Measure Description

Recreation Facility and Library Attendance measures visits per capita at City of Edmonton recreation facilities and libraries. Attendance numbers are collected on a daily basis by each individual recreation facility and library. The results are then combined to produce one annual total. Non-paying visitors who use these facilities as community hubs (e.g., to have coffee or socialize during a sports match) are not included in the attendance count. Survey methodology and the demographic results are provided in the Appendix.

Measure Importance

This measure is important because it shows that people are utilizing facilities for a myriad of purposes. Either through active recreation, like fitness or sports activities, or through passive recreation, like reading and knowledge expansion, citizens are increasing their health and wellness when they participate in the City’s facilities, services and programs. Attendance should increase as a result of programming needs being met.

Historical Data

Data sources: City of Edmonton: Community Recreation Facilities and Public Libraries. Population information is from Statistics Canada, Municipal Census and the City of Edmonton Chief Economist estimates. Included Library attendance data is estimated.

Note: The 2011 results are not shown as the methodology to calculate library attendance was not comparable to that used from 2012 - 2015.

Explanation of Performance

The number of visits per capita at recreation facilities and libraries was 11.8 in 2017, just below the TWA target of 12.0. This is due to a decrease in attendance at libraries of approximately 540,000 visits, due to the closure of the Stanley A. Milner Library in the fourth quarter. Excluding the decline of attendance at the Milner Library, the average daily library attendance increased from 13,505 in 2016, to 13,553 in 2017. The positive drivers of the daily attendance increase may include: diverse programming, targeted advertising and clean, safe and accessible facilities. For recreation and leisure centres, there was an increase in attendance of approximately 143,000, which was partially offset by significant closures for rehabilitation at the Bonnie Doon and Jasper Place leisure centres and shorter closures at the Commonwealth, The Meadows Community Recreation Centre and Kinsmen Sports Centre.
The 2005 - 2015 Recreation Facility Master Plan contributed to the improved attendance trend from 2012 to 2017, by providing strategic direction for the building and/or repurposing of recreation facilities, and by focusing on multi-use facilities as more attention was put on adjusting programming to meet citizens’ needs at libraries and recreation facilities to attract citizens now and in the future. The measure’s slight drop from 2015 to 2016 was due to the significant growth in population that was greater than the growth in attendance.

Useful Links

For information about the City's strategic plan, The Way Ahead: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_vision_and_strategic_plan/the-way-ahead.aspx