Performing Arts Survey

Detailed information for 2002/03




Every 2 years

Record number:


This survey is conducted to create a national database on the not-for-profit performing arts companies (theatre, music, dance and opera). This survey collects employment and financial data on not-for-profit performing arts companies.

Data release - December 15, 2004


This survey is conducted to create a national database on the not-for-profit performing arts companies (theatre, music, dance and opera). This survey collects employment and financial data on not-for-profit performing arts companies. Excluded are presenters and for-profit companies.

The information from this survey is used by businesses for market analysis, by governments in the review of policies and programs on this sector and by others, including researchers, to study the performance and characteristics of this industry and generally research the not-for-profit performing arts sector.

A broader picture of the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector is provided by the Annual Survey of Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (record number 2425). That survey covers both for-profit and not-for-profit performing arts companies, including all theatres, such as dinner theatres and commercial theatres; music organizations such as orchestras, ensembles and individual professional musicians; dance companies and individual dancers and opera companies, variety shows, festivals, comedy shows, etc.

Statistical activity

The survey is currently administered as part of the Culture Statistics Program, which was established in 1972 to create, maintain and make available timely and comprehensive data on the culture sector in Canada. Specialized client-driven information needs are met through analytical studies of such topics as the economic impact of culture, the consumption of culture goods and services, government, personal and corporate spending on culture, the culture labour market, and international trade of culture goods and services.

The Guide to Culture Statistics (available through the online catalogue number 87-008-GIE (free)) has been developed by the Culture Statistics Program to facilitate access to culture information throughout Statistics Canada.

Reference period: Financial year (ending between September 1st and August 31st)


  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Culture and leisure
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Performing and visual arts

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all known professional non-profit performing arts companies, classified as theatre, or music theatre or multi disciplinary regrouped as theatre; music encompassing professional orchestras, ensembles and choirs; dance (classical and contemporary); and opera companies. Professional companies are those where artistic directors and/or administrators and/or artists are paid. For the purpose of this survey, we have excluded presenters and for-profit performing arts companies. In most cases, community companies (amateur) are excluded.

Instrument design

The collection instrument was designed in consultation with data users and questionnaire design specialists. It was last revised in 1996.


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

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Starting with the 1984 survey year, all companies are surveyed directly by Statistics Canada. The survey is collected by means of a mail back questionnaire. Mail, telephone, fax or Internet is used in follow-ups. Data are captured by using the CATI system.

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

Error detection

A series of edits are designed to identify problems with the data. These include exhaustive range edits, relationship edits and historical edits. These edits are completed during the processing of the data


Manual imputation is performed to produce imputed data based on previous years' reports, if available, or on the responses of a panel of establishments with characteristics similar to those of the non-respondent, based on revenue size, province and discipline.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The quality is largely dependent upon the accuracy of the figures reported by respondents. Data for the current year are compared with data reported for the previous year, and large variations are confirmed with the respondents. Following data capture, all survey records are subjected to an exhaustive computer edit which includes range, relationship and historical edits.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that 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.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

For the 2002-2003 reference period, a total of 797 questionnaires were mailed to performing arts companies. Of this total, 25 were out of scope, 7 duplicates, 68 inoperative, 26 out of business and 29 unable to locate bringing the eligible population for this survey to 642 respondents. Of these, 54 did not respond to the survey. The total number of respondents 588 divided by the total eligible population 642 gives an overall 92% response rate.

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