New Ontario Study Shows Arts And Culture Attract Top Talent

Business for the Arts has just released the results of a new study that explores an interesting subject, the extent to which arts and culture attract both skilled workers and the businesses that seek them. 

Produced with the support of the Ontario Arts Council  and with research conducted by Nanos Research, the study is entitled Culture for Competitiveness: How Vibrant Culture Attracts Top Talent. 500 skilled workers and 508 businesses in Ontario were surveyed on the topic.

The conclusion was that a vibrant arts and culture scene, including live music, can be a major driver in attracting and retaining employees. The study also concluded that businesses can do more to support local arts communities. It found that only 25% of businesses in Ontario make financial contributions to arts and/or cultural organizations in their community, so clearly there is potential for growth in this area.

Nichole Anderson, President & CEO of Business for the Arts, stated that “The study’s bottom line is that businesses need to make arts and culture more of a priority. Our culture for competitiveness study confirms that skilled workers seek out vibrant arts and culture hubs when making job decisions, but businesses who could benefit from the magnetic effect of culture are not investing in their arts and culture ecosystem.”

The study includes the following findings:

60 per cent of businesses said that there are usually more qualified and attractive potential employees in communities with a thriving arts scene
64 per cent of businesses said that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community
49 per cent of skilled workers go to arts and cultural festivals two to four times per year
Just over half of skilled workers said that a healthy vibrant arts and culture community has influenced their choice regarding which city they would want to work in
Skilled workers in Toronto tend to value arts and culture more than those living elsewhere (85 per cent compared to 73 per cent)
75 per cent of skilled workers agreed that government support for the arts makes a more livable community.

One organization embracing the study is Music Canada. Its website noted that “Music Canada welcomes the results of Business for the Arts’ new study, and encourages Canadian businesses to support their local arts communities, including local music scenes, so that those communities and businesses continue to flourish together.”

Read the full report here:

About Business for the Arts

Founded in 1974, Business for the Arts is Canada’s only national charitable association of business members who support the arts. We are constantly witness to the wonderful things that can be achieved when business partners with arts and culture.

With 40 years of experience in facilitating connections between the private, public and cultural sectors, Business for the Arts is dedicated to strengthening arts and culture in Canada by:

connecting arts organizations to business patrons and volunteers through our artsScene and boardLink programs
stimulating investment in the arts through matching incentives and sponsorship training for arts organization with artsVest
communicating the value of investing in the arts through advocacy and research
providing a platform for arts organizations to celebrate their outstanding business partners in the arts with our Canadian Arts and Business Awards


To inspire Canada’s business community to partner with the arts to ensure a thriving cultural sector.


We connect, educate and invest to bridge the gap between business and the arts.



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