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

Do you really expect to get paid? and What’s your other job?

Three reports from the Australia Council investigate the situation of artists in that country: a summary report (Artist careers), a survey of professional artists (Do you really expect to get paid?) and an analysis of 2006 census data (What's your other job?). The summary report notes that, "as in many countries, the majority of Australian professional artists do not get huge financial rewards for pursuing their art practice".

(Les écrivains québécois : un aperçu statistique, Optique culture, no 3)

This brief report outlines the situation of the estimated 1,510 writers in Quebec, based on a survey of writers. The report finds that, while the median personal income of Quebec writers is $39,400, their median earnings from literary creation are only about $2,500. On average, Quebec writers spend 43% of their work time on literary creation. Using writers' creative earnings as well as socio-demographic and professional information, the report proposes a typology of six groups of writers.

Kelly Hill recently conducted a number of presentations in smaller cities, including St. John's, St. Catharines and Barrie. These presentations provide some insights into the situation of arts and culture in smaller and regional centres.

This report provides an examination of the challenges, needs and opportunities of Toronto-based mid-career contemporary dance creators. Based on an in-depth survey of 14 dancer-choreographers, the report notes that the mid-career dancers are on average 39 years old, with 18 years of professional dance experience and an average annual income of about $18,000.

Based on a survey and interviews with artists in Los Angeles and San Francisco, this report examines artists' work patterns in three separate but related spheres: the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, and the community sector. The authors argue that artists' "uniquely high self-employment rates and long, often slow, and challenging career paths require a singular set of institutional supports and policies".

Canadian Cultural Labour in the Era of the Creative Economy

Acknowledging that "artists and cultural-creative workers manage complex work flows, interruptions, part-time contracts, transitions, and unpaid work" (which leads to a lack of income security), this report explores "new ideas for income security initiatives for flexible labour – a growing part of the new economy". The report argues that "the key to promoting the sector ... is a framework that contains rules for creative labour processes and offers special protection as well as employment and income security to the creative work force".

In 2009, the Senior Artists Research Project was launched to investigate the circumstances, situation, needs and interests of elder artists. There were three components to the research project, including research into relevant international models of support for elder artists, the situation of Canadian elder artists, and services that currently exist for elder artists in Canada. The research reports related to senior artists are available on the Hill Strategies site (, while further information about the organization to assist artists in their senior years is available on the SARP page on the Dancer Transition Resource Centre's website (

Recognizing that there is a lack of "specific information or research on the multiple job-holding of artists", this report explores the different types of engagement that artists have in the cultural sector as well as the relationship between artistic work and other paid work. The goal of the report is to provide artists with useful information in thinking about their career paths and managing their complex careers.

The report provides an analysis of artists residing in various postal regions – "neighbourhoods" – in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver in 2006. The report provides lists of the ten neighbourhoods with the highest concentration of artists in each city. Nearly 22,000 artists live in the 50 neighbourhoods in the five cities' top ten lists. This represents 41% of the artists in the five cities and 16% of all artists in Canada. Since 41% of all artists in the five cities reside in the most artistic neighbourhoods, the report notes that cultural development in cities is partly an issue of neighbourhood development.

This report provides an analysis of artists residing in small and rural municipalities in Canada. One-quarter of the 140,000 artists in Canada reside in small and rural municipalities (36,500 artists, or 26%). West Bolton (in Quebec's Eastern Townships) is the only municipality in Canada with over 10% of its labour force in arts occupations.