Attendance at museum institutions dropped by nearly 75% in 2020
Notice of release
Québec, February 16, 2022. – The number of admissions to museum institutions dropped from 15.1 million in 2019 to 3.9 million in 2020, a 74% decrease. Such are the findings of Optique culture No. 81 – La fréquentation des institutions muséales en 2020, a new bulletin by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec presenting the latest annual results on the number of admissions to museums, exhibition centres and interpretation sites.
Attendance at museum institutions, Québec, 2011 to 2020
1. Number of on-site admissions. Excludes activities or exhibitions presented in a location other than the museum's property, such as a municipal park, a school, a shopping centre or the street.
2. Number of admissions to activities presented by the museum institution in a location other than the museum’s property (exhibitions or activities presented in a municipal park, a school, a shopping centre, on the street, etc.).
Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.
Intramural and extramural attendance
- In 2020, there were 3.7 million intramural admissions in the province’s museum institutions, 69% fewer than the 5-year average (2016-2020).
- Of the remaining admissions, 272,868 were extramural, i.e. to exhibitions or activities organized by museum institutions off their property, for example in parks, schools, shopping centres or streets (versus 1,454,873 in 2019).
- Extramural activities accounted for 7% of total annual attendance in 2020, a lower proportion than that observed in 2019 (10%).
A slow, gradual recovery?
The pandemic affected museum attendance for all categories of institutions and clients. The two-time shutdown of many museums and the multiple travel bans may account for much of 2020’s sharp drop in admissions.
The Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec contributes to measuring the pandemic’s effects on attendance at cultural institutions. This data will be critical in assessing its impact and supporting the industry’s recovery.
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