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Arts, Entertainment & Recreation

Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Arts, Entertainment and Recreation in Atlantic Canada

  • The arts, entertainment and recreation industry has been significantly affected by measures to contain COVID-19. For example, performing arts venues, sporting events, museums, art galleries, nature parks and zoos, bingo halls, casinos, race tracks, amusement parks, recreational centres (including hockey rinks and bowling alleys) are shut down. Indigenous communities are also affected by these shutdowns, such as their casinos.
  • APEC estimates that most arts, entertainment and recreation businesses in Atlantic Canada had their revenues and employment decrease by as much as 90% in recent weeks. This equates to as much as $89 million in lost Atlantic revenues in April alone and 20,000 layoffs.
  • If restrictions last into the summer, golf and other outside sports activities will be increasingly affected with summer recreational camps at risk of being cancelled.
  • Major events being hosted in the region, such as the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship in Nova Scotia and the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in Nova Scotia, have also been cancelled due to COVID-19, adding further to the loss in economic activity.

Quick Facts

  • There are nearly 3,300 arts, entertainment and recreation business locations in Atlantic Canada. Of these, 85% have less than 10 employees, and 98% have less than 50 employees.
  • Over 22,000 Atlantic Canadians were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry in 2019, representing 2% of total regional employment. Employment is higher in the peak summer tourism season.
  • Average earnings in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry are 41% below the all-industry average, at $537per week.
  • Total revenues for arts, entertainment and recreation businesses in Atlantic Canada were more than $1.2 billion in 2018. APEC estimates for-profit revenues account for 86% of industry revenues with the residual 14% being non-profit revenues.



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