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The Canadian Culture Satellite Account (CSA) measures the economic importance of culture and sport to the Canadian economy by estimating the value of the production of cultureNote 1 and sport goods and services and their contribution to output, gross domestic product (GDP),  and jobs.

The CSA provides an accounting framework to define and measure culture and sport in Canada. It follows the 2011 Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics (CFCS) and is rooted in the Canadian System of National Accounts (CSNA).Note 2

Moreover, the CSA can serve as the foundation (or benchmark) for a variety of related statistical products including:

  1. timely annual or quarterly macroeconomic performance indicators on the state of culture in Canada;
  2. detailed information on jobs in the culture industries;
  3. estimating  government tax revenues generated from culture industries and culture products; and
  4. economic impact modeling that can be used for "what if� simulations  of the indirect or  multiplier effects generated throughout the economy from additional spending on culture.

The CSA provides a measure of the economic importance of culture and sport in Canada. The ability to measure culture activity in the context of the entire economy is a very important reason for working within the structure of the CSNA. While other studies measuring the importance of culture have been undertaken in the past,Note 3 the satellite account approach is comprehensive as it enables comparisons with other industries and activities, as well as over time, using a common set of concepts and definitions with the CSNA. Such an approach can also be useful in developing international comparisons, as many countries rely on the System of National Accounts (SNA) to measure economic activity (by sector, industry and commodity).

Internationally, the importance of culture and its link to development and economic progression has resonated with governments. Culture frameworks have been developed by United Nations, Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Note 4 and the European Union.Note 5 As well, several countries such as Australia,Note 6 the United States,Note 7 SpainNote 8 and FinlandNote 9 have begun developing satellite accounts to measure the economic contribution of culture to their economies. During the update of the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics 2011 there were discussions with UNESCO to ensure alignment of Canadian definitions, and industry structures to allow for international comparability.

The CSA is the result of a four-year comprehensive feasibility study that was undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage and its partners in 2008. This process is outlined in Appendix F. This report presents the first official results of the satellite account, for reference year 2010.

The report describes the concepts, definitions and methodology of the CSA. The outline of the report is as follows: Section 2 provides an overview of the CSA, including definitions of some of the key elements of the CSA and describes how the CSA relates to the CFCS and the CSNA; Section 3 provides an overview of the methodologies used to construct the CSA; Section 4 presents the results of the CSA for 2010 and the concluding remarks and outline for future work in the CSA are included in Section 5.


  1. The use of "culture� in this report also refers to the arts and heritage. For a full definition of "culture� see section 2.3: Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics.
  2. The Canadian System of National Accounts presents the detailed structure of the Canadian economy based on the internationally agreed concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules of the System of National Accounts. The System of National Accounts is an internationally recognized economic accounting system.
  3. See Singh 2004.
  4. UNESCO 2009.
  5. See European Union.
  6. See Australia 2014.
  7. See United States 2013.
  8. See Spain 2011.
  9. See Finland 2009.
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