Survey says: Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Association

In its latest survey, the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) reports that while 62% of surveyed patrons stated a high level of eagerness and interest in a return of in-person programming, only 29% said they have a high level of comfort in returning immediately.

Patrons of organizations outside of Metro Vancouver are more comfortable and eager to return immediately (38%) than those within Metro Vancouver (25%).

Conducted between July 21 and September 8, the B.C. Patron Insights survey gathered responses from 2,189 patrons surveyed by 11 participating organizations across British Columbia, including those based in Metro Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, and Quesnel.

While 53% of patrons surveyed have already returned to indoor dining at restaurants, their intention to return to indoor arts events and spaces within the next two months is much lower at between 15% and 27%. Many still don’t know when they will return to any arts activities.

Some of the critical strategies and measures identified to ensure patrons feel comfortable to return to in-person events include the availability of a vaccine, physically distanced seating, and mandatory masks.

Although audiences remain hesitant to return to in-person arts events, there appears to be an appetite for digital offerings, with 58% of those surveyed having attended at least one online arts and culture event, performance, or activity. 27% of patrons also said they are willing to pay 60% or more of a regular ticket price to view the same live performance online. Only 11% said they were not interested in buying a ticket for an online performance.

Conversely, though, while 52% said they expect to spend the same or more on arts and culture in the next year, 47% expect to spend less.

The GVPTA acknowledges that accurately measuring patron sentiment will continue to be a moving target as new realities emerge for individuals, communities, and across the province.

For more information and to access the B.C. Patron Insights summary report, visit