F.Y.I. – WE OFTEN TAKE THE ARTS FOR GRANTED, EVEN AS THEY NOURISH CANADIAN CITIES

SIMON HOUPT in The Globe and Mail makes it clear that the art sector contributes billions of dollars to municipal economies across Canada. Some of his Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver numbers are eye-popping.TORONTO – the art sector annually contributes an estimated $11.3-billion to the city’s GDP.VANCOUVER and British Columbia, both in the creative industry, bestow $6.6-billion.MONTREAL experienced a 21.7% drop due to Covid-19, including arts, entertainment and sports; TORONTO dropped 23.3%.There’s been a 26.3% drop in CALGARY due to the pandemic. (Conference Board of Canada)94% of Canadians believe the arts make a difference in their communities (Canada Council Annual Report 2019-2020)CANADA’S CULTURE INDUSTRIES contributed $56-billion to the country’s gross domestic product, representing roughly 655,000 jobs.Arts experiments worldwide are happening, and searches are on finding new audiences and different ways of delivering art forms to them. Recently I watched on PBS a one-man play ‘live’ from Detroit, and it worked extremely well. ‘Broadway to Obscurity’ had a sharp script and that, combined with a well-prepared actor, ERIC GUTMAN, made the evening.  So it can be done. <Photo – Detroit Public Theatre>

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