2016 Culture for Competitiveness Study

Culture for Competitiveness: How Vibrant Culture Attracts Top Talent

In an increasingly competitive, increasingly global landscape, our province and our businesses are seeking creative strategies to attract top talent to Ontario. Business for the Arts , with support from Ontario Arts Council and research contribution by Nanos Research, released the results of our new study – Culture for Competitiveness: How Vibrant Culture Attracts Top TalentBased on a random survey of 500 skilled workers and 508 businesses in Ontario, the study reveals that a vibrant arts and culture scene can be a major driver for communities to attract and retain employees.

Detailed findings reveal that while 65 per cent of businesses and skilled workers agree that a thriving arts and culture scene is a driving factor when considering relocation, only 25 per cent of businesses make an annual financial contribution to art and/or cultural organization in their community.

Other key highlights include:

Findings about skilled workers:

  • 32 per cent of skilled workers surveyed are donors, volunteers, or regular subscribers of an Arts and/or Cultural organization in their community
  • Just over half of participants said that a healthy vibrant arts and culture community has influenced their choice regarding which city they would want to work in
  • Skilled workers express a high level of community engagement and volunteering and this supports their interest and engagement in arts and culture in their community

Findings about businesses:

  • 60 per cent said that there are usually more qualified and attractive potential employees in communities with a thriving arts scene
  • 64 per cent said that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community
  • 79 per cent of businesses say that their company did not choose to do business in their community because of the healthy, vibrant, arts and culture community

To download the reports, please click on the links below.

Full Comparative Report

Skilled Workers Summary

Business Summary

Toronto Region Board of Trade Presentation


Research In the News

Bloomberg TV Canada


BftA President & CEO Nichole Anderson speaks about our latest research and the disconnect between skilled workers and businesses.


Globe and Mail


Ontario businesses should invest in the arts to attract top employees: study.




Nik Nanos, Chairman of Nanos Research, talks about the results of our latest study, and the importance of investing in the arts and culture sector to attract top talent.