Hot Docs Reports $33.3-Million Economic Impact For 2015 Festival

Hot Docs is pleased to announce that an economic impact study conducted around the 2015 festival, conference and market and associated year-round operation has revealed a total impact of $33.3-million on Ontario’s GDP reflecting the event’s tremendous value to both Toronto and the province. The  second study of its kind the organization has commissioned reported $6.4-million in attendee expenditure at the Festival and $6.6-million in industry delegate expenditure. A remarkable $16.1-million in Canadian business deals attributable to Hot Docs’ slate of industry market programs and activities was also reported. These expenditures, combined with Hot Docs’ operating budget, translates to a positive estimated impact of $33.3-million on the total GDP of Ontario, 469 jobs and $14.4-million in tax revenue. These figures represent net increases of 11 per cent, 13.6 per cent, and 10.8 per cent, respectively, over the findings reported in a previous economic impact study of the 2013 Festival.

HotDocs impacts Ontario's economy
HotDocs impacts Ontario’s economy


“We’re excited to see that the Festival’s impact has grown even stronger over the past two years,” said Brett Hendrie, executive director of Hot Docs. “Hot Docs’ role as a catalyst for industry investment and deals is well recognized, and these results further illustrate the Festival’s contribution to the cultural, tourism and economic vitality of the city and province.”

The study also found that 65 per cent of industry delegate respondents were visitors to Toronto, with a majority of these, 41 per cent, coming from an international location. Additionally, 12.3% of public attendee respondents were visitors to Toronto.

The 2015 edition of Hot Docs marked the Festival’s 22nd edition. From April 23 to May 3, 452 screenings of 210 documentaries representing 45 countries of production took place on 17 screens throughout Toronto.  Hot Docs’ industry conference and market welcomed over 2400 registered delegates, including over 300 documentary buyers, who participated in full slate of professional development session and market initiatives, including the Hot Docs Forum and the Hot Docs Deal Maker. The total estimated audience of Hot Docs 2015 was 200,500.

Hot Docs is a charitable cultural organization with a mission to advance and celebrate the art of documentary, and to showcase the work of and create production opportunities for documentary filmmakers.

About the Study

The economic impact study was conducted by Co-op Interface and included: 1260 intercept questionnaires of screening attendees, and 455 electronic questionnaires received back from industry delegates. Expenditures were compiled and inputted into Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM) to determine the total economic impact of the Festival on the economies of Toronto, the GTA and Ontario.