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 an arts 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




To view the results of Business for the Arts’ 2014 Research Initiative, click here.

Business for the Arts works at a national level to communicate the concerns and interests of the arts sector and to advocate for the impact of investing in the arts through our research, forums, roundtables and advocacy work.

Our advocacy efforts are focused on bringing forward tax incentives to stimulate private sector investment in the arts. In May 2006, Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Chairman Emeritus of Business for the Arts, was finally able to accomplish his decade-long mission to eliminate capital gains tax on gifts of publicly listed securities to charities.

We are now advocating for the elimination of capital gains tax on gifts of real estate and privately traded companies in an effort to increase private sector support of the arts.