News Release | September 29, 2021
Across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, nearly 1500 artists and art supporters came together virtually this spring to participate in a ground-breaking assessment of the economic, social, cultural, and health impacts of arts in the region. The results are set to be made public during a live, online event on October 6, 2021, and the published study will be shared online on October 12, 2021.
The first of its kind for our vast region, the arts impact study was conducted by international consulting firm Nordicity and coordinated by the Digital Innovation Group (DIG)—a growing collective of island arts councils. Funding for the study came from the Canada Council for the Arts.
DIG member Ora Steyn of the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District said, “We were looking for meaningful data to quantify the contribution of the arts sector to our region, and are thrilled to learn that there are over 35,000 artists and that our sector generates almost $1 billion in direct economic outputs.”
In addition to valuable economic data, the study included research into social and community impacts with more than 90% of respondents indicating that the arts are foundational to economic, community and individual wellness. The study also references emerging international findings that estimate the social benefits at an ROI of 5:1. In other words, a $100 investment in arts (e.g. educational programming) has the potential to return $500 in positive social impact (e.g. improved mental health). “Findings like these will help as we embark on new projects that highlight support and service gaps for our sector,” adds Steyn.
With concrete figures about arts’ impact alongside observations from art makers and supporters themselves, this study is poised to provide new insights to promote and advocate for the arts on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. To this end, DIG will be presenting the study’s findings at this year’s Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit in late October.
Anyone with an interest in the arts is encouraged to register here to attend the live, online event on October 6 at 10AM where the results of the arts impact assessment will be presented by Nordicity.
For more information, contact:
Ora Steyn, Digital Innovation Group Steering Committee