Survey of Federal Government Expenditures on Culture

Detailed information for 2009-2010





Record number:


This survey is conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the federal government expenditures on culture in Canada.

Data release - April 4, 2012


The following is a list of culture sectors included in this survey: 1) national libraries; 2) public libraries; 3) school libraries; 4) university and college libraries; 5) museums; 6) public archives; 7) historic parks and sites; 8) nature/provincial parks; 9) other heritage; 10) arts education; 11) literary arts; 12) performing arts; 13) visual arts and crafts; 14) film and video; 15) broadcasting; 16) sound recording; 17) multiculturalism; 18) multidisciplinary activities; 19) other.

The data from this survey are used by all levels of government for the assessment and development of culture policies and programs. They are also used by a wide variety of national, provincial, territorial, municipal and sectoral arts councils, agencies, advocacy groups, think tanks, arts organizations, institutions and researchers for the assessment and development of cultural policies as well as for resource justification purposes.

Reference period: Fiscal year (between April 1st of the reference year and March 31st of the following year)


  • Culture and leisure
  • Government spending on culture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Federal government departments and agencies responsible for the support of arts and culture.

Instrument design

The collection instrument was designed in consultation with data users and questionnaire design specialists. It was last revised in 1984.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2010-12-03 to 2011-11-30

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The survey is a mail-out mail-back survey with fax and telephone follow-ups.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

A series of edits are designed to identify problems with the data. These include consistency and historic range edits which are completed after collection as part of processing.


Problems of missing, invalid or inconsistent entries are resolved by contacting the respondents. If this fails, manual imputation is performed to produce current data using the previous years' reports.

For a small percentage (3.3%) of federal operating expenses in 2009/2010, detailed information on spending by category AND province was not available. Information on the breakdown of operating expenses was available by region (based on the location of regional offices). In this case, the method for estimating provincial breakdown of spending was to allocate to the province where the office was located. Operating expenses were also only available by broad categories of culture activity. Based on this information, spending by province AND category was calculated by applying the provincial breakdown to each culture activity. At the provincial level, therefore, this may result in some over- or under-estimation of actual spending for any given culture activity. The same estimation method was used for the 2003/2004 (revised), 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 data.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

In addition to historical trend analysis, data sources within and outside Statistics Canada are used to compare, reconcile, and validate the final data output.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Revisions to the data for previous year(s) are made if revised data are provided by the respondent(s).

Data accuracy

Since the survey is a census of all known federal cultural departments and agencies, only non-sampling errors (coverage, non-response, measurement and processing errors) are possible. Coverage error was minimized by using multiple sources to update the frame. Careful design of the questionnaire, extensive manual and automated edits, imputation for non-response, and monitoring of survey operations all help to limit the magnitude of other non-sampling errors.

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