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 1,200 businesses are involved in music, performing and visual arts, and more than 400 in film and video production. In addition, there are over 900 architectural, engineering specialized design firms, more than 300 advertising and marketing businesses, and 100 are engaged in writing and published works.

Fast Facts

  • Winnipeg’s creative industries employs more than 25,000 workers (six per cent of the city’s total labour force). (Winnipeg CMA)
  • Employment growth within Winnipeg’s creative industries jumped 8 per cent from 2015 to 2016. (Winnipeg CMA)
  • Approximately 80 per cent of workers and 85 per cent of business establishments in Manitoba’s creative industries sector are based in the Winnipeg CMA.
  • Manitoba produced more than 2,000 post-secondary graduates in the arts, music, architecture and engineering, broadcasting, digital media, and marketing which accounts for 17.3 per cent of all post-secondary students graduated from provincial universities and colleges; higher than the national average of 16.2 per cent.
  • New Media Manitoba, the industry association supporting the interactive digital media industry, has more than 1,100 members in the province.

  • 2,000

    Post-secondary graduates entering industry each year (MB)

  • 1,100

    Members in New Media Manitoba industry association (MB)

  • 25,000

    Workers in industry (Winnipeg CMA)

  • +8%

    Increase in sector employment from 2015 - 2016 (Winnipeg CMA)

Sources: Province of Manitoba (2016), New Media Manitoba (2016), Statistics Canada (2016)

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