Key Industries

Creative Industries

Winnipeg is home to an internationally recognized community of creative professionals. From architects and designers, writers and performers, artists and animators, and actors and directors to box office-generating production companies and agencies, Winnipeg produces work acclaimed around the world. Feature films and documentaries win awards. Radio and television programming is top-notch. Creative writing and songwriting thrives. Graphic design and fine art are first-rate. The range is as diverse as the city itself. And destination architecture abounds, spanning from historic turn-of-the-century neighbourhoods like the Exchange District to iconic structures of the modern era like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport.

The next generation of entertainment is also prospering here, supported by skilled talent and computer technology. Winnipeg has become a hotbed for cool shops engaged in new media, including digital imaging, animation and special effects, interactive games and audio/video production.

Our cultural portfolio and cutting-edge creative capabilities are inspired by high-performance graduates of some of the best professional arts and production programs in the country.

Companies that depend on ingenuity find bright ideas growing in Winnipeg.

Vital Stats

Winnipeg has one of Canada’s highest levels of spending on entertainment as a percentage of total household expenditures, so it’s clear that these types of pursuits—from both professional and recreational perspectives—resonate on a meaningful level with Winnipeggers from all walks of life.  On average, Winnipeg households spend about six per cent of their household expenditures on entertainment. Total entertainment spending by Winnipeggers is estimated at approximately $1.9 billion per year.

Known as the ‘Cultural Cradle of Canada,’ Winnipeg’s creative industries sector is well-established and world class, and its multifaceted offerings continue to evolve and expand. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre have all earned international reputations.

With more than 4,000 business establishments active in Winnipeg’s creative sector, more than 700 businesses are involved in visual and performing arts, with another 377 in film and video production. More than 800 are architectural, engineering, advertising and creative design firms, and 300 are engaged in writing and published works.

Fast Facts

  • Winnipeg’s creative industries employs almost 26,000 workers (six per cent of the city’s total labour force).
  • Employment growth within Winnipeg’s creative industries jumped 12 per cent from 2009 to 2014.
  • Approximately 80 per cent of workers and 85 per cent of business establishments in Manitoba’s creative industries sector are based in Winnipeg.
  • About 1,200 Manitoba musical artists actively performed, toured or released material in 2014 (179 recordings were released).
  • New Media Manitoba, the industry association supporting the interactive digital media industry, has more than 1,100 members.

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