What it measures
This indicator looks at the amount time of Canadians spend volunteering for organizations that provide recreation and culture experiences within their communities. The number of hours dedicated to volunteering in such organizations gives us an idea of how committed Canadians are to this important form of leisure and culture participation. Unfortunately, we have seen a decrease in recreation and culture volunteerism among Canadians, falling from 47 hours per year, on average, in 1997 to about 34 hours per year in 2014.
Why this matters
Volunteering is associated with a number of wellbeing outcomes for the volunteer including enhanced perceptions of mental health, as well as an increased sense of belonging to the community. Additionally, volunteers within recreation and cultural organizations help to provide important services and opportunities for the entire community. As a result, community members can also experience health and wellbeing benefits through their participation in cultural and recreation activities.