Ontario & the Arts

Last week, I wrote about global museum attendance. This week, I’m going to look at some more art numbers – specifically, as they pertain to Ontario.


ABOVE: Installation view of Douglas Coupland’s recent exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto)

In September 2011, The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) commissioned the Ontario Arts Engagement Survey. Data was collected by Ipsos Reid in May/June of 2011, and of 12,672 calls made, 1,594 interviews were completed. Here are some of the results:

Art viewing habits:

  • Visiting a museum was the tenth most popular arts activity with 51% of those surveyed claiming to have gone at least once in the last year – the number one art activity was watching movies on a computer, TV or DVD (94%).

At least once a year:

  • 9% of respondents paint, draw or make original art (75% don’t).
  • 6% take an arts class (91% don’t).
  • 39% go to an arts fair (54% don’t).
  • 36% buy art for their homes (59% don’t).


  • 71% of respondents said that the home was the predominant setting for engaging with the arts.
  • 95% said they would like to be doing more arts activities than they are currently doing.

These are just some of the results from the OAC’s most recent survey. Hopefully, they’ll commission another one soon.

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