October 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Culture-goers intend to increase their donations to the arts in 2021

© doublespace

As part of its vision to help lead and support the renewal of the Canadian performing arts sector, the National Arts Centre is partnering with Business / Arts and Nanos Research on national consumer research to gauge Canadians' attitudes on returning to indoor and outdoor arts and culture events across Canada.

The latest findings from the second Arts Response Tracking Study (ARTS), released September 22, 2020, offer insight for Canadian arts organizations to help inform both programming and fundraising models. 

Here are some key findings:

Culture-goers and Canadians intend to be more generous towards the arts in 2021, after an expected dip in 2020 donations

Culture-goers appear sensitive to the need to support arts and culture in the COVID-19 environment. While they report their donations to arts and culture will drop by 20% in 2020 compared to the 2019 base year; in 2021, they expect to make up for this by increasing their donations by 40% compared to 2019.

Masks are more frequently mentioned as a precaution for outdoor arts/cultural performances for early return

38% of outdoor culture-goers (25% in May) who plan to attend immediately after reopening, and 44% of outdoor culture-goers (23% in May) who plan to attend one to five months after reopening, say they want masks to make them comfortable to attend outdoor performances.

Indoor culture-goers say they plan to attend, in person, an indoor arts or cultural performance, on average, six months after businesses, government and cultural organizations are re-opened and following public health guidelines.

Despite an easing of restrictions, culture-goers’ attitudes towards a return to in-person performances remains consistent with the May wave of the tracking study. A significant portion remain unsure of when they will return. This is likely a result of second-wave speculation.

Panel discussion

In conjunction with these findings, Business / Arts hosted a national panel moderated by Camilla Holland, Executive Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, along with arts leaders from across the country. They included:

Wesley Colford, Artistic and Executive Director, Highland Theatre, Cape Breton 

Jayne Watson, Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Centre Foundation, Ottawa

Monica Esteves, Executive Director, Canadian Stage, Toronto

Irfhan Rawji, Chair, Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Claire Sakaki, Executive Director, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver

Read the full Arts Response Tracking Study.

The second ARTS tracking study received additional support from the Canadian Opera Company, Woodbridge Group and a private patron from the National Arts Centre Foundation. More than 1,000 people were polled.


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