Survey of Heritage Institutions

Detailed information for 2002/03





Record number:


This survey is conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the not-for-profit heritage institutions in Canada.

Data release - October 25, 2004


This survey is conducted to provide data to government and cultural associations in order to gain a better understanding of the not-for-profit heritage institutions in Canada and to help in the development of policies, the conduct of program evaluations and policy reviews, and the area of advocacy in the heritage sector.

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: Fiscal year

Collection period: June to October


  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Culture and leisure
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Information and culture
  • Museums, historic sites, archives and other heritage institutions

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The survey covers those publicly and privately owned heritage institutions whose purpose is to acquire, preserve, study, interpret, and make accessible to the public (for its instruction and enjoyment) objects, specimens, documents, buildings, and land areas of educational and cultural value including artistic, scientific, historical, technological and nature-related material. Excluded are institutions which operate primarily for the sale of objects exhibited or as profit-making endeavours or which were closed to the public during the survey period. Heritage institutions include museums (including art galleries), archives, historic sites, buildings, parks or communities, nature parks and conservation areas with interpretation or educational programs. Other related institutions include exhibition centres, planetariums, observatories, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, arboretums and conservatories.

Instrument design

The collection instrument was designed in consultation with data users and questionnaire design specialists. It was last revised in 1997.


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

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: June 23, 2003 to October 30, 2003

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

This survey of non-profit heritage institutions in Canada uses a mail-back questionnaire and telephone follow-ups. The survey is administered in the field through the Regional Offices of Statistics Canada. These offices are responsible for the mail-out, data collection, follow-up, key entry, manual and computer edits and transmittal of questionnaires to Culture Subdivision, documentation of data quality and data collection, and the production of a work file. The Culture Subdivision of Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics (CTCES) is responsible for questionnaire receipt, survey design and management, maintaining reference files, file preparation for mail-out, data quality, data release and liaison with data users.

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

Error detection

A series of edits are designed to identify problems with the micro data using Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software. This includes consistency, historic and range edits which are completed after collection as part of processing.


Automatic imputation is performed to produce 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, etc.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

In addition to reverse record checks, and 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 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

Since the survey is a census of all known heritage institutions, 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. An exact measure of the undercoverage is not available. 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 the non-sampling errors. For the 2002-2003 reference period, the response rate was 90%. Data were imputed for partially completed forms and for establishments which were complete non-respondents. Data were imputed for total non-responses. Their revenues accounted for 4% of total revenues.

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