COVID-19, Culture Days, and the Arts

COVID-19 has affected the arts and culture sector across the country and had a huge impact on how we celebrated Culture Days in 2020. In order to understand this impact in greater depth, we used our annual survey campaign as an opportunity to ask Culture Days attendees, as well as the Canadian general population, how much and in what ways the pandemic has affected their participation in arts and culture.

The data presented on this page comes from national surveys conducted in October, 2020, and represent a very particular and unique moment in time.

Participation during the pandemic

It is clear that people in Canada participated in arts and culture more before the COVID-19 pandemic than since it began, and are a little hestiant about participating again in the future.

Because of restrictions caused by COVID-19, many moved their participation online. We found that Culture Days attendees were much more likely than the general population to enagage with arts and culture online.

Levels of participation between March and October 2020:

Impact of arts and culture

While participation has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, access to arts and culture indoors, outdoors, and online has also provided much-needed support for many. Results from our survey indicate that arts and culture has had a positive impact on both physical and mental well-being and that people in Canada are using arts and culture to explore, process, connect, and communicate during these uncertain times.

Online Activities

A large portion of arts and culture events moved online in 2020, where they were accessed virtually as restrictions were placed on in-person gatherings. This was a big change, but one that was well received by a majority of Culture Days attendees. Online or digital programs played a pivotal part in the 2020 Culture Days celebrations, allowing for fun and safe arts and culture engagement, while also opening up activities to larger audiences from across the country.

In-person Events

In 2020, Culture Days still saw traditional in-person events take place in regions where group gatherings were allowed. In-person events represented approximately one third of all activities, remaining an integral part of community celebrations where permitted.

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