To support our call to action and your arguments, the following benefits, in no particular order, offers ideas about how the arts sustain our quality of life.
- The arts strengthen social bonds, creating common memories and a community in which people want to participate.
- The arts encourage others to stay in, or move to communities that embrace the arts.
- The arts can help put a community “on the map” domestically and internationally.
- The arts create stimulation, celebration and hope. They promote a sense of community identity and express a Canadian identity at home and abroad.
- The arts provide youth motivation, self-discipline, self-criticism, self-efficacy and the ability to work in a team.
- The arts build social bonds and improve self-image, self-regulation, empathy, and tolerance.
- The arts develop social skills which helps to keep youth out of trouble, and contributes to an enriched society (78% of parents believe that arts programs improve their child’s personal growth).
- Schools have seen attendance increase and drop out rates decrease among those that participate in the arts.
- Over 3.6 million youth attended a performing arts production in Canada in 2000-01. Theatre events alone attracted 2.7 million Canadian youth.
Cultural tourism development
- The arts define a community’s unique characteristics, which attracts tourists.
- When a community has arts and cultural activities to offer tourists, they stay longer in the area, and thus, spend more.
- Cultural visitors support a broad range of rural and urban businesses when they purchase meals, gifts, and hotel stays.
- Domestic traveling involving culture and heritage activities numbered over 14 million leisure trips in 1996, and generated almost $3 billion in spending – roughly one quarter of total spending by Canadian leisure travelers.
- Tourism centred around arts events, festivals, museums, art galleries, and heritage attractions is big business. Total domestic spending by Canadian cultural tourists exceeds $3 billion, according to a recent Canadian Tourism Commission survey.
- All sizes of communities benefit from efforts to cultivate and develop cultural offerings for visitors.
Arts experiences as individual enjoyment and enrichment
- The arts increase individuals’ mental and physical health and well being, while reducing stress and anxiety.
- Canadians express strong sentiments about the contribution of arts and culture to the quality of life. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents believe the arts are important in terms of enhancing the quality of their lives. Furthermore, 72% disagree with the statement that “having arts and cultural performances, exhibits and festivals does little or nothing for the well-being of a community”.
Job creation/Economic generation
- The arts create employment for approximately 740,000 people across Canada, generate tax revenue and increase consumer spending.
- The arts can help maintain and attract a young population.
- Communities can attract new business and skilled workers through the arts, which impacts the economy and helps communities compete.
- Artists support local businesses while they spend within their communities (which is usually “green” spending).
- Strong, creative communities attract business and industry, which bring employment opportunities and add to the wealth of the community.
- Arts and culture can have a catalyzing role in revitalization and renewal initiatives.
- Arts and cultural facilities bring economic development and revitalization to neighbourhoods, according to a study by Ryerson University’s Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity.
Development of community pride and identity
- The arts build a positive atmosphere and create liveable communities.
Sustaining attraction for young people
- The arts are an effective outreach tool to engage youth.
- The arts contribute to creating healthy and supportive communities for youth.
- The arts offer opportunities for youth leadership development and for youth to affect positive change in their communities.
Creativity in Learning
- Numerous studies have shown that exposure to the arts improves young people’s academic performance/test scores, and also their basic skills and attitudes – producing better students overall.
- Learning in and through the arts enhances learning in other domains and general scholastic achievementThe arts help in the successful transition to adulthood and the development of in-demand job skills.
This is a call to action. We need your support in this critical time when provincial budget decisions are being made.
Creative Cities Network
Hill Strategies Research
Canadian Conference of the Arts
Saskatchewan Arts Alliance