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Information, Culture and Recreation

When a familiar Alberta landscape flashes past in a Hollywood movie, score another point for the information, culture and recreation industry. Besides filmmaking, the industry also includes zoos, casinos, newspapers, telecommunications, theatre festivals, and professional and amateur sports. In 2014, 81% of Albertans attended or participated in an arts event or activity.

GDP Gross Domestic Product

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the information, culture and recreation industry accounted for 2.2% of Alberta's GDP. This represents a 0.9% decrease from 2013.

Alberta’s GDP
Decrease from 2013
  • amusement, fitness, gambling, and recreational facilities
  • book, Internet, newspaper, periodical, and software publishers
  • broadcasting and telecommunications companies
  • Internet service providers, web search portals, and data processing services
  • libraries, archives, and heritage institutions such as museums
  • film, television, digital media, and sound recording companies
  • performing arts, spectator sports, and related organizations

The information, culture and recreation industry employed about 74,900 people in 2015. This is unchanged from 2013.


41,500 men worked in the industry in 2015 (up 11.9% from 2013).


33,400 women worked in the industry in 2015 (down 11.6% from 2013).

Average Wage
Information, Culture and Recreation
Average Hourly Wage
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2015 hourly wage of $24.70 for the information, culture and recreation industry was below the provincial average of $29.06.
Industry Performance

The Alberta government spends more in direct arts funding than any other province or territory, outside of the more densely populated provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Albertans appear to appreciate the investment. About 86.0% of Albertans took part in recreational activities and sports between 2014 and 2015. Residents and tourists alike spent $5.9 billion on everything from hockey games and plays to lotteries and golf in 2014.

The number of casino gaming terminals in Alberta rose from 13,483 in 2014 to 13,585 in 2015, which contributed to the $2.2 billion in revenue that the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission reported for 2014-15. This economic activity encouraged an investment growth of 53.4% in 2015, the highest of all the industries for that year.

Industry Outlook

A number of events and initiatives will affect the industry over the next few years, particularly as the economy begins to improve. In 2017, Alberta will showcase its culture and heritage during Canada's 150th anniversary celebration. In 2018, the new Royal Alberta Museum is scheduled to open. The provincial government has also pledged to address recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. This will encourage cultural institutions to foster a greater understanding of the role Indigenous Peoples have played and continue to play in Alberta, whether through exhibits, performances, or text. As well, the province will implement a new funding framework for sports initiatives through the Alberta Sport Plan.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.7% from 2015 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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