Performing arts: Ticket sales revenues peaked in 2016

Québec, September 21, 2017. – In 2016, total ticket sales revenues for paying performing arts events in Québec rose by 20% from 2015 to $278 million, the highest since 2004. Of the 9.5 million tickets available, 7.1 million were sold, a 5% increase from the previous year. This led to an occupancy rate of 74%, up for the fourth consecutive year. Those figures were revealed in a study published today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Best performance in ten years for French song shows 
In 2016, attendance at musicals was up by 78% (+120,000 showgoers) compared with 2015; it was up by 36% at French song shows (+295,000), by 32% at circus and magic shows (+120,000), and by 12% at English song shows (+125,000). However, attendance was down 20% at comedy shows (-325,000). With back-to-back increases of 20% in 2015 and 36% in 2016, attendance at French song shows reached 1.1 million showgoers, a level not seen since 2006 (1.2 million).

Québec shows dominate
Of the 25 most seen shows in 2016, 23 were from Québec. However, the market share of Québec shows decreased slightly from 75% in 2015 to 73% in 2016. This was due in part to a greater increase in attendance at shows from outside Canada (+15%).

Attendance up significantly in central regions
There were 3.5 million showgoers in the Montréal region in 2016 (+11% compared with 2015) and 1.1 million in the Capitale-Nationale region (+14%). Together, these two central regions accounted for 65% of total show attendance in the province, the highest level since 2009. In the Montréal region, French song shows (+155,000 showgoers), circus and magic shows (+130,000), musicals (+80,000), and English song shows (+70,000) gained the most showgoers in comparison with the previous year, more than offsetting the drop in attendance at comedy shows

This information comes from the publication Optique culture No. 56, which is available on the website of the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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