Ideas, not jobs, are the main economic benefit of investment in the arts

As Vancouver prepares for the upcoming council debate on the future of the Vancouver Art Gallery, economist Todd Hirsch argues in the Globe and Mail that arts investments are justified — in fact necessary for — the new ideas they generate, not just the jobs or tourism activity they may support.

It’s those ideas that keep a community innovative and open to the world, both prerequisites for success. It’s an appealing idea, but hard to quantify.