Launch of Culture in Montréal: Economic Impacts and Private Funding

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Added on 20 November 2009 in Press releases

Press release

Launch of Culture in Montréal: Economic Impacts and Private Funding

Montréal, November 20, 2009 - The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is proud to launch the results of its study entitled Culture in Montréal: Economic Impacts and Private Funding. Initiated following the Rendez-vous November 2007 - Montréal, Cultural Metropolis, this project draws on concrete data to illustrate the cultural sector's power as a lever of economic development for Montréal and synthesizes this data to define how the private sector contributes to culture.

"This study on the economic impacts of Montréal's cultural sector arose from our desire to create a better collective understanding of this vital asset for the city. We also wanted a powerful tool that could be reproduced over time. The study was in fact designed to mark the evolution of this highly strategic sector for Montréal as well as private sector involvement in terms of funding over the years," declared Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

"I am very pleased that the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has launched this study, which uses facts and figures to paint a portrait of the major role that culture plays in the Greater Montréal economy. This document will indeed make a positive contribution to our thinking process on how to prepare the future for the city's various cultural stakeholders," said Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women.

In light of the study's findings, the Board of Trade has made the following three main observations:

1. A dynamic and growing economic sector

"Culture is a major generator of jobs, with nearly 100,000 people working in this sector in Greater Montréal. This number surpasses the jobs created by the life sciences and aerospace clusters combined. Furthermore, jobs in this sector are growing three times faster than in all other economic sectors, and these cultural jobs have a greater-than-average leverage effect on the creation of indirect jobs," stated Michel Leblanc.

"Among the economic data worth mentioning is that Montréal's cultural sector generates spin-offs totalling $12 billion, including $8 billion in direct spin-offs, which represents 6% of the GDP of the metropolis. That is a huge contribution!" added Michel Leblanc.

2. A fragile "creative core"

"Despite the strength of Montréal's cultural sector, as shown by economic data, we must be careful not to become complacent. Montréal's 'creative core,' its artistic sector, is fragile. When we look at this sub-sector made up of artists, authors and performers-or those at the heart of Montréal's cultural expansion-we see a group that is generally in a precarious position. The income of these workers is half the average salary in Montréal and about $20,000 below the average income for the cultural sector," explained Michel Leblanc.

3. Notable, but uneven, involvement from the private sector

"The private sector is an important player when it comes to culture. When we looked at data provided by the Conseil des arts de Montréal on cultural organizations, we found that private funding accounts for 21% of their budgets. However, the scope of commitments to the arts can vary greatly depending on the size of the cultural organization and its activity sector. This highlights a major issue: how can we promote better collaboration between businesses and cultural organizations? And how do we ensure that the 'creative core' receives even more support? This study both provides evidence of the economic vitality of our cultural sector and represents a call for business people to help this sector flourish. It is now up to us to continue developing reinforcement strategies so that our cultural expansion can develop even more and fully contribute to wealth creation," concluded Michel Leblanc.

Study highlights

  • In 2008, there were 96,910 direct jobs created in the cultural sector for annual growth of 4.6% in 10 years, or almost three times more than the total labour market average, which was 1.7% over the same period.
  • The overall annual economic spin-offs (direct and indirect) of Montréal's cultural sector have been calculated at $12 billion. The direct contribution to the economy is
    $7.8 billion, or about 6% of the GDP of the Greater Montréal region.
  • The average salary of artists, authors and performers is $24,400. This job category is the least well paid of the cultural sector at barely more than half (55%) of the average salary in the cultural sector ($44,000).
  • The 294 artistic organizations that make up the sample analysed by the Conseil des arts de Montréal receive 21% of their funding from the private sector, which includes 14% in donations and 7% in sponsorships. This percentage varies greatly depending on the budget and activity sector of the cultural organization.

 

This study by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal was carried out thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women and the participation of Culture Montréal and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Link to the study: www.btmm.qc.ca/culture_funding

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has nearly 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.

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Source:
Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514-871-4000, ext. 4015
sylvie.paquette@ccmm.qc.ca