Social Capital

Arts attendance

Regular attendance at arts events and activities is associated with greater life satisfaction and general happiness [23]. Arts activities and venues, such as museums and historical sites, are also sources of cultural and economic value [24]. The social, cultural, educational, and health impacts of arts and cultural activities are supported by a substantial evidence base, in particular, with respect to wellbeing [25,26]. Research suggests that engaging in passive activities (for example attending museums, historical sites and arts events) and/or arts activities that involve active participation (such as playing an instrument or acting in a play) all have positive effects on wellbeing [27]. Information about attendance can also provide insights for arts organisations about the levels of cultural engagement, which can help in the development of marketing programming and income generation strategies [28].

This indicator presents overall attendance for the arts and is based on all those who have attended the following art forms in the last 12 months: visual arts, craft and object arts, performing arts, literature, Pacific arts and Māori arts. Attendance is defined as going to: art galleries or exhibitions or online galleries or film festivals; performances in theatres, contemporary dance, ballet, concerts or circuses; poetry or book readings, or literary festivals; cultural performances, festivals, exhibitions; or celebrations of Pacific or Māori arts.

The figure shows that 79 percent of respondents in Canterbury had attended at least one arts event or location in the 12 months before November 2017. This compares to 73 percent for New Zealand, although the difference is not statistically significant.

The 2017 New Zealanders and the Arts Survey [29] indicates that the most popular art form in Canterbury was performing arts. Fifty-nine percent of all Canterbury respondents had attended a performing arts event in the 12 months prior to November 2017. This was followed by visual arts (42%), and craft and object arts (34%). The least popular art form was literary arts. Only nine percent had attended a literary arts event or festival in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, although this proportion will also be affected by the frequency of such events. Attendance for individual art forms in Canterbury is in line with the national picture (art form data not shown).

Data Sources

Source: Creative New Zealand.
Survey/data set: New Zealanders and the Arts survey to 2017. Access publicly available data from the Creative New Zealand website
Source data frequency: Every three years.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 26/11/2019