Culture and Tourism - Facts & Statistics

Economic Impact

  • In Alberta, it is estimated that culture generates about $10 billion in total economic activity. In 2014, culture contributed $5.7 billion to Alberta's gross domestic product (GDP), sustaining more than 55,500 jobs.
  • Albertans spent an average of $4,415 per household on cultural goods, services and activities in 2015—the most of all Canadians and 22% more than the national average of $3,606.
  • In 2014, Alberta welcomed 34.7 million visitors and saw approximately $8.3 billion in spending by tourists.
  • There are about 19,000 tourism-related businesses in Alberta, and the industry sustains more than 127,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the province (2013).
  • Alberta's non-profit/voluntary sector employs about 176,000 Albertans.
  • Sport and recreation goods and services contributed roughly $750 million to Alberta's GDP in 2014, sustaining more than 11,800 jobs and generating total economic activity of around $1.2 billion.
  • Alberta's film, television and digital media industry employs around 3,000 Albertans with many more being impacted by production-induced spending such as hotels, caterers and lumber companies.


  • About 95% of Alberta’s visitation comes from within Canada. 78% of tourism spending can be attributed to domestic visitors.
  • With regards to tourism regions, the Calgary and Area region accounted for the highest share of visitor spending in 2012 (30%), followed by Edmonton and Area (22%), the Canadian Rockies (17%), Alberta Central (15%), Alberta South (10%) and Alberta North (6%).
  • Find more detailed information at Alberta Tourism Statistics

Cultural Industries

  • In the last 10 years, Alberta-shot films have won more Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy awards than any other province.
  • Over the last five years, about $148 million has been provided to support Alberta's film, television and digital media industry, resulting in approximately $510 million in direct production expenditures in Alberta.
  • Owned and operated by the Government of Alberta, the Jubilee Auditoria ranked second and third for top theatres in Canada based on 2015 tickets sales for commercially-recognized tours.
  • The Jubilee Auditoria are the proud home of the resident companies for Alberta Ballet, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera and Ukrainian Shumka Dancers.


  • 80% of Albertans attended an arts event or activity in 2015-16.
  • Around 82% of Albertans feel it is important for the Government of Alberta to continue to fund and support the arts.
  • Residents and visitors alike enjoy performances and exhibits by 55 professional arts companies, 18 public art galleries, and more than 300 community based organizations across Alberta.
  • Alberta Culture Days is an annual, three-day celebration of heritage, cultural diversity and provincial pride. In 2016, over 145,800 Albertans discovered and celebrated our arts, heritage and cultural diversity with almost 350 events in 87 communities across the province. Alberta is a leader in arts funding, providing the third highest total amount in direct funding for artists and arts organizations in Canada.
  • Alberta is a leader in arts funding, providing the third highest total amount in direct funding for artists and arts organizations in Canada.
  • The Alberta Foundation for the Arts' collection has about 8,800 works of art representing the talents of more than 1,700 Alberta artists, most of which can be viewed at the AFA Art Collection.

Recreation and Physical Activity

  • The Trans Canada Trail in Alberta is currently 1765.3 km. Once completed the 3000+ km trail will travel across the province connecting to Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
  • About 81% of adult Albertans participated in recreational activities and sports in 2015.
  • About 90% of Albertans believe that participating in recreation provides opportunities for people to contribute to their communities.
  • About 96% of Albertans feel recreation is important in contributing to quality of life.
  • The most popular types of activities Albertans participate in are physical activities, outdoor activities and creative/cultural activities.
  • The top three favourite recreational activities of Albertans are walking, golfing and camping.
  • The top three motivations for participation include: for pleasure, to relax and for physical health and exercise.


  • The French-speaking population in Alberta is growing at almost twice the rate as the province's overall population.
  • After Québec, Ontario and BC, Alberta is the province that attracts the most French-speaking immigrants.


  • 94% of Albertans feel historical resources are important to overall quality of life in Alberta. 57.4% of Albertans visited a provincial heritage facility in 2015-16.
  • Culture and Tourism is the second-largest provider of educational programs to children in Alberta, following the public education system. Over 93,000 students participated in 3,421 heritage programs in 2015-16.
  • There are 654 historic places that have been protected as Provincial and Municipal Historic Resources as of March 31, 2016, such as tipi rings, fur trading posts, historical ranches, railway stations and private residences.
  • There are 20 provincially-owned and operated historic sites, museums and archives:
    • In 2015-16, a total of 889,860 people visited provincial heritage facilities.
    • In 2015-16, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology had a banner year with record visitation of more than 479,000 people.
  • Alberta Culture and Tourism's Heritage Division manages archival records and around 11 million historical objects that tell the story of Alberta. This includes 150,000 fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and 9 million objects at the Royal Alberta Museum.

Non-profit/Voluntary Sector

  • Alberta's non-profit/voluntary sector consists of over 24,500 organizations and registered charities in communities across the province, providing cultural, social and economic benefits to Albertans.
  • In 2015-16, the Community Development Unit worked with over 500 organizations to help them develop more effective plans for the future. In addition, the unit provided over 1,100 training sessions to nearly 18,400 participants.
  • Alberta has one of the highest charitable tax credits in Canada. For every dollar donated over $200, Albertans can receive a non-refundable tax credit of 50%.
Last reviewed/revised: November 21, 2017
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