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Performing arts, 2022

Released: 2024-01-22

Operating revenue, total performing arts companies

$2.8 billion


56.6% increase

(period-to-period change)

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic linger for the performing arts industry in 2022

Restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect the performing arts industry in 2022, as did changing consumer preferences for attending live shows. Though businesses were able to resume most of their regular operations over the course of the year, audiences were not necessarily ready to return to their seats.

With a large contribution from grants and subsidy support measures, operating revenues (+$994.9 million); operating expenses (+$821.2 million); and salaries, wages, commissions and benefits (+$218.2 million) all showed increases in 2022 compared with 2020. Total operating revenue for the industry increased to $2.8 billion in 2022, while total operating expenses were $2.4 billion, increasing the operating profit margin to 12.4%.

Continued importance of grants and subsidies for non-profit companies

In 2022, non-profit performing arts companies showed growth from 2020 in operating revenue (+$162.7 million); operating expenses (+$143.1 million); and salaries, wages, commissions and benefits (+$53.5 million). The growth in revenue was led by grants and subsidies (+$120.3 million), while a modest gain was also seen in sales of goods and services (+$32.6 million). Sales revenues in 2022 were at 60.3% of 2018 levels.

Grants, subsidies, donations, corporate sponsorships and fundraising have steadily increased over the course of the pandemic and accounted for a significant portion of revenue in 2022 for non-profit performing arts businesses, representing 63.7% of total operating revenues. Public sector subsidies were a primary source of revenue, making up 65.9% of all grants and subsidies in 2022. Strong support came from federal grants (+$46.2 million from 2020), comprising 19.9% of total operating revenues for non-profit companies in 2022—a slightly higher proportion than in 2020 (18.3%) and more than double the proportion in 2018 (8.5%).

Following a decline in 2020, private sector funding (+$14.9 million) increased for non-profit performing arts companies in 2022, driven by foundations (+$11.8 million) and individual donations (+$8.0 million).

Shifting sources of performance revenue

Compared with 2020, sales revenues for non-profit performing arts companies increased for single tickets (+$43.8 million) but continued to dwindle for subscriptions (-$14.7 million) and touring income (-$6.6 million) in 2022. The flexibility of purchasing a single ticket rather than a full subscription package may have been enticing for consumers venturing out after months of pandemic-related closures and uncertainties.

In 2022, the number of performances (+21.4%) and attendance levels (+5.8%) for non-profit companies were up from 2020; however, both remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

For-profit companies bounce back

After declining in 2020, businesses in the for-profit performing arts showed increases in 2022 across operating revenues (+$832.3 million); operating expenses (+$678.2 million); and salaries, wages, commissions and benefits (+$164.7 million). These companies were also subsidized by pandemic-related supports, though many ended throughout the year.

Looking ahead

After pandemic-related restrictions and conditions devastated the industry, recovery for the performing arts will continue to be affected by inflationary pressures and the costs of essentials. This will influence households' ability to afford performance admission and make important donations to non-profit companies.

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  Note to readers

Data for 2018 and 2020 have been revised.

These and other data related to the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors can be found on the Culture statistics portal.

The Arts and Culture Data Viewer, an interactive tool that allows users to easily break down economic and social data from Statistics Canada on arts and culture by geographic area and other dimensions, is now 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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