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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 2015–2016, 79.5% of Alberta adults attended arts activities.

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 is 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 and spectator sports

The information, culture and recreation industry employed about 76,300 people in 2016. This is an increase of 1,400 jobs or 1.9% from 2015.


39,800 men worked in the industry in 2016 (down 1,700 jobs or 4.1% from 2015)


36,500 women worked in the industry in 2016 (up 3,100 jobs or 9.3% from 2015)

Average Wage
Information, Culture and Recreation
Average Hourly Wage
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2016 hourly wage of $23.92 for the information, culture and recreation industry was below the provincial average of $29.61
Industry Performance

Almost one quarter of adult Albertans took part in organized sport in 2015. That same year, 81% of adult Albertans took part in sports and recreation. Walking, golfing, and camping were named as the top three favourite activities.

In 2015–2016, nearly 900,000 people visited the province’s 654 heritage facilities. They include historical ranches, fur trading posts, and ancient stone circles from Indigenous encampments known as tipi rings. In 2016, More than 145,800 Albertans celebrated arts, culture, and heritage in 87 communities across the province.

Still, the 2015 downturn in the provincial economy has caused Albertans to pull back slightly from taking part in the arts. A 2016 survey found a downward trend in the attendance and importance of arts events. People who responded to the survey also felt that funding and supporting the arts was less important than the previous year.

The number of Alberta’s casino gaming terminals rose by 551 to 14,136 in 2016. In addition, 45 new ticket lottery terminals opened that year, bringing the total to 2,722.

Industry Outlook

Alberta Culture and Tourism has $353.7 million for its 2017–2018 budget. Key strategies include expanding the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, putting in place a French-language Policy for Alberta, and returning sacred Indigenous ceremonial objects to Indigenous peoples from Crown-owned collections.

A new Cultural Industries Grant Pilot Program announced in the same budget aims to create jobs in visual effects, digital animation, and interactive digital media.

Alberta Health’s push to community-based care means that Albertans need access to their personal medical records. The 2017 budget referred to creating an improved, single-source information service for both health service providers and patients.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.7% from 2016 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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