On Monday, July 29, an assessment of Kelowna's creative sector was released, highlighting the sector's impact on the city's economy.
The Kelowna Creative Sector Economic Impact Study, conducted and presented by Vann Struth Consulting, states that the sector has more than doubled in size from 2009 to 2018. Additionally, the study found that 1.5 million people per year, or just over 4,000 people per day on average, attend some type of cultural facility or event in Kelowna. Though the scope of the study did not include related tourism impacts, the consultant did extrapolate survey responses and estimated that 30% of public attendees at creative sector facilities and events are tourists. The report further suggests that the Kelowna creative sector supports $40 million of tourist spending.
“From a tourism perspective, a thriving creative and cultural sector is an important part of Kelowna’s brand promise,” said President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna, Lisanne Ballantyne. “Travellers are looking to connect with a destination and gain a better understanding of the places they are visiting. This study helps us all better understand how arts and culture contribute to our visitors’ experience and residents’ quality of life.”
“The information garnered through this report is essential as we work to update the Cultural Plan,” said Christine McWillis, City of Kelowna Cultural Services Manager. “The findings not only showcase rapid growth within the creative sector, but also emphasizes how new media and digital arts are playing an increasing role in economic growth, especially in the number of employees working in the sector.”
The Economic Impact Study, along with several other supporting documents, will be used to inform the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan update that is set to be presented to Council for endorsement this fall.