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How the creative arts sector in Sydney Australia benefits the economy

(© Tomasz Zajda –

Sydney is one of the most amazing destinations in the world for events and festivals.

But Sydney didn’t just arrive at that overnight. It’s the result of a thriving arts and culture sector.

As you know, a diverse and thriving arts and culture sector are vital to the vibrancy and attractiveness of every global city. And with Sydney sitting on top of rich and exciting art scenes, beautiful theatres, galleries, public artworks, and fantastic annual events, it makes sense that the city is enjoying such a reputation.

But how exactly is this impacting the region’s economy?

Yes, we’ve seen that people flock to Sydney to bask in the beautiful sights of its tourism, host magical events, and enjoy amazing festivals. But how is any of these benefitting the region?

Let’s find out.

What are creative arts in Sydney, Australia?

To understand how the creative arts industry in Sydney contributes to the economy, one needs to first understand the areas that fall within the “creative arts” category.

That is, when we talk about creative arts in Sydney, Australia, what are the sectors we’re talking about? Based on the definition of the subject “creative arts,” areas that fall within this mark would be:

  • Fine art
  • Designers
  • Musicians
  • Drama
  • Dancers
  • Cinematics
  • Photographers
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Creative writers

As you can see, there are lots of them. So, admittedly, one would expect the creative arts industry to contribute a significant quota to the Australian economy.

You should note that when speaking about arts in Sydney, it’s often mentioned in line with culture. This is because arts (creative or not) are considered a big part of the region’s culture, which is further proof that Sydney truly fancies arts.

Impact of Sydney’s creative arts sector on the economy

Per various reports, the arts and culture sector has contributed over $17 billion to the NSW economy and provides some 150,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Thanks to a thriving creative arts industry, Sydney now enjoys a cluster of inventive filmmakers, artists, designers, sculptors, writers, musicians, dancers, cinematographers, authors, Sydney photographers, advertising agencies, and so much more great talent.

According to The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR), the creative arts and culture sector in Australia contributed $111.7 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016-17.

How Sydney’s thriving creative arts industry benefits the economy

1.    By boosting the sales of local businesses

One of the results of Sydney’s thriving creative arts industry is an increase in the tourism rate. Thanks to a plethora of incredible tour sights like Sydney’s exquisite Art Galleries, beautiful theaters, mind-blowing cultural institutions, and public artworks, lots of high-spending tourists keep flocking into Sydney year in year out.

The results?

Many of these tourists visit and use the services of local hotels, cafes, restaurants, and car rentals, thereby contributing positively to the region’s economy.

2.    By opening new market of opportunities

Whether directly or indirectly, Sydney’s creative arts sector has been offering people opportunities to put food on their tables.

Thanks to a thriving arts system, there are markets for people to sell, invest, and make ends meet from. From filmmaking to designing, fine artistry works to sculpting, cinematic to event photography, dance to drama, music to performance, and so much more.

3.    By creating new jobs

Sydney’s creative arts industry has encouraged the creation of lots of job opportunities over the years, and it is still doing that.

Just recently, the New South Wales Government confirmed its decision to expand the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Nicknamed the “The Sydney Modern Project,” this $344 million project is expected to be the largest public-private partnership of its kind in Australia.

And economically, it’s expected to create over 242 full-time jobs.

4.    By retaining talents

Sydney has been able to attract festivals, events, musical performances, drama shows, art exhibitions, writing conferences, and the likes (all of which contribute monetary value to its economy) because it has managed to retain its talents and culture.

Once that ceases to be the case, the story will change.

But with its thriving arts sector, it’s hard to see talents departing the region anytime soon.

In fact, by leveraging galleries, music, theatres, museums, dance, and performance, Sydney has regularly provided exceptional entertainment experiences, all of which don’t usually stay within the walls of the venue. Instead, they spill out into the public domain, thereby giving access and opportunity to the plethora of current and emerging talent living within the region.

By retaining its talents, Sydney stays entertaining and culturally sound, thereby opening its doors to more and more tourism money.

5.    By directly contributing monetary value to the economy

The $344 million project mentioned in #3 above is only possible because there is a thriving market for creative arts in Sydney.

If it were not so, there is no way such a huge project would be considered in the first place.

Although we mentioned the possibility of this project creating more jobs, there’s also talk about how the gallery is expected to be worth more than $1 billion over the next twenty-five years, contributing huge monetary quotas to Sydney’s economy.

6.    By positively contributing to the state’s AAA credit rating

Thanks to the prevalence of creative arts in Sydney, there’s been an influx of many valuable assets into the region, such as:

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • White Rabbit Gallery.
  • Customs House.
  • Brett Whiteley Studio.

While all these bring direct cash flow into the state’s pockets through tourism and local sightseeing, they also sit on the State balance sheet contributing to the Government’s AAA credit rating.

Sydney has twice been voted the world’s top festival and events city by the International Festivals and Events Association.

What does that tell you?

Story by Uday Tank

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augusta free press news