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Culture and leisure

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Every day Canadians enjoy theatres, concerts, movies, sporting events, radio programs, television shows, books and magazines. We also take part in a wide variety of sports and recreational activities.

Canada’s heritage institutions—including historic sites, art galleries and museums, zoos, planetariums and observatories as well as botanical gardens—attract millions of visitors from home and around the world. Visitors to such sites numbered 35 million in 2004, up from 32 million in 2002.

Radio listening in decline

Canadians devoted less time to radio listening in 2006: an average 18.6 hours per week in 2006, down from 19.1 hours in 2005 and 20.5 hours in 1999. The most avid listeners are seniors: senior women tuned in 22.7 hours per week in 2006, and senior men, 19.5 hours. Seniors favour the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but the CBC is the least popular choice among young adults who listen to the radio.

Radio listening by young people has declined over the years. Listening by teenagers dropped from 11.3 hours per week in 1999 to 8.6 hours in 2005, and to 7.6 hours in 2006. Digital music players and online music services appear to have had a large impact on the listening habits of teens and young adults.

Movie theatres regain some glitter

Motion picture theatres—including indoor theatres, drive-ins and film festivals— sold 102.9 million tickets in 2006, up 2% from $101.0 million in 2005. On a per capita basis, each Canadian made 3.3 visits to theatres, drive-ins, and film festivals in 2006, based on population projections for the year and the number of paid admissions from the 2006 Survey of Service Industries: Motion Picture Theatres. Only residents of Alberta (4.4 visits) and Ontario (3.5) surpassed the national average.

Attendance rebounded from weak years in 2004 and 2005. Box office receipts totaled $744.8 million in 2006, up 3% from $729.3 million in 2005.

Total operating revenues reached $1.2 billion in 2006, up 2% from 2005. Operating expenses dropped in 2006. With attendance up and expenses down, operating profits totalled $111.5 million, up sharply from $21.6 million in 2005. The industry posted an operating profit margin of 9% in 2006 compared with 2% in 2005.

The top chain-operated theatres accounted for the lion’s share of revenues and profits. These companies accounted for 84% of national operating revenues in 2006, as they did the year before. Profit margins for the top chain-operated theatres increased to 10% in 2006 from 1% in 2005. Smaller theatres saw more modest profit margins: 5% in 2006, up from 3% in 2005.

Performing arts are pulling them in

The performing arts industry—which includes theatre, musical theatre and opera, musical groups and artists, dance companies and other performing arts companies—earned $1.2 billion in total operating revenues in 2006, nearly unchanged from 2005. These revenues were split almost equally between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

The industry’s operating profit margin was 6% in 2006, up from 4% in 2005. For-profit companies’ margin reached 10%, up from 9% in 2005; not-for-profit companies’ margin was 1%, up from a loss of 0.4% the year before.

Not-for-profit performing arts companies attracted an estimated 12.9 million spectators in 2006, down 1% from 2004.

Public sector grants are an important source of revenue for the companies surveyed: in 2006, federal grants totaled $55.5 million for those companies; provincial and territorial, $73.7 million; and municipal, $28.2 million.

Among the not-for-profit companies, ticket sales generated 42% of revenue; merchandising, royalties and rentals, 9%; government grants and subsidies, 26%; and private sector revenue, which includes sponsorships, fundraising events and donations, 23%.

Theatres were the largest part of the not-for-profit sector in 2006, attracting 57% of total attendance and 48% of total revenues. Revenues for these companies were up 2% over 2004; attendance rose 5%.

Virtually all disciplines in the not-for-profit sector posted surpluses in 2006.

Sound recording seeking its groove online

Despite declining record sales and competition from other entertainment, recording industries managed, with difficulty, to turn a profit for a second consecutive year in 2006.

The music industry comprises three major segments: record production and distribution, music publishing and recording studios. All three recorded profits in 2006 for a second consecutive year, but only recording studios saw a higher profit margin than in 2005.

Record production, the largest segment of the three, took in 77% of the revenues, music publishing, 13%, and recording studios, 10%.

Record production companies realized a profit margin of 10% in 2006, down slightly from 13% in 2005 but up considerably from 0.1% in 2003. Revenues shrank 7% to $712 million. In 2005, firms achieved profitable growth by streamlining and restructuring; the effect of this was less significant in 2006.

One way companies have streamlined operations has been by emphasizing digital products. Digital products make for lower inventory and distribution expenses. Electronic music sales made up 4% of national sales in 2005.

Canadian artists’ sales (of both current and older releases) totalled $123 million in 2005, up 3% from 2003. They produced 521 new releases in 2005, up 9% from 2003.

Music publishers represent and publicize songwriters, collecting royalties from performances of their music and promoting the use of their songs in recordings, movies, and on television. The music publishing industry posted $118.6 million in revenues in 2005, with a profit margin of 16%.

Sound recording studios posted revenues of $74.3 million in 2005, for an overall profit margin of 12%. Only 35% of the revenues accrued from music recording: 54% came from commercial audio production and other work.