Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts discipline information

This presentation examines Canadian statistics related to “Baumol’s cost disease”, which states that expenses might rise prohibitively over time in labour intensive sectors, such as the arts, “where productivity gains are limited”. An American researcher recently examined the “perilous life of symphony orchestras” in the U.S., where expenses have indeed risen faster than revenues. The presentation concludes that “Canadian orchestras keep a better balance between revenues and expenses” and are also “more responsive to economic conditions” than American orchestras.

This report examines data on 243 visual arts organizations regarding their finances and activities, as reported by the organizations in their submissions to CADAC (Canadian Arts Database / Données sur les arts au Canada).

Starting with the 2011 data year, the Department of Canadian Heritage has assumed responsibility for surveying Canada’s heritage institutions (formerly a Statistics Canada survey). In 2011, a total of 1,269 not-for-profit heritage institutions responded to the survey, representing approximately “45% of the entire heritage sector” and “the largest sample to be measured in over 12 years”.

(Le travail des artistes au Québec est-il payé à sa juste valeur ?)

Based on a survey of 407 French-language audiovisual artists who are members of six Quebec associations, this report examines whether “precariousness has become a normalized part of working conditions in this sector of culture”.

A Report on the Socio-Economic Status of Canadian Visual Artists

This series of brief web articles aims to depict “the socio-economic conditions faced by Canadian resident professional visual artists” in 2012, with specific articles on ethnicity, sex, and gallery representation. The survey found that nearly one-half of Canadian visual artists lost money on their artistic practice in 2012 (47%). The average personal income of visual artists was $29,300, the largest portions of which came from art-related employment (average of $19,200) and non-art-related employment (average of $5,700). After adjusting for inflation, the overall average income in 2012 was 6% higher than the 2007 level ($27,600).

(Les artistes en arts visuels québécois : un aperçu statistique)

This brief report examines the situation of the estimated 3,632 visual artists in Quebec. The report estimates that 60% of Quebec visual artists are women and only 12% are under 35 years of age (compared with 37% of the overall Quebec labour force). The average personal income (from all sources) of all Quebec visual artists is $35,400. The average is much lower for women ($27,600) than men ($40,900). Fifty-seven percent of Quebec visual artists have total individual incomes below $30,000, with a higher percentage among women (64%) and artists under 35 (66%).

Commissioned by the Visual Arts Alliance with a financial contribution from the Canada Council for the Arts, this literature review attempts to provide a synthesis of existing research in the visual arts in Canada and to identify gaps in this research. The report notes that the goal was not to outline the state of the visual arts sector in Canada but rather the state of research into the visual arts in the country.

Summary Report

Based on discussions at the Kingston Colloquium of the Visual Arts Alliance in 2011, this position paper attempts to identify “ways to make the visual arts more central in the lives of Canada and Canadians”. Five key themes emerged from the colloquium debates.

(La fréquentation des institutions muséales en 2012 et 2013, Optique culture no 32, May 2014)

This report highlights attendance statistics at 440 Quebec museums, interpretive centres, and exhibition spaces (excluding artist-run centres). In 2013, total attendance was 14.2 million, the highest level since the Observatoire began this survey in 2003. Total attendance at 22 art museums was 1.8 million in 2013, which was a record high since the start of the survey in 2003. Between 2003 and 2013, art museum attendance in Quebec increased by 38%, the largest increase of any type of museum or heritage organization.

Key findings

The goal of the research outlined in this presentation was to provide “reliable, detailed data on public art galleries across Ontario”, thereby influencing art gallery sector analysis as well as organizations’ benchmarking and future planning.