Situation of artists

Volume: 9 Issue: 6

Legacy ID (armUID): 
In this issue: A number of recent reports have examined the working lives and financial situation of artists, including reports on multiple job-holding of artists, the situation of elder artists, social and income security for creative workers, as well as artists' work patterns in commercial, non-profit and community-based settings.
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  • 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.

  • 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 (

  • 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".

  • 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".