Return of live shows after COVID closures revived performing arts industry: StatCan

performing arts live event

A new report from Statistics Canada says the return of live shows and events after pandemic restrictions revived the country’s performing arts industry in 2022, with significant revenue and salary growth in specific sectors.

The report says promoters and presenters of performing arts, sports and similar events hit hard by COVID-19 cancellations in 2020 and 2021 saw revenue increases of nearly 146 per cent in 2022, compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, the non-profit performing arts industry saw revenues increase by 71 per cent, while the for-profit industry had an increase of more than 56 per cent in 2022.

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StatCan says 2022 was the first full year of true recovery in these industries and it used data from the goods and services tax sales and payroll deduction files, among other sources, to estimate related revenue and salary growth.

The report also looked at Canada’s film and television industry — currently impacted by the U.S. actors’ and writers’ strikes — and found that an “unprecedented” number of backlogged and new projects in 2021 led to a nearly 31 per cent rise in 2022 industry revenues.

Despite good news across the arts, entertainment, culture and recreation sectors, StatCan says there was no post-pandemic bounce back for newspaper, book and periodical publishing industries, which all saw a countrywide decline in revenues in 2022.

StatCan says the report released on Tuesday provides a “first glance” at the pandemic recovery in 2022 for these sectors and more detailed annual business surveys will provide official estimates later this year and in early 2024.

Among other findings in the report:

– The largest year-over-year increases in performing arts were seen among musical theatre and opera companies, which had a revenue growth of more than 217 per cent in the for-profit sector and just over 100 per cent in the non-profit sector in 2022.

– Although revenues increased across all amusement and recreation industries in 2022, the level of growth depended on the activity. For example, golf courses saw more modest increases than skiing facilities because pandemic restrictions in 2021 did not significantly hinder golfing.

– In the publishing industries, newspaper publishers saw the largest revenue decline in 2022 (-2.7 per cent), followed by book publishers (-2.6 per cent) and periodical publishers (-0.8 per cent).

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