By the Numbers: Calgary’s Arts Sector

Dig into some numbers on the significance of Calgary’s arts sector and some challenges and triumphs local organizations experienced during the pandemic.

Jack Singer Concert Hall at Arts Commons. Photograph courtesy of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

When COVID-19 took Calgary by storm it immediately became clear that the arts sector would be tested. We spoke to some local organizations — as well as Calgary Arts Development — to learn about their impact on the city and some specific challenges and triumphs they have experienced during the pandemic.


3.18 million

people attended Calgary arts activities in 2019, per Calgary Arts Development (CAD).



artists were hired in Calgary in 2019, a 15% increase over 2018, per CAD.



was the total revenue of local arts organizations in 2019, up 5% from 2018.



individual artists across music, film, comedy and visual arts were hired by Sled Island in 2019, 434 of whom are from Alberta.



tickets, worth an approximate total of $50,000, were donated back to Calgary Opera for events cancelled due to COVID-19, not including paid tickets transferred to later shows.



of Calgary Folk Music Festival’s annual revenue comes from festival sales, not including critical cash sponsorships also rocked by the pandemic.



audience members (on average) attend each season of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.



local artists were exhibited in more than 20,500 square feet of space upon Contemporary Calgary’s grand opening in January 2020.



of Indefinite Arts Centre’s artists received services remotely while it was closed due to COVID-19.



of ticket holders for two cancelled Theatre Calgary shows refused refunds and instead donated the cost or put it toward a gift certificate.


$1.15 million and $2 million

was allocated to artists as a response to COVID-19 by CAD and the City, respectively.

Learn more about the people and organizations moving Calgary forward with Avenue's Innovation Newsletter.

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