Vancouver’s support for arts second after Montreal in new survey of five Canadian cities

A comprehensive new study of financial support for the arts in five major Canadian cities shows Vancouver second to Montreal, despite being the smallest of the municipalities surveyed.

Vancouver, however, had the largest number of “cultural workers,” according to the review, conducted by the country’s leading consulting firm on arts finance and policy. (Library expenditures, a key element of cultural support, were reported separately. Again, Vancouver ranked second after Montreal.)

The report, released last month by Hill Strategies, concludes that in the five cities combined, the average total net cultural investment amounted to $35 per resident in 2009.

In each of the five cities:

  • Montréal’s cultural investment of $55 per capita ranked first in 2009.
  • Vancouver ranked second, with a net amount of $47 per person invested in the cultural sector in 2009.
  • Calgary’s net cultural investment was $42 per capita in 2009, ranking the city third among the five cities.
  • The City of Ottawa’s net cultural investment of $28 per capita in 2009 ranked fourth.
  • Toronto’s net cultural investment of $19 per person in 2009 ranked last among the five cities.

Calgary, of course, is climbing up the scale, surfing on the economic wave generated by the oil sands.