In Creativity, Mental Objects

Alan Freeman, Peter Higgs, Greg Miles

This paper proposes a simplified reporting system to complement existing Cultural Satellite Account (CSA) reports within the Canadian Framework for Cultural Statistics (CFCS). This will help industry, government, and statistical providers react to events which impact jobs, output, infrastructure and financial viability, and require rapid responses. It also offers a flexible system for studying detail and deviation from trend.

It addresses three difficulties facing users of the present reports:

  • CSA data are very comprehensive, but lag 2-3 years behind the events they report on.
  • The CSA applies ‘partials’ or split factors to industries in the North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) system. For privacy reasons these are not disclosable, so the public cannot participate.
  • Data on employment and GDP of Canada’s main industries, such as manufacturing, are reported using a different methodology from CSA data. Comparisons between the Cultural Industries and others are therefore misleading.

Our proposal complements, but does not replace, existing CSA reportage, preserving its advantages in analysing deep structure, whilst servicing requirements for timely and fair comparisons. Since it will be a fully public standard, Statistics Canada need only exercise oversight, reducing additional cost.

We propose a subset of four-digit NAICS codes, mapped into existing domains whose primary function is determined to be either cultural, creative, or both. Total employment, output and productivity will be reported for these domains exactly as for traditional industries like aerospace or agriculture. If split factors are employed these will be public.

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