Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Artists' situations: earnings, number, etc.

An analysis of the educational backgrounds of working artists and the labour market activities of arts program graduates in Canada

Based on the 2013 National Graduates Survey and the 2011 National Household Survey, this report examines the labour force situation of arts graduates and the post-secondary education of artists in Canada.

Canada Dance Mapping Study

This large-scale survey, completed by 8,124 Canadians 16 or older, aimed to develop “a better understanding of who dances in Canada, where they dance, and why”. The majority of survey respondents were identified as “leisure dance participants” (5,948, or 73%), with the remaining 2,176 respondents (or 27%) being dance professionals. Respondents identified 190 different dance forms in which they participate.

A National Study on the Lives of Art Graduates and Working Artists

Using data from two large-scale American surveys, this report examines the situation of the estimated 1.2 million working artists and 2 million arts graduates over 25 years of age. One of the key findings of the report is that only 200,000 Americans are both arts graduates and working artists (representing 10% of all arts graduates and 16% of all working artists). In other words, “the majority of arts graduates work in non-arts fields”.

A three year tracking study of early career artists looking at the key factors that influence the development of their careers

In 2012, the Australia Council surveyed 310 artists who were within the first five years of their careers in order to examine key elements of their career development as well as differences between grant recipients and non-recipients. “Making financial sacrifices and taking financial risks” were seen as key factors that could allow artists to spend more time on their creative practice.

(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%).

Based on the 2011 National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey

These two reports from Hill Strategies examine the situation of artists and cultural workers in Canadian provinces, territories, and municipalities. This summary provides brief highlights of the data on artists and cultural workers organized by province and territory.

Based on the 2011 National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey

This report examines the situation of artists and cultural workers in Canada. In Canada, there are 136,600 people who work as artists more than at any other occupation, a figure that is “slightly larger than the labour force in automotive manufacturing (133,000)”. As noted in the national report, “one in every 129 Canadian workers is an artist”.

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.