Montreal's Vital Signs 2010
Culture is a major indicator of development, most certainly for individuals, but also for the economy of a city. Although they are at the very heart of creation, artists, writers and performers are often paid less than other cultural workers.
  • In 2008, cultural sector earnings totalled $12 billion. The direct contribution to the economy was $7.8 billion, or approximately 6% of the GDP of Greater Montreal. What’s more, the cultural sector generated 60,798 indirect jobs, a better result than the majority of service industries. 1
  • The cultural sector is rapidly growing in Greater Montreal, where 69% of its jobs are concentrated, compared to 49% for Quebec’s entire industrial sector. In 2008, there were 96,910 direct jobs, accounting for 5.1% of all Montreal jobs, compared to 3.9% in 1998. During this time period, the annual increase was nearly three times greater than that of the entire labour market (4.6% vs. 1.7%). 1

  • The number of Montreal artists increased by 33% between 1991 and 2006, greater than the increase in the working age population (+12%) during the same time period. Since 2001, the 9% growth rate in the number of artists was equivalent to the growth rate of manpower in Montreal. By comparison, between 1991 and 2006, the number of Vancouver artists grew by 76% and Toronto artists by 42%, while the working age population in these two cities increased by 28% and 8% respectively. This increase in the number of artists was greater in Toronto (5.25 times more than its working age population) than in Vancouver (2.71 times) and Montreal (2.75 times). 2
  • In regard to the concentration of artists in the region, according to the last census, Montreal (1.53%) is now behind Toronto (1.6%). Just like 15 years ago, Victoria (1.87%) and Vancouver (2.35%) remain in the lead. 2
  • In 2008, the average annual income of workers in the cultural sector was $44,000, which is 10% less than that in other industries ($48,547). But the sector is characterized by large disparities. With just over half (55%) of the sector’s average income, its 11,200 artists, writers and performers were the lowest paid ($24,400), a precarious situation since 75% of these workers were self-employed. On the other hand, architecture, publishing, radio and television broadcasting, and interactive gaming offered much more lucrative salaries ($60,000 to $65,000). 1
  • In 2006, the average income of Montreal’s 13,425 artists was 21% less than that of the local working age population, and similar to that of Laval’s 930 artists (-22%). This income disparity was much less significant for Longueuil’s 1,005 artists (-7%), but was much greater in Vancouver (-29%) and Toronto (-30%). 2
  • Overall, 300 arts organizations supported by the Montreal Arts Council in 2009 were financed by the public sector (45%) and by self-financing sources (34%). One-fifth (21%) of the income from private sources came as donations (14%) or sponsorships (7%). However, this increased relative to the budget, and 15% of the more affluent organizations shared 84% of private funding. This also varied according to the organization’s activities; thus literature (3%), dance (10%) and theatre (13%) received much less private funding than music (24%), movies, visual arts, media-related arts (25%), and festivals (38%). 1
  • The year it was created, the Montreal Arts Council supported theatre and musical performances equally. After 25 years of operation, the two disciplines are still predominant (29% and 33% respectively), but now the field is much more culturally diverse. 3
Disciplines Subsidized by the Montreal Arts Council
Source: Arts Council of Montreal 3

Proportion of the Population (15 Years of Age and Older)
Attendance at Cultural Events in the Last Twelve Months
CMA, 2005
Source: Statistics Canada 4
  • In 2008, film screenings accounted for 11.3% of performing art ticket sales on the island, a drop of 2 percentage points from 2004; 38% of these films were presented in French. The theatre occupation rate was 76.5% for over 8,000 screenings in 173 locations. 5
  • From 2004 to 2008, on the island, performances originating in Quebec dropped from 71.5% to 56.3%. 6

  • In Greater Montreal, French language radio station audiences grew over the years, but remained almost exclusively francophone. On the other hand, English language radio stations remained stable, but from 1987 to 2005, the number of listening hours that francophones devoted to English language stations increased from 32.3% to 38.2%. 7

  • In 2005, Greater Montreal francophones listened to English radio stations twelve times more frequently (38.2%) than anglophones listened to French stations (3.1%). 7

  • In 2007, less than one-third (29.8%) of the population of Greater Montreal were library members, compared to nearly twice as many residents of Vancouver (57.1%), and almost half of Toronto’s population (47.4%). Montreal library subscribers borrowed an average of 17.5 items per year, while Vancouver (21.6) and Toronto (24.4) experienced considerably more borrowing.. 8

  • If we take into consideration the population as a whole, and not only members, in 2008, Montreal’s network of 44 libraries processed an average of 5.61 loans per capita. In Toronto (10.88) and Vancouver (15.95), loans were almost two to three times more frequent. 9

  • In 2008, 71.1% of households in the region spent an average of $239 on reading material. In Toronto, 68.7% of households purchased $272 worth of reading material, and in Vancouver, 64.1% spent $197. 10

Mondial Choral
© Le Mondial Choral Loto-Québec

dotThe Loto-Quebec World Choral Festival was created by visionary Gregory Charles in Laval in 2005. Currently in its sixth year, this very dynamic form of art and leisure is enjoying increasing popularity in Quebec. Last year, 300,000 festivalgoers attended more than 250 performances given by ten thousand choral singers from all over the world. Today, considered to be the largest gathering of choirs and vocal ensembles in North America, this event showcases the great city of Montreal, bringing together the largest number of choristers in Quebec. 11

1 Culture in Montreal : Economic impacts and private funding, Board of trade of metropolitan Montreal, 2009, 29 p.

2 Artists in large Canadian cities, Statistical insights on the arts, Vol. 4, Nº 1, Hill Strategies Research Inc., Septembre, 2009

3 Faire le point pour aller plus loin! Les 25 ans du Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée, 2008, 21 p.

4 General social survey: Timetable (cycle 19), Statistics Canada

5 Statistiques principales des projections cinématographiques, régions administratives et ensemble du Québec, 2004-2008, Institut de la Statistique du Québec
  Statistiques principales des représentations payantes en arts de la scène, régions administratives et ensemble du Québec, 2004-2008, Institut de la Statistique du Québec

6 Panorama des régions du Québec, Édition 2010, Institut de la Statistique du Québec, 150 p.

7 Production culturelle et langue au Québec, suivi de la situation linguistique, fascicule 6, Office québécois de la langue française, Montréal, 2008, 124 p.

8 Canadian Public Library Statistics, City of Mississauga

9 Canadian Public Library Statistics, City of Mississauga

10 Dépenses moyennes des ménages, par région métropolitaine sélectionnée, Statistique Canada

11 Loto-Quebec World Choral website