen in the fourth quarter of 2019, directly prior to the pandemic.

The domain that showed the largest decline in the second quarter of 2023 was audio-visual and interactive media, which lost 1,321 jobs (-0.7%). Both the broadcasting and the film and video subdomains posted job declines in the quarter, possibly associated with layoffs announced at some large Canadian media companies. The governance, funding and professional support domain (-0.5% or -483 jobs) also saw a decline this quarter tied to the federal government strike. The main domains that offset these declines were visual and applied arts (+0.4% or +718 jobs), heritage and libraries (+2.6% or +541 jobs) and education and training (+0.5% or +331 jobs).

Sport employment saw slower growth in the second quarter, up 0.7% to 108,101 jobs, after growing by more than 2% in each of the previous four quarters. Employment growth was seen in three of the four subdomains, with the sole decline for sport being in governance, funding and professional support.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Change in jobs by culture domain, second quarter of 2023
Change in jobs by culture domain, second quarter of 2023

  Note to readers

The National Culture Indicators (NCI) are an extension of the Provincial and Territorial Culture Satellite Account (PTCSA) and the Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI).

Information on the types of activities included in the culture domains and subdomains are available as part of the Canadian Culture Satellite Account overview. The overview describes the concepts, methods and sources that underlie the PTCSA, PTCI and NCI. Supply and Use Product Classification mappings by subdomain are also available there.


Alongside the release of the data for the second quarter of 2023, data for the first quarter of 2023 have been revised.


Data are available for gross domestic product (GDP) in both nominal, basic prices and constant prices (2012 prices).

Data on real GDP (corrected for price changes) are provided as a means to examine economic growth within culture and sport, as well as to make comparisons with other sectors.

Unless otherwise stated, GDP in this release refers to nominal GDP, at basic prices.

Growth rates in this release are represented as the percentage change in the series from one quarter to the next unless otherwise stated.

Data have been seasonally adjusted. All data are based on the product perspective.

Changes in prices of select digital industries

The prices for certain digital industries, particularly those involved in subscription/streaming services, have been changed to better reflect their modern distribution methods. When the NCI were initially produced, the price indicators selected for certain industries that historically relied on physical media and/or sales of digital rights were too heavily weighted towards the sale of physical and digital copies of the products. The price indexes used to estimate these have been redeveloped to better incorporate subscription and other digital prices. Consequently, users may see significant changes to the constant dollar values for film and video, sound recording and music publishing. Users should also expect revisions to constant dollar values, albeit smaller, for certain publishing industries and related subdomains, such as libraries and archives, and the multi-domain.

Audio-visual and interactive media and visual and applied arts

Starting in the first quarter of 2016, refinements were introduced to the video game publishing, design and development industries and the computer systems design and related services industry to improve estimates around video game development and website design. These improvements impact the design subdomain of the visual and applied arts domain and the interactive media subdomain of the audio-visual and interactive media domain.

Users can expect significant revisions to both design and interactive media starting in reference year 2016. There will be a noticeable break in the data series for the interactive media and design subdomains from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. This break does not represent a real change in economic conditions. Estimates prior to the first quarter of 2016 are on the old basis and should be used with caution.


The data visualization product "National Culture Indicators: Interactive tool," which is part of Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X), is available.

The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada 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 (

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