The leisure and culture domain has four main components. The first is Participation in leisure, recreation, arts, and cultural activities. The second is Perceptions, or feelings about leisure activities, including why people participate, what needs are being met through participation, and how leisure and culture participation benefits them. The third is the Experience of leisure, or the meaning it holds for people in relation to quality of life. The final component includes the provision of leisure and culture Opportunities, such as access to recreation facilities, open spaces and parks, and other arts, culture, and recreation sites. Taken together, these components are used to define, measure, and understand leisure and culture and to explore relationships to wellbeing.
Indicators in the Participation component look at the types of recreation, leisure, and cultural activities in which Canadians participate, as well as their rate of participation. There is abundant evidence showing that participation in most leisure and cultural activities positively affects all dimensions of personal wellbeing.
Indicators in the Perceptions component measure leisure tendencies including attitudes toward leisure, and reasons for participating in specific activities (e.g., new friends, better health, enjoyment, or learning something new). These are explored to determine the extent to which leisure contributes to feelings of personal and community wellbeing.
Indicators in the Experiences component look at how leisure and culture are experienced, what meanings people give to their experiences, and how these experiences create meaning in people’s lives.
Indicators in the Opportunities component look at the places and organizations that promote participation and engagement in leisure. Some environments, like parks and community centres, are associated with particular meanings and experiences for individuals and communities, and can contribute to their sense of community and quality of life.