Confederation Centre hopes survey will increase visibility – Prince Edward Island

The Confederation Centre of the Arts hopes a survey will provide information on how to better promote the centre’s activities.

“We benefit from a lot of community support and a lot of people come in and buy tickets and help us keep the operation going but they maybe don’t realize the widespread result that all of this activity has,” said Carol Horne, chief marketing officer at the centre.

A consulting firm called Nordicity, which specializes in the arts and culture sector, is conducting the survey and collecting data that will measure the social and economic impact of the centre.

Not just dollars and cents

“This is a new approach that we’ve taken this year in that we want to actually gauge some of the social impact on the community,” said Horne.

“[Everyone recognizes] that positive cultural experiences actually benefit our well-being and the health of community residents…We’d like to try to capture that in some way.”

The Confederation Centre Young Company puts on a free show during the summer months. (Mike Chandler)

Horne said previous research focused on employment and economic spinoffs.

“It only told part of the story,” said Horne.

“People tend to take for granted the richness of the cultural experience they can have here on [the Island]…especially at the centre. They haven’t really stopped to think about how their lives would be less rich.”

Willing to pay?

The survey is also attempting to gauge the interest of participants in paying an annual fee in the hypothetical case that the centre lost all funding.

Horne calls it a ‘willingness to pay’ model.

“Instead of just saying, ‘Oh, it’s very wonderful that [the] Confederation Centre provides these services,’ we are hoping through this question to put a little bit more of a concrete evaluation around it,” said Horne.

“It’s a bit of leading edge area to try and talk about valuing cultural experiences.”

The first building constructed under the centennial program was the Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building in Charlottetown — now called the Confederation Centre of the Arts. (TourismPEI)

More holistic 

Negin Zebarjad, a project manager at Nordicity, said clients want surveys that focus on more than just economics.

“It’s a far more holistic and compelling case to make,” said Zebarjad.

Nordicity has also done projects with Music P.E.I. and Culture P.E.I.

“The unique thing about the Confederation Centre is the variety of programs that they have,” said Zebarjad.

“So coming up with an approach that captured all of that, to be able to tell that compelling story of everything that the Centre is achieving through its programming was a challenge. But one that has been really exciting.”

‘People feel better’

The Charlottetown Festival is just one element of the programming at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. (Submitted by the Confederation Centre of the Arts)

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $30,000 towards the…

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