The Vitality and Impact of Arts Presenting report is the outcome of a pan-Canadian survey of performing arts presenters and festivals led by a consortium presenting networks and associations, and conducted by Hill Strategies Research. It mobilizes knowledge about the scope, vitality, economic impact, and practices in the presenting sector. The report explores presenters’ activities, finances, programming, attendance, community engagement, and purpose.
Survey findings highlight the commitment of presenters to put Canadian artists, and especially in-province artists, on stages – in theatres and concert halls, as well as in non-conventional places such as workplaces, libraries and community centres. Notably, the survey found that many presenters are deeply committed to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Among other positive findings, three in four Canadian presenters presented Indigenous artists in the last year.
The report also provides new information on the range of community engagement activities that presenters deliver, and their profound impact on audience members and communities. 99% of respondents are involved in arts engagement activities such as “pre- or post-show discussions”, “participatory arts experiences” and “art for social change”.
Many presenters provided stories illustrating their connections with their audiences and their communities, such as lighting up the eyes (and dancing shoes) of an attendee with dementia, making deep and moving connections with audience members at an Indigenous performance, and facilitating a little bit of magic in people’s lives when presenting little-known performers.