Tracking Cultural Empowerment and Awareness

Monitoring Cultural Empowerment

If you want to understand whether you are empowering the people who are involved in the enterprise to be proud of their cultural identity, you could:

  1. Track the number of members from that culture who employed (or meaningfully engaged) by the enterprise.
  2. Survey those directly involved within the cultural enterprise to establish the extent (if any) of changes in perceptions of themselves as members of the cultural group (cultural pride).
  3.  Monitor indicators that represent the strength and practice of culture in a community.
  4. Survey the cultural community more broadly to establish to what extent:
  • community members interact with the enterprise (number and in what capacities).
  • the perceptions of community members of the enterprise and their self perceptions vis a vis the cultural enterprise.


Monitoring Cultural Awareness

If you are interested in monitoring the cultural awareness of others outside of your cultural group, you could consider:

  1. Monitoring the rate of participation in each of the services or program areas offered by the enterprise.
  2. Tacking the number of cultural goods and services (art, workshops, events) sold or transferred.
  3. Surveying members of the general public to assess/monitor:

•public awareness surrounding the history, language, art, etc. of the cultural group,
•public perception of the significance of the cultural group to the particular place and to society in general,
•level of support for promote/preserve the culture of particular cultural group.


Indicator Projects that Include Cultural Indicators

The following Canadian indicator projects are developing indicators around culture.

Mapping Quality of Life and the Culture of Small Cities - 5-year CURA- funded research program (2006-2011) - Thompson Rivers University lead partner to connect a variety of research projects and community partners within 4 broad themes:

  • mapping points of entry
  • mapping community stories
  • mapping community and cultural assets
  • mapping cultural intersections and processes


Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (RVU) - a public participation study group process to determine and develop sustainability indicators for the region. The project includes an "Arts, Culture and Community” component. The “top three” indicators developed in this area were:

1. Quantity and quality of opportunities for cultural activity, as represented by an annually updated cultural events matrix

2. Percent of individuals who feel that they have adequate or better access, freedom and time for cultural and artistic activity

3. Ratio of dollars spent promoting multicultural awareness/diversity and artistic endeavours relative to the dollars these activities contribute to society


Centre for Native Policy and Research - medicine wheel model for indicator development: east is “Culture and family” Two culture indicators:

  • Percentage of Aboriginal people in the GVRD speaking traditional languages
  • Percentage of Aboriginal people in the GVRD participating in traditional activities


FCM Quality of Life Reporting System - Culture Working Group (municipalities) – established and beginning to work on 'culture and arts' area


Metropolis – 10 years of research on issues of migration and settlement – growing interest to consider cultural issues, dimensions within the Metropolis research project. The International Metropolis conference in Toronto, October 2005 featured a session on cultural indicators; a book chapter on the cultural dimensions of immigration/ settlement and the development of appropriate indicators currently under development.


Department of Canadian Heritage – a number of interests, including: Metropolis cultural indicator work; cultural citizenship measures; program/policy performance measures


Creative City Network of Canada:

  • Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities re city/community impacts of cultural infrastructure and the activity it supports, measurability of impacts
  • Intermunicipal Comparative Framework – benchmarking and documentation of municipal involvement and investment in cultural development

Individual cities, linked to and contextualized by their city plans/ processes and cultural plans (e.g., City of Ottawa, City of Toronto, many others)



Frameworks that relate to Cultural Empowerment and Awareness

See 2015 Blog:  The Value of Art and Culture (Part 3 of Connecting the Dots: Helpful Frameworks for Measuring Action and Impact)