New data from Statistics Canada indicates that like most sectors, arts and sports have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Alberta, those industries had operating revenue of close to $1.2 billion in 2019, and $10.5 billion Canada-wide.
“operating revenue for spectator sports, event promoters, artists and related industries will have decreased by around 50 per cent in 2020,” said Statistics Canada.
“Owing to its preliminary nature, this figure is expected to be revised when survey data are collected and provide a complete picture of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While some artists and artistic enterprises may have been able to dodge the ill effects of the pandemic, those that rely on in-person contact and the gathering of people in a physical space faced tremendous challenges.
The same goes for spectator sports. Playing in mostly empty venues was better than not playing at all, but revenue from tickets and concession sales collapsed.
With public health restrictions still very much in play, many businesses in the art and sport sector continue to face challenges. Vaccines and herd immunity offer hope, but it will take some time before the damage is repaired and this important segment of our economy can start to grow again.