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    Evolution of Québec government spending on culture

    Release notice

    Québec, December 20, 2021. – In 2019-2020, cultural spending by Québec government departments and agencies increased by 2.1% to $1.9 billion. It therefore accounted for 1.65% of the Québec government’s consolidated spending. This was revealed in the publication Les dépenses en culture de l’administration publique québécoise en 2019-2020 released today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

    Evolution of per capita spending

    Québec government spending was $222 per capita in 2019-2020. Since 2012-2013, it has increased by an average of 4.5% per year. Direct spending on culture (excluding tax measures) amounted to $141 per capita in 2019-2020, while the value of refundable tax credits was $81 per capita.

    Direct and tax spending on culture by the Québec government, in dollars per capita1, Québec, 2010-2011 to 2019-2020

    Direct and tax spending on culture by the Québec government, in dollars per capita, Québec, 2010-2011 to 2019-2020

    1. Data on the Québec population come from the table Population and components of demographic growth, Québec, 1971-2021 by the Institut de la statistique du Québec [] (Viewed on June 25, 2021).
    2. Data on tax spending is not available before 2012-2013.
    Source: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.

    Significant increase in tax spending

    The increase in total cultural spending by the Québec government in recent years is due more to tax spending (tax credits) than to direct spending (salaries, purchases of goods and services, purchases of land, equipment, materials or buildings, operating grants and contributions, etc.). Since 2012-2013, tax spending has grown at an average annual rate of 12.6%, compared to 2.4% for direct spending.

    Spending by region

    In 2019-2020, 74% of direct cultural spending was in the central regions of Montréal ($290.74 per capita) and Capitale-Nationale ($382.51 per capita).

    In the other regions, direct spending ranged from $23.39 to $164.80 per capita. Over the past 10 years, direct spending on culture has increased by an average of more than 5% per year in the Laurentides, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Montérégie regions.

    Spending by cultural field

    In 2019-2020, over half of direct spending was in the Libraries (23%), Heritage, Museums and Archives (23%), and Performing Arts (13%) fields, which have dominated direct spending for at least 20 years. Taking into account tax spending, the Cinema and Audiovisual field had the largest share with 21% of total spending, followed by Multimedia (15%).

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