Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada’s Creative Economy

The Conference Board of Canada, 72 pages, July 29, 2008
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Prepared for the International Forum on the Creative Economy, this report highlights the substantial social, cultural, and economic contributions of Canada’s culture sector and assesses its economic footprint. Rapport en français

Document Highlights

Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada’s Creative Economy examines the culture sector as a cornerstone of the creative economy.

Arts and culture industries play a vital role in attracting people, business, and investment, and in distinguishing Canada as a dynamic and exciting place to live and work.

The Conference Board estimates that the economic footprint of Canada’s culture sector was $84.6 billion in 2007, or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s total real GDP, including direct, indirect, and induced contributions. Culture sector employment exceeded 1.1 million jobs in 2007.

Technology is revolutionizing business models in the creative economy, altering the way culture is created and consumed. Consumers are becoming “prosumers” who actively create and customize content.

The “long tail” business model of many niche markets is altering how arts and culture industries sell their products and services.

The culture sector bridges geographical distances and creates greatly expanded social networks.

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Valuing Arts and Culture as Cornerstones of the Creative Economy

  • The Multiple Dimensions of Culture in Society
  • Defining the Culture Sector: The Foundation of the Creative Economy
  • The Economic Benefits of the Culture Sector
  • Cultural Value Networks
  • The Social Benefits of the Culture Sector
  • Cities as Engines of Creativity
  • The Culture Sector: Centre Stage in the Creative Economy

Chapter 2—Canada’s Creative Economy in Transition: Major Trends

  • Demographic Changes
  • Expanding Globalization and the Internet: Impacts on Culture Consumers
  • Today’s Culture Consumer: Key Trends in Supply and Demand
  • Consumer Spending on Culture Goods and Services
  • Intellectual Property and International Copyright
  • The Role of Arts and Culture in Generating, Regenerating, and Branding “Creative Cities”

Chapter 3—The Economic Footprint of Canada’s Creative Economy

  • A Framework for Quantifying the Creative Economy
  • Assessing the Size of Canada’s Culture Sector
  • Quantifying the Broader Economic Impacts of Culture

Chapter 4—Drivers of the Creative Economy

  • Consumption Dynamics
  • Innovation
  • Technology
  • Talent
  • Diversity
  • Social Capital and Collaboration
  • Capital Investment
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5—Positioning Canada’s Culture Sector in the Global Market

  • The Global Competitiveness of Canada’s Culture Industries: Key Issues
  • How Canada Performs in the Global Creative Economy: International Trade in Canada’s Culture Goods and Services
  • Foreign Direct Investment, Mergers,and Acquisitions
  • Comparison of the Economic Performance of Canada’s Culture Industries With That of Other OECD Nations

Chapter 6—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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