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In the fall of 2019 the Win­nipeg Arts Coun­cil com­mis­sioned Probe Research Inc. to cre­ate an up-to-date study on the qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive impact of the arts and cre­ative indus­tries in Win­nipeg. It’s been over five years since the last pub­li­ca­tion of such an impact study and con­se­quent­ly, it’s time to check the data.

The new pub­li­ca­tion, Cul­ture to the Core, con­firms what we found in the 2009 Tick­et to the Future and 2014 Encore stud­ies.

The arts and cre­ative indus­tries in Win­nipeg are worth $1.6 bil­lion in real GDP – up 22 % over the last decade. 

Core to the Economy

Cul­ture is core to the econ­o­my. The City of Win­nipeg cur­rent­ly ear­marks approx­i­mate­ly $4.5 mil­lion for arts grants, Win­nipeg Arts Coun­cil free arts events and oper­a­tions. Those grants and the Win­nipeg Arts Council’s work have sig­nif­i­cant spin-off effects, cre­at­ing jobs, gen­er­at­ing tax rev­enue and grow­ing Winnipeg’s economy.

Tax rev­enue returned to the City by artists and cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tions fund­ed or sup­port­ed by the Win­nipeg Arts Coun­cil is about $4.7 million.

Core to Qual­i­ty of Life

Unlike pre­vi­ous stud­ies, Cul­ture to the Core is not just an eco­nom­ic analy­sis. While the num­bers, pro­vid­ed by Probe Research and the George­town New­bury Group (in asso­ci­a­tion with the Man­i­to­ba Bureau of Sta­tis­tics) con­tain numer­ous rev­e­la­tions about the impor­tance of the arts to Winnipeg’s econ­o­my, what is equal­ly telling is how Win­nipeg­gers feel about arts and culture:

  • 90% of Win­nipeg­gers say arts and cul­ture are impor­tant to a good qual­i­ty of life in Winnipeg.
  • 90% of Win­nipeg­gers say art pro­grams are a good way to keep kids out of trouble.
  • 80% of Win­nipeg­gers par­tic­i­pat­ed in the arts in 2019.
  • 85% say it’s impor­tant for the City to fund arts and culture.

Core to the City

What all this means is that Win­nipeg is Cul­ture to the Core. We are arts peo­ple: we make art, we attend cul­tur­al events in huge num­bers, we think cul­ture is a cat­a­lyst for eco­nom­ic growth and gives the city its unique iden­ti­ty. In fact, most of us think Winnipeg’s arts scene is more vibrant than near­ly any­where else in Canada.


Find out all the facts and fig­ures, and read the report for your­self at www​.win​nipegarts​.ca/​c​u​l​t​u​r​e​t​o​t​h​ecore. Remem­ber, as a vot­er, you are respon­si­ble for keep­ing your elect­ed offi­cials on task for things that are impor­tant to you and the city as a whole — if you’re sup­port­ing UMFM, chances are the Arts is one of those things, so do your part and get in the know!