Translating Arts and Culture to Dollars and Cents: Kelowna Creative Sector’s Economic Impact Grows to $339M

Uncategorized July 17, 2019

Photo courtesy of Tourism Kelowna

From art markets to live theatre to video game production, the creative sector in Kelowna is on the rise, but how can we measure it and what does it mean to the local economy?

While the impact of the arts in our community goes well beyond dollars and cents, the City of Kelowna recently set out to quantify the economic impact of the sector with the 2019 Kelowna Creative Sector Economic Impact Study. The report, which is an update of a 2010 study, found that the creative sector is growing by leaps and bounds. Over the past 10 years the economic impact of the sector in Kelowna has grown by 340% to an annual impact of $339 Million.

Not only are Kelowna’s talented creatives creating more economic impact locally, they are earning higher incomes doing it. Creative sector incomes have grown 43% since 2009.

New to the 2019 study is the inclusion of Film and New Media as a sub-sector of the creative sector. Film and New Media includes film and video production, music and sound recording and video game production and publishing. The impact of this sub-sector is significant, with the equivalent of 1,192 full time positions in Kelowna and the highest average income.

While Film and New Media led the growth, it should be noted that even without this sub-sector, the creative sector showed an economic output increase of 149% and average income increase of 20%.

Read the full report and presentation to Kelowna City Council here.

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Check out Tourism Kelowna and Visit Westside for information on local galleries, exhibits and events.