July 9, 2017














A new Ontario Arts Council (OAC) study conducted by Nanos Research shows that Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts to vibrant, livable communities.

Impressions of the Impact of the Arts on Quality of Life and Well-Being in Ontario, the Nanos Research report based on a random survey of 1,004 individuals, found that a large majority of Ontarians agree that the arts contribute to the various elements of quality of life and community well-being. The research also demonstrated how strongly these views are held by Ontarians.

Survey Highlights

  • Arts and quality of life
  • 93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
  • 90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • 85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.
  • Arts and identity and belonging
  • 91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
  • 88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.
  • Arts and community well-being
  • 90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
  • 97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.
  • Government investment in the arts
  • 82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
  • 79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.
  • Positive views toward the arts across all regions and demographic groups

The survey also shows that regardless of the respondent’s region, gender and age, a majority of Ontarians had positive views about the arts and all of the following aspects: quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.


“The results of the Quality of Life report confirm what we heard as we developed the province’s first Culture Strategy, and show that Ontarians intuitively understand that culture is a fundamentally important part of our lives and communities. I’m proud that our government is taking steps to strengthen the arts and culture sector as we implement the initiatives outlined in the Culture Strategy, and the Ontario Arts Council is an important part of that work.”

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“This study clearly demonstrates that people across Ontario believe that the arts make an important contribution to their quality of life and social well-being and that arts activities are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of their communities as places to live and work.”

Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council

“Our research indicates that Ontarians not only value the arts for their impact on community and personal quality of life, but also for its ability to foster better cultural understanding and build shared community identities.”

Nik Nanos, Chairman, Nanos Research Group.

Learn More
Read the Executive Summary [PDF].
Read the full Nanos Research report [PDF].


The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) commissioned Nanos Research to conduct a survey exploring Ontarians’ views on the impact of the arts on quality of life and well-being. Designed to update and expand on similar research undertaken in 1994 and 2010, this report provides an up-to-date picture of how the people of Ontario value the arts in their lives and in their communities.

The survey explored the views of Ontarians toward the public value of the arts across the following dimensions: quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment in the arts.

This is a follow-up to OAC’s 2010 provincial survey and the second since 1994.

Methodology: Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) telephone random survey of 1,004 residents of Ontario, 18 years of age or older, between March 2 and 8, 2017, as part of an omnibus survey. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,004 residents of Ontario is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

All numbers in this newsflash that refer to the percent of Ontarians who “agree” include those respondents who answered either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” to the statement. Similarly, the two numbers that refer to the percent of Ontarians saying the arts are “important” include all respondents who answered either “very important” or “somewhat important” to the statement.

Source: News release from Ontario Arts Council, June 8, 2017