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National culture indicators, fourth quarter 2023

Released: 2024-04-15

Real gross domestic product (GDP) for the combined culture and sport sectors in Canada fell 0.8% in the fourth quarter. This was the second consecutive quarterly drop in real GDP with declines across most culture domains. On a nominal basis, GDP for the combined culture and sport sectors was up 0.5% in the fourth quarter, owing to a rise in prices during this period.

Total jobs in the combined culture and sport sectors decreased 0.5% in the fourth quarter to 806,394. This is the third straight quarterly decline as the sectors continued to be impacted by labour disruptions.

Nominal gross domestic product up despite film industry struggles

Nominal GDP increased 0.5% in the culture sector during the fourth quarter as prices increased. In the quarter, seven of the nine culture domains recorded nominal GDP growth, increasing a combined 1.4%. These gains were nearly offset by declines in the other two culture domains which experienced labour disruptions that limited economic activity. The audio-visual and interactive media domain fell 1.0% in the fourth quarter after falling 3.1% in the third quarter, as the Hollywood actors' strike continued to impact film and video production in Canada. Culture education and training also fell 0.7% in the fourth quarter owing to labour disruptions among public education workers in Quebec.

The sport sector saw a 0.8% increase in nominal GDP in the fourth quarter. A small decline in the education and training for sport subdomain (-0.5%) was outpaced by increases in the other three subdomains; however, those three subdomains all saw higher prices in the fourth quarter.

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

Culture jobs continue to be impacted by labour disruptions

Jobs in the culture sector fell 0.6% in the fourth quarter to 696,794, a fourth consecutive quarterly decline. The decline in the film and video subdomain (-3,291 jobs; -3.9%) was the primary driver behind the decrease as it was in the prior three quarters. The culture education and training domain also saw a significant decline of 1,007 jobs (-1.6%), aligning with the Quebec education worker strikes in the fourth quarter.

Sport sector jobs decreased 0.2% in the fourth quarter to 109,600 jobs. There was a decrease of 422 jobs (-1.0%) in sport education and training, also related to Quebec labour action.

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

2023 in review

Over the 2023 calendar year, nominal GDP for the combined culture and sport sectors increased 5.5%, while real GDP for these sectors grew 1.8%. The number of jobs for the combined sectors grew 1.5% compared with 2022.

Nominal GDP for the culture sector increased 5.1% in 2023. Heritage and libraries (+12.4%) was the fastest growing domain, followed by live performance (+8.8%) as industries relying on in-person attendance continued to recover from significant declines seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The slowest growth rate was seen in the audio-visual and interactive media domain, which grew 2.4% in 2023 with slow growth in both the film and video (+1.0%) and broadcasting (+2.5%) subdomains.

Culture job growth edged up 0.6% in 2023. Growth across most domains was balanced by a decline in the audio-visual and interactive media domain (-6.5%), which saw a large fall in film and video subdomain jobs (-11.9%) due to the Hollywood actors' and writers' strikes, and a smaller decline in the broadcasting subdomain (-1.5%) as layoffs were announced during the year by major Canadian media companies.

The sport sector saw more significant growth, with nominal GDP growing 8.8% in 2023 compared with 2022 while jobs in sport increased 8.3%. The organized sport subdomain was the lead for both indicators, with nominal GDP up 14.9% and jobs growing 14.4%.

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  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 data for the fourth quarter of 2023, data for the first, second and third quarters of 2023 have been revised.

As of the release for the third quarter of 2023, volume and price estimates for the quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) income and expenditure accounts and the monthly GDP by industry were updated to the 2017 (2017=100) reference year. Updating to the new reference year for the NCI will occur during the release for the first quarter of 2024 (to be released on June 27, 2024), alongside the incorporation of revisions from the 2022 PTCI as part of the usual revisions cycle.


Data are available for 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

With the first quarter of 2023 release, the prices for certain digital industries, particularly those involved in subscription/streaming services, were 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, revisions 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.

There is 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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