A Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada

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

Executive Summary

There are 136,600 artists in Canada who spent more time at their art than at any other occupation in May of 2011 (which is when the National Household Survey data were collected). The number of artists represents 0.78% of the overall Canadian labour force. One in every 129 Canadian workers is an artist.

The number of artists (136,600) is slightly higher than the labour force in automotive manufacturing (133,000) and slightly lower than the labour force in the utilities sector (149,900) and telecommunications (158,300).

Because of major methodological changes, data in this report are not comparable to data in previous reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series.

Musicians and singers are the largest of nine occupations included as artists (33,800 musicians and singers, or 25% of all 136,600 artists), followed by authors and writers (25,600, or 19%), producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations (23,000, or 17%), visual artists (15,900, or 12%), artisans and craftspersons (13,100, or 10%), actors and comedians (9,400, or 7%), dancers (8,100, or 6%), other performers (4,400, or 3% – category includes circus performers, magicians, models, puppeteers, and other performers not elsewhere classified), and conductors, composers, and arrangers (3,400, or 2%).

These are just some of the key findings of A Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada, the 42nd report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series from Hill Strategies Research. The study provides an in-depth examination of artists in Canada, based on the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) and historical data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The report examines the number of artists, selected demographic characteristics of artists, artists’ incomes, and trends in the number of artists. The report also provides comparable information for cultural workers and the overall labour force.

Because of major methodological changes between the 2006 census and the 2011 National Household Survey, data in this report are not comparable to data in previous reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series. Subsequent reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series will examine artists in the provinces and local areas.

Nearly 700,000 cultural workers

There are 671,100 people in cultural occupations, comprising 3.82% of the overall labour force. In other words, one in every 26 Canadian workers has a cultural occupation. Cultural workers include Canadians who were classified into 50 occupation codes, including heritage occupations (such as librarians, curators, and archivists), cultural occupations (such as graphic designers, print operators, editors, translators, and architects), and the nine arts occupations.

The number of cultural workers (671,100) is over two-and-a-half times larger than the labour force in real estate (254,200), about double the labour force on farms (339,400), and slightly lower than the labour force in the wholesale trade industry (733,500).

Readers should be aware that the estimate of cultural workers in this report differs conceptually from recent estimates provided by the Culture Satellite Account (CSA). The estimate in this report is based on occupations, while the estimates in the CSA report are based on culture industries and culture products. In addition to using a different methodology, the CSA estimates have a different base year and use a different data source.

Other key facts: Multiple jobs and high self-employment rates among artists

Other key facts about artists and cultural workers include:

  • Artists are much more likely than other workers to hold multiple jobs. In 2011, 11% of artists reported having at least two jobs, compared with 7% of cultural workers and only 5% of the overall labour force.
  • The rate of self-employment among artists is many times higher than the self-employment rate among the overall labour force. The NHS and LFS provide quite different estimates of self-employment rates among artists: 51% in the NHS and 70% in the LFS. Both of these statistics are many times higher than the estimates for the overall labour force: 11% in the NHS and 15% in the LFS.
  • Artists, on average, work fewer weeks per year than other workers. In 2010, 70% of artists worked most of the year (40 to 52 weeks), compared with 77% of cultural workers and 78% of the overall labour force. In addition, twice as many artists as workers in the overall labour force indicated that they worked part-time in 2010 (40% vs. 19%).
  • Women represent 51% of artists and 50% of cultural workers but only 48% of the overall labour force.
  • Artists tend to be older than the overall labour force: there are fewer artists than the overall labour force under 25 years of age (12% vs. 14%) but many more artists 55 and over (25% vs. 19%).
  • Cultural workers have a fairly similar age distribution to the overall labour force, although there are more cultural workers between 25 and 34 years of age and fewer under 25 years of age.
  • Canada’s artists and cultural workers have much higher levels of formal education than the overall labour force. The percentage of artists with a bachelor’s degree or higher (44%) is nearly double the rate among the overall labour force (25%), while 38% of cultural workers have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • The 104,700 artists who speak English most often at home comprise about three-quarters of all artists in Canada (77%), somewhat higher than the equivalent percentage among cultural workers (71%) and the overall labour force (69%). Those who speak French or non-official languages most often at home are somewhat under-represented among artists compared with other workers.
  • The 3,700 Aboriginal artists represent 2.7% of all artists, which is similar to the percentage of Aboriginal people in cultural occupations (2.4%) but slightly lower than the percentage in the overall labour force (3.3%).
  • The 17,400 visible minority artists represent 13% of all artists, which is lower than the percentage of visible minority Canadians in cultural occupations (15%) and the overall labour force (18%).
  • The 28,000 immigrant artists account for about one-fifth of all artists (21%), exactly the same percentage as in cultural occupations and essentially the same as in the overall labour force (22%). Five percent of artists (6,900 people) immigrated between 2001 and 2011, compared with 6% of cultural workers and 7% of the overall labour force.
  • 4.6% of the overall labour force indicated that they are often limited in the activities that they can do by a physical condition, mental condition, or health problem. Essentially the same percentage of artists (4.9%, or 6,800 artists) and cultural workers (4.0%, or 27,100 people) indicated that they are often limited in the activities that they can do.

Higher growth in artists than the overall labour force

The Labour Force Survey provides historical estimates of the number of artists and cultural workers. Because of the relatively small sample size of the LFS when dealing with smaller population groups (such as artists and cultural workers), there is substantial unexplained year-to-year volatility in estimates based on the LFS. In order to smooth out these irregular fluctuations, this report provides historical estimates using three-year moving averages. LFS historical data are available from 1987 to 2013, and three-year moving averages are provided for 1989 to 2013.

In order to compare growth in the number of artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force, an index was derived. The index was set at 100 in 1989 for each group of workers.

As shown in Figure ES1, there was a 56% increase in the number of artists in Canada between 1989 and 2013. This is higher than the 38% increase in the overall labour force. The number of cultural workers in Canada increased by 47% between 1989 and 2013.

 

Average income of artists is 32% lower than other workers

Regarding the incomes of artists and cultural workers, the report finds that the total individual income of Canada’s 136,600 artists averages $32,800, a figure that is 32% less than the overall labour force in Canada ($48,100). Cultural workers have average individual incomes of $42,100 (12% less than the overall labour force).

Figure ES2 shows that, in two arts occupations, artists have average individual incomes that are below the low-income cutoff for a single person living in a community of 500,000 people or more ($22,600). This is the case for dancers ($17,900) and other performers ($20,900). Two other arts occupations have average incomes that are slightly above the low-income cutoff: musicians and singers ($22,800) and artisans ($23,100).

Only the “producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations” group has a higher average income ($55,100) than the overall labour force ($48,100).

 

Artists have low average earnings

The average employment income (or “earnings” from wages, salaries, and self-employment income) of artists is $27,600, compared with an average of $45,400 for the overall labour force, a difference of 39%. Cultural workers’ average earnings ($39,100) are 14% lower than the average earnings of the overall labour force ($45,400).

Female artists earn much less than their male counterparts, but the difference in earnings is equal to the difference among the overall labour force:

  • On average, female artists earn $22,600, 31% less than the average earnings of male artists ($32,900).
  • For cultural workers, women earn an average of $34,100, 23% less than men ($44,000).
  • In the overall labour force, women earn, on average, 31% less than men ($36,800 vs. $53,300).

Compared with the overall labour force, the difference in earnings is highest for the most highly educated artists. Artists with university credentials at or above the bachelor’s level earn an average of $30,300, which is 55% less than the average earnings of workers in the overall labour force with the same education ($66,500).

Methodological notes

  • Individuals are classified in the occupation in which they worked the most hours during a specific reference week. If they did not work during the reference week, they are classified based on the job at which they worked the longest since January 1, 2010. Artists who spent more time at another occupation than at their artwork during the reference week would be categorized in the other occupation.
  • Unless otherwise noted, the labour force statistics in this report refer to the experienced labour force, which includes all those who worked (for pay or in self-employment) during the NHS reference week as well as unemployed people who had worked since January 1, 2010.
  • Individuals who are employed or self-employed are captured in each occupation.
  • Artists who teach in post-secondary, secondary, or elementary schools are classified as teachers or professors and are therefore excluded from the count of artists. Instructors and teachers in some settings (such as private arts schools, academies, and conservatories) are included in the arts occupations.
  • The 2011 National Household Survey collected earnings information for 2010, the most recent full calendar year.
  • Income sources include wages and salaries, net self-employment income, investment income, retirement pensions, other income sources, as well as government transfer payments.
  • The employment income statistics (also called “earnings”) include wages and salaries as well as net self-employment income.
  • The earnings statistics include amounts received from all employment and self-employment positions in 2010, not just the position at which the respondent worked the most hours during the reference week. In some cases, individuals may have worked in a different occupation in 2010 (the basis for earnings statistics) than the one in which they worked the most hours during the NHS reference week (May 1 to 7, 2011 – the basis for occupational classifications).
  • Artists’ project grants would not be included in employment earnings but would be captured in other income sources.
  • Canadians 15 or older are captured in the occupational data.

 

Section 1: Introduction

This study provides an in-depth examination of artists in Canada, based on the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) and historical data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The report examines the number of artists, selected demographic characteristics of artists, artists’ incomes, and trends in the number of artists. The report also provides comparable information for cultural workers and the overall labour force.[1]

Because of major methodological changes, data in this report are not comparable to data in previous reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series.

Because of major methodological changes between the 2006 Census and the 2011 National Household Survey, data in this report are not comparable to data in previous reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series. Previous reports used the long-form census (a mandatory census of 20% of households), while the National Household Survey is a voluntary survey of 30% of households.

The change to a voluntary survey has an impact on the reliability of the data, which affects data analysis and reporting. Specifically, fewer details about artists are reliable from the NHS than the long-form census, particularly in smaller geographic areas and smaller demographic groups.[2]

In addition to changes in the data collection methodology, there is a change in the base population analyzed for this report compared with previous reports. This report examines the experienced labour force, which includes all those who worked as an artist during the NHS reference week or worked as an artist longer than any other position since January 1, 2010. Previous reports calculated the total number of artists as those in the experienced labour force plus those not in the labour force at the time of the survey but who had worked since January of the previous year. Previous reports also excluded those with $0 earnings, while this report places no restriction on earnings.

The Labour Force Survey, despite having a much smaller sample size than the National Household Survey, does supply a reasonable and historically-comparable estimate of the total number of artists in the employed labour force (including those who are self-employed). LFS historical data are available from 1989 to 2013.

Nine of Statistics Canada’s detailed occupation codes are included as “arts occupations” in this report:

  • Actors and comedians.
  • Artisans and craftspersons.
  • Authors and writers.
  • Conductors, composers and arrangers.
  • Dancers.
  • Musicians and singers.
  • Other performers (including circus performers, magicians, models, puppeteers, and other performers not elsewhere classified).
  • Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations.
  • Visual artists (categorized by Statistics Canada as “Painters, sculptors and other visual artists”).

Unless otherwise noted, data in the report are based on the experienced labour force. For the National Household Survey, the experienced labour force “refers to persons who, during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2011, were employed [as well as] the unemployed who had last worked for pay or in self-employment in either 2010 or 2011”.[3]

The report focuses on artists in the country as a whole. Subsequent reports in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series will examine artists in the provinces and local areas.

There are some key aspects to note about the classification of artists in both the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey:

  • Individuals are classified in the occupation in which they worked the most hours during a specific reference week. Artists who spent more time at another occupation than at their artwork during the reference week would be categorized in the other occupation.
  • Individuals who are employed or self-employed are captured in each occupation.
  • Artists who teach in post-secondary, secondary, or elementary schools are classified as teachers or professors and are therefore excluded from the count of artists. Instructors and teachers in some settings (such as private arts schools, academies, and conservatories) are included in the arts occupations.
  • Artists may have worked in any sector of the economy, not just in cultural organizations.
  • The 2011 National Household Survey collected earnings information for 2010, the most recent full calendar year.
  • Income sources include wages and salaries, net self-employment income, investment income, retirement pensions, other income sources, as well as government transfer payments.
  • The employment income statistics in this report (often called “earnings”) include wages and salaries as well as net self-employment income.
  • The earnings statistics include amounts received from all employment and self-employment positions in 2010, not just the position at which the respondent worked the most hours during the reference week. In some cases, individuals may have worked in a different occupation in 2010 (the basis for earnings statistics) than the one in which they worked the most hours during the NHS reference week (May 1 to 7, 2011 – the basis for occupational classifications).[4]
  • Artists’ project grants would not be included in employment earnings but would be captured in other income sources.
  • Canadians 15 or older are captured in the occupational data.

Choice of nine arts occupations

In this report, the term “artists” is used to describe those Canadians 15 or older classified into nine occupation groups. These occupation groups were identified as artistic in discussions by arts sector representatives prior to the analysis of the 2001 census. These nine occupation groups have been confirmed as priority occupations for the Statistical Insights on the Arts series during discussions between Hill Strategies Research, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.[5]

As noted in a 1999 research paper from the Canada Council for the Arts (Artists in the Labour Force), the nine occupations were selected as “artists” on the basis of two key criteria: 1) the artistic nature of the occupations, based on occupation titles and descriptions;[6] and 2) the most common types of professional artists who are eligible to apply to arts councils for funding. Although occupation categories used in Statistics Canada data are not quite as precise and detailed as the types of artists eligible for arts council funding, there are many similarities.

National Household Survey and Labour Force Survey data quality analysis

The now-defunct long-form census provided detailed occupation-related data on artists, including fine detail at the occupational and geographic level and for various socio-demographic groups. The National Household Survey, a new national survey with almost exactly the same content as the previous long-form census, is now a source of data on artist occupations.

The long-form census was a mandatory census of 20% of households, while the 2011 NHS is a voluntary survey of 30% of households. The change to a voluntary survey has an impact on reliability of the data, which affects data analysis and reporting.

A technical report from Hill Strategies Research provides significant details about the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey as sources of data regarding the situation of artists in Canada.[7] The main findings of the technical report follow:

  • Neither the National Household Survey (NHS) nor the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are an ideal source of data on artists. However, both provide some useful information.
  • While the NHS is less reliable than the previous long-form census, there is still valuable information in the survey that can be used to examine the working lives of artists.
  • Careful attention should be paid to the reliability of statistics presented from either the LFS or the NHS. Where possible, both sources should be used (and checked against each other) in order to enhance confidence in the data.
  • The NHS has a much larger sample size but a much lower response rate than the LFS. Approximately 4.5 million households across Canada were selected for the National Household Survey. This represents about one third of all households. With a response rate of 68.6%, the actual number of respondents would be approximately 3.1 million. The monthly LFS has a sample size of about 56,000 households and collects labour market information for about 100,000 individuals. More useful data on artists comes from the LFS annual averages, which have a larger sample size than the monthly LFS.
  • In the words of experts interviewed related to the data quality of the NHS, “the risk of the voluntary approach [of the NHS] is that the non-response bias may be high. The people who respond may be different from those who do not.” Furthermore, non-response bias is “intrinsically unknowable”.
  • There are large changes in many estimates from the 2011 NHS compared with the 2006 long-form census (e.g., specific arts occupations, most provinces, territories, and Census Metropolitan Areas). It is highly improbable that these changes are all “real” differences in the amounts. As such, the two sets of estimates should not generally be compared.
  • Finer-area data on artists will not be available from either the LFS or the NHS.
  • The small sample size of the LFS leads to limited reliability of breakdowns of the number of artists. The LFS does not publish any amount below 1,500 in certain jurisdictions (and below 500 in smaller jurisdictions).
  • The LFS provides the best estimate of trends in the overall number of artists in Canada. The annual averages from the LFS are also timelier than the five-year census or NHS.
  • In the 2006 census, the minimum number for reliable estimates was 40 artists. A useful general rule for the NHS might be to examine estimates of at least 500 to 1,000 artists. No estimates below 1,000 people are provided in this report.
  • Given the results of the data quality analysis, it appears that the NHS might undercount artists compared with the LFS and prior census years.[8]
  • With the above cautions in mind, the NHS could provide most of the data required for the Statistical Insights on the Arts series. As noted by Statistics Canada, the strength of the NHS is in the analysis of detailed data for smaller areas and smaller populations. For example, the NHS is well suited for analyses of labour markets for smaller geographies, specific occupations or industries, age groups or particular populations such as Aboriginal or immigrant populations. The NHS also allows the analysis of the labour market by other relevant socio-demographic variables, for example detailed education, field of study or income.

Specific strengths and limitations in counting artists based on the National Household Survey

Despite many limitations, especially the risk of non-response bias, the 2011 NHS is one of the best available sources of information on artists in Canada.[9] The NHS provides occupation estimates based on a very large population base: the 3.1 million households that completed the survey.

In addition to the risk of non-response bias, the NHS has other limitations for counting artists, related to the nature of the standard occupational classifications, the timing of the NHS, and the focus on the job where an individual worked the most hours.

One gap in the Statistics Canada occupational classification is the fact that there is no distinct category for filmmakers or other media artists. The closest categories are “Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations” (which includes a number of artforms), “film and video camera operators” (not one of the nine arts occupations), and “painters, sculptors, and other visual artists”.

Another example of an occupation group that is not a perfect fit for artists is the authors and writers category. This occupation group includes a broader range of writers than simply novelists, poets and other “artistic” writers (but excludes journalists): “Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.”

Another issue is the timing of the NHS. The classification of occupations is based on the job that respondents spend the most hours at during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2011. This is an “in between” period for many artistic endeavors. For example, many performing arts organizations have seasons that extend from the fall to the spring. These seasons may be finished before the week of May 1, leaving some artists to find other employment during the late spring and summer. Other organizations may have summer seasons that do not begin in early May.

The focus on the job where the individual worked the most hours affects NHS labour force counts. Having multiple jobs is an important facet of the working life of many artists. Some may work more hours at other jobs during the week than at their art. Due to this, NHS-based estimates of artists are likely to be somewhat low.

National Household Survey data have some specific limitations concerning Aboriginal people. NHS enumeration was not permitted or was interrupted before completion on 23 reserves and settlements. In addition, on 13 Northern Ontario reserves, “enumeration was delayed because of natural events (specifically forest fires)”.[10]

Organization of the report

Section 2 examines the number of artists and cultural workers in Canada and provides comparisons with other sectors of the labour force. Section 3 provides an analysis of the demographic characteristics of artists and cultural workers. Section 4 discusses employment characteristics such as self-employment rates and hours worked. Section 5 examines the incomes and earnings of artists and cultural workers. Section 6 illustrates changes in the number of artists and cultural workers between 1989 and 2013, based on the Labour Force Survey. An appendix provides descriptions of the nine arts occupation groups and a list of the 50 cultural occupations.

 

Section 2: Number of artists and cultural workers in 2011

This section examines the size of Canada’s arts labour force, including nine occupations:

  • Actors and comedians.
  • Artisans and craftspersons.
  • Authors and writers.
  • Conductors, composers, and arrangers.
  • Dancers.
  • Musicians and singers.
  • Other performers.
  • Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations.
  • Visual artists.

The size of Canada’s cultural workforce is also provided, along with comparisons to the overall labour force.

There are 136,600 artists in Canada who spent more time at their art than at any other occupation in May of 2011 (which is when the National Household Survey data were collected). The number of artists represents 0.78% of the overall Canadian labour force. One in every 129 Canadian workers is an artist.[11]

There are more artists in Canada than people working in automotive manufacturing.

The number of artists (136,600) is slightly higher than the labour force in automotive manufacturing (133,000) and slightly lower than the labour force in the utilities sector (149,900) and telecommunications (158,300).[12]

As shown in Figure 1, musicians and singers are the largest of nine occupations included as artists (33,800 musicians and singers, or 25% of all 136,600 artists), followed by authors and writers (25,600, or 19%), producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations (23,000, or 17%), visual artists (15,900, or 12%), artisans and craftspersons (13,100, or 10%), actors and comedians (9,400, or 7%), dancers (8,100, or 6%), other performers (4,400, or 3% – category includes circus performers, magicians, models, puppeteers, and other performers not elsewhere classified), and conductors, composers, and arrangers (3,400, or 2%).

 

One in every 26 Canadian workers has a cultural occupation, about double the number of workers on farms or in real estate in Canada.

Cultural workers

Based on the 2011 National Household Survey, there are 671,100 people in cultural occupations, comprising 3.82% of the overall labour force. In other words, one in every 26 Canadian workers has a cultural occupation.

Cultural workers include Canadians who were classified into 50 occupation codes, including heritage occupations (such as librarians, curators, and archivists), cultural occupations (such as graphic designers, print operators, editors, translators, and architects), and the nine arts occupations. The overall labour force includes all those with an occupation, including the 50 cultural occupations. Descriptions of the nine arts occupations and a list of the 50 cultural occupations are provided in Appendix 1.

The 136,600 artists in Canada account for 21% of all cultural workers.

Table 1 summarizes key statistics on artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force in Canada, based on the 2011 National Household Survey.

Readers should be aware that the estimate of cultural workers in this report differs conceptually from recent estimates provided by the Culture Satellite Account (CSA). The estimate in this report is based on occupations, while the estimates in the CSA report are based on culture industries and culture products. In addition to using a different methodology, the CSA estimates have a different base year (2010 rather than 2011) and use a different data source (the Canadian System of National Accounts). The estimate in this report is near the midpoint of the two CSA estimates: 4.7% lower than the culture industries estimate and 3.7% higher than the culture products estimate.[13]

Figure 2 shows that the number of cultural workers (671,100) is over two-and-a-half times larger than the labour force in real estate (254,200), about double the labour force on farms (339,400), and slightly lower than the labour force in the wholesale trade industry (733,500).[14]

 

Section 3: Demographic characteristics of artists and cultural workers

This section examines the number of artists based on selected demographic characteristics, including sex, age, level of education, language, visible minority status, Aboriginal identity, immigration status, and activity limitations. Similar information is provided about cultural workers and the overall labour force.

Sex

There are more female than male artists in Canada. Table 2 shows that the 69,800 female artists represent 51% of artists. A very similar proportion of cultural workers (50%) are female. In the overall labour force, 48% of workers are women.

Table 2 also shows that six of the nine arts occupations have more women than men. The arts occupation with the largest proportion of women is dancers (86%), followed by artisans and craftspersons (61%).

Age

The distribution of artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force by age is shown in Table 3. Nearly one-half of artists (47%) are 45 years of age or older. In fact, artists tend to be older than the overall labour force: there are fewer artists than the overall labour force under 25 years of age (12% vs. 14%) but many more artists in the two age ranges 55 and over (25% vs. 19%). Workers who are 65 or older represent 7% of artists, compared with only 4% of cultural workers and 3% of the overall labour force.

Cultural workers have a fairly similar age distribution to the overall labour force, although there are more cultural workers between 25 and 34 years of age and fewer under 25 years of age.

Education

As shown in Table 4, a large percentage of artists have a bachelor’s degree or higher (44%), while 19% have a college or other non-university certificate or diploma. Another 20% of artists have a high school education (but no higher education).

Canada’s artists and cultural workers have much higher levels of formal education than the overall labour force. Table 4 shows that the percentage of artists with a bachelor’s degree or higher (44%) is nearly double the rate among the overall labour force (25%), while 38% of cultural workers have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Language

Table 5 provides the number of artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force in various linguistic groups, based on the language spoken most often at home. There are small numbers of Canadians who speak multiple languages equally at home. As such, the percentages in the first three rows of Table 5 add up to slightly more than 100%.

The 104,700 artists who speak English most often at home comprise about three-quarters of all artists in Canada (77%), somewhat higher than the equivalent percentage among cultural workers (71%) and the overall labour force (69%).

Those who speak French or non-official languages most often at home are somewhat under-represented among artists compared with other workers. The 23,500 artists who speak French most often at home account for 17% of all artists, compared with 22% of cultural workers and 21% of the overall labour force. The 10,800 artists who speak a non-official language most often at home account for 8% of artists, compared with 10% of cultural workers and 12% of the overall labour force.

Table 5 also provides information about official language minority artists in Canada. The 5,700 Anglophone artists residing in Quebec represent 4.2% of all artists in Canada, while all Anglophone workers in Quebec represent 2.6% of all the overall labour force in Canada. The 1,900 Francophone artists residing outside Quebec represent 1.4% of all artists in Canada, while Francophone workers outside Quebec represent 1.8% of the overall labour force.

Aboriginal, visible minority, and immigrant artists

Table 6 provides the number of Aboriginal, visible minority, and immigrant artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force in Canada:[15]

  • The 3,700 Aboriginal artists represent 2.7% of all artists, which is similar to the percentage of Aboriginal people in cultural occupations (2.4%) but slightly lower than the percentage in the overall labour force (3.3%).
  • The 17,400 visible minority artists represent 13% of all artists, which is lower than the percentage of visible minority Canadians in cultural occupations (15%) and the overall labour force (18%). Nearly two-thirds of visible minority artists are also immigrants (63%).
  • The 28,000 immigrant artists account for about one-fifth of all artists (21%), exactly the same percentage as in cultural occupations and essentially the same as in the overall labour force (22%). Five percent of artists (6,900 people) immigrated between 2001 and 2011, compared with 6% of cultural workers and 7% of the overall labour force.

Artists with activity limitations

The National Household Survey asked whether a physical condition, mental condition, or health problem reduces the amount or the kind of activity that respondents can do at home, at work, at school, or in other activities.

Table 7 shows that 4.6% of the overall labour force indicated that they are often limited in the activities that they can do. Essentially the same percentage of artists (4.9%, or 6,800 artists) and cultural workers (4.0%, or 27,100 people) indicated that they are often limited in the activities that they can do.

Another 8.3% of the overall labour force indicated that they are “sometimes” limited in the activities that they can do. A slightly higher percentage of artists (10.1%, or 13,800 artists) indicated that they are sometimes limited in the activities that they can do, while 8.6% of cultural workers are sometimes limited.

 

Section 4: Employment characteristics of artists and cultural workers

This section examines self-employment, industry sectors, full-time and full-year work, multiple job-holding, and weekly hours of artists and cultural workers.

Self-employment

Self-employment is a reality of the working lives of many artists. Data on the employment status of artists is available from both the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey. The NHS estimates that 51% of artists are self-employed. The 2011 LFS estimate is much higher: 70% of artists are considered self-employed in that survey.[16]

It is clear that artists are self-employed at a rate that is many times higher than other workers:

  • Compared with the NHS estimate of 51% self-employment among artists, only 24% of cultural workers (including artists) and 11% of the overall labour force are self-employed.[17]
  • Compared with the LFS estimate of 70% self-employment among artists, only 31% of cultural workers and 15% of the overall labour force are self-employed.

Table 8 shows that, among the nine arts occupations, self-employment rates are highest for visual artists and lowest for dancers (in both datasets). The data in Table 8 also show that the estimates of self-employment rates in the LFS are much higher than the NHS for all arts occupations.

Where are artists employed (and self-employed)?

Table 9 shows the number of artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force in key industry groupings. Although artists work in many different sectors of the economy, the top three industries employ three-quarters of artists: arts, entertainment and recreation (47,400 artists, or 35%), educational services (27,700 or 20%), and information and cultural industries (26,500 or 19%).[18]

Among detailed industry codes, the largest number of artists work in the “independent artists, writers, and performers” group (29,600, or 22%), within the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry grouping.

Full-time and full-year work

Table 10 shows that twice as many artists as the overall labour force indicated that they worked part-time in 2010 (41% vs. 20%). Only 23% of people with cultural occupations worked part-time in 2010.

Table 10 also shows that artists, on average, work fewer weeks per year than other workers. In 2010, 72% of artists worked most of the year (40 to 52 weeks), compared with 79% of cultural workers and 80% of the overall labour force.

Only 50% of artists worked full-time for 40 to 52 weeks in 2010, compared with 66% of cultural workers and 69% of the overall labour force.

Multiple jobs

Statistics from the 2011 Labour Force Survey indicate that artists are much more likely than other workers to hold multiple jobs. In 2011, 11% of artists reported having at least two jobs, compared with 7% of cultural workers and only 5% of the overall labour force.

Hours worked

According to the 2011 Labour Force Survey, artists work an average of 32.0 hours per week, lower than cultural workers (35.4 hours) and the overall labour force (36.4 hours).

Artists spend more time on second jobs (average of 1.3 hours per week for all artists, including those who did not have a second job) than cultural workers (0.8 hours) and the overall labour force (0.7 hours).

Readers should be aware that artists who spent more time at another occupation than at their artwork during the reference week would be categorized in the other occupation. They would not be classified in an arts occupation, and their hours worked would not be included in these statistics.

 

Section 5: Income and earnings of artists and cultural workers

Total individual income

The total individual income of Canada’s 136,600 artists averages $32,800, a figure that is 32% less than the overall labour force in Canada ($48,100).

Cultural workers have average individual incomes of $42,100 (12% less than the overall labour force).

The gap between artists’ incomes and other workers is more pronounced when the median income is used rather than the average:[19]

  • The median income of artists is $21,600, 43% lower than the median income in the overall labour force ($37,900).
  • The median income of cultural workers is $36,400, 4% lower than the overall labour force.

The median income of artists is 5% lower than Statistics Canada’s low-income cutoff for a single person living in a community of 500,000 people or more ($22,600).[20]

Income components

Employment income (or “earnings”) is the largest component of artists’ incomes, representing 76% of total income. This is lower than the equivalent percentages for cultural workers (87%) and the overall labour force (88%).

Earnings include wages and salaries as well as net self-employment income. Table 11 shows that wages and salaries represent a much smaller share of artists’ incomes (58%) than cultural workers’ incomes (79%) or incomes in the overall labour force (83%). Self-employment income is much larger for artists (18%) than cultural workers (8%) and the overall labour force (5%).

The four other income components, which each represent less than 10% of artists’ incomes, account for a larger proportion of artists’ incomes than the incomes of cultural workers or the overall labour force:

  • Government transfer payments (e.g., benefits from Employment Insurance, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan, and Old Age Security) represent 9% of artists’ incomes ($2,900), compared with 6% for cultural workers and 5% for the overall labour force.
  • Investment income (including rent received) accounts for 8% of artists’ incomes ($2,500), compared with 4% for cultural workers and 3% for the overall labour force.
  • Retirement pensions represent 5% of artists’ incomes ($1,600), compared with 2% for both cultural workers and the overall labour force.
  • “Other money income” (which includes artists’ project grants and other items[21]) accounts for 3% of artists’ incomes ($900), 1% of cultural workers’ incomes, and 1% of incomes in the overall labour force.

Incomes by arts occupation

Figure 3 shows that, in two arts occupations, artists have average individual incomes that are below the low-income cutoff for a single person living in a community of 500,000 people or more ($22,600).[22] This is the case for dancers ($17,900) and other performers ($20,900). Two other arts occupations have average incomes that are slightly above the low-income cutoff: musicians and singers ($22,800) and artisans ($23,100).

Only the “producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations” group has a higher average income ($55,100) than the overall labour force ($48,100). Readers should be aware that this category includes producers, who might be considered cultural managers rather than artists per se. However, because it is not possible to separate producers from artists in this occupation group, the entire occupation group is included in this report.

Figure 4 depicts median incomes by arts occupation. In general, the median incomes are lower than the average incomes in Figure 3.

For artists as a group, as well as for six of the nine arts occupations, median incomes are below the low-income cutoff for a single person living in a community of 500,000 people or more ($22,600).

 

Artists’ earnings

Note: The earnings statistics in the rest of this report are calculated for those with some earnings (whether above or below $0). These averages should not be compared directly with average personal incomes. Ten percent of artists had no earnings, compared with 6% of both cultural workers and the overall labour force. These people are excluded from the following statistics.

Canadian artists earn 39% less than the overall labour force average.

The average earnings of artists are $27,600, compared with an average of $45,400 for the overall labour force, a difference of 39%.

The fact that artists earn much less than most Canadian workers is further exemplified by an examination of median earnings. For artists, median earnings are only $16,500. This means that a typical artist in Canada earns less than half the typical earnings of all workers ($35,500).[23]

At $3.4 billion, the total earnings of artists account for one-half of one percent of total earnings in the overall Canadian labour force (0.5%).

Earnings of cultural workers

Cultural workers’ average earnings ($39,100) are 14% lower than average earnings in the overall labour force ($45,400) but 41% higher than artists’ average earnings ($27,600).

Cultural workers earn, on average, 14% less than the overall labour force.

The median earnings of cultural workers are $33,800 (5% less than the overall labour force – $35,500).

The $24.5 billion in total earnings in the cultural sector represents 3.3% of total earnings in the Canadian labour force.

Earnings by range

Table 12 shows that artists are over-represented in the lowest earnings ranges compared with the overall labour force:

  • 15% of artists have no earnings (or lose money on self-employment activities), compared with 7% of the overall labour force.
  • Another 27% of artists earn less than $10,000, double the proportion in the overall labour force (14%).
  • Another 18% of artists earn between $10,000 and $19,999, compared with 13% of the overall labour force.

60% of artists earn less than $20,000, compared with 35% of the overall labour force.

Taken together, these statistics show that 60% of artists earn less than $20,000, compared with 35% of the overall labour force.

15% of artists have no earnings or a net loss, compared with 7% of the overall labour force.

Artists are under-represented in all earnings ranges of $30,000 or more. In particular, only 3% of artists, compared with 7% of the overall labour force, earned $100,000 or more in 2010.

Table 12 also shows that cultural workers have a relatively similar distribution of earnings compared with the overall labour force.

Earnings by arts occupation

Figure 5 depicts average earnings for those who reported some earnings in 2010. In six of the nine arts occupations, average earnings are less than $20,000. Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations have the highest earnings among the nine arts occupations ($51,300).

 

 

Figure 6 shows the median earnings for each arts occupation (for those who reported some earnings in 2010). In six of the nine arts occupations, median earnings are less than $14,000.

 

 

Earnings by sex

Female artists earn much less than their male counterparts. As shown in Table 13, the difference between female and male artists is equal to the difference among the overall labour force:

  • On average, female artists earn $22,600, 31% less than the average earnings of male artists ($32,900).
  • For cultural workers, women earn an average of $34,100, 23% less than men ($44,000).
  • In the overall labour force, women earn, on average, 31% less than men ($36,800 vs. $53,300).

Women earn less than men in eight of the nine of the arts occupations. For dancers, women earn slightly more than men, but both amounts are very low ($14,700 for women and $14,400 for men). For the other occupations, the differences between women and men range from 12% (authors and writers) to 35% (visual artists).

Earnings by age

As shown in Figure 7, artists earn significantly less than the overall labour force in all age groups. The differences in earnings increase with age:

  • Artists between 15 and 24 years of age earn an average of $10,300, or 31% less than the average earnings of similarly-aged workers in the overall labour force ($15,000).
  • With average earnings of $25,800, artists between 25 and 34 years of age earn 35% less than the earnings of similarly-aged workers in the overall labour force ($39,700).
  • Artists between 35 and 44 earn an average of $34,100, or 36% less than similarly-aged workers in the overall labour force ($53,100).
  • With average earnings of $35,900, artists between 45 and 54 years of age earn 37% less than the earnings of similarly-aged the overall labour force ($56,700).
  • The difference in average earnings is largest for those 55 and older. Average earnings for artists between 55 and 64 ($28,200) are 46% less than the overall labour force ($52,100). Artists 65 and older earn an average of $13,800, or 64% less than similarly-aged workers in the overall labour force ($38,300).

For cultural workers between 35 and 64 years of age, average earnings are about 15% lower than the overall labour force. Younger cultural workers have somewhat lower differences in earnings.

 

Earnings by education level

Figure 8 shows that average earnings are relatively low for artists at all education levels. Earnings do tend to increase as education increases, but there is a persistent gap compared with the overall labour force (between 30% and 55%).

Compared with the overall labour force, the difference in earnings is highest for the most highly educated artists. Artists with university credentials at or above the bachelor’s level earn an average of $30,300, which is 55% less than the average earnings of the overall labour force with the same education ($66,500). In fact, the average earnings of university-educated artists ($30,300) are lower than the average earnings of workers in the overall labour force with a high school diploma ($33,700).

Cultural workers, like artists, have lower average earnings than the overall labour force. However, the differences are smaller than for artists, ranging from 5% for cultural workers with a high school diploma to 33% for those with at least a bachelor’s degree.

 

Earnings by language

Figure 9 shows that artists who speak English most often at home and those who speak French most often earn very similar amounts (average of $28,000 for English-speakers and $27,600 for French-speakers). The average earnings of artists who most often speak a language other than English or French at home are $22,600.

Artists in each linguistic group earn much less than the overall labour force:

  • The average earnings of artists who speak English most often at home ($28,000) are 42% less than all Anglophones in the labour force in Canada ($48,000).
  • The average earnings of artists who speak French most often at home ($27,600) represent a difference of 32% when compared with all Francophones in the labour force ($40,600).
  • The average earnings of artists who most often speak a language other than English or French at home ($22,600) are 40% lower than the average earnings of all allophones in the labour force in Canada ($37,800).

Earnings data are also available for artists in one official language minority group: English-speaking artists in Quebec have average earnings of $36,600, which is 19% less than the average earnings of all Anglophones in the labour force in Quebec ($45,100). The average earnings of Francophone artists outside Quebec cannot be calculated from the custom dataset used for this report.

 

 

Earnings of visible minority, immigrant, and Aboriginal artists

Figure 10 shows that visible minority, immigrant, and Aboriginal artists all earn less than other artists, but the differences in average earnings compared with other workers are similar to the difference for all artists (39%):

  • With average earnings of $23,800, visible minority artists earn 40% less than the average earnings of visible minority the overall labour force in Canada ($40,000).
  • Immigrant artists have average earnings of $25,200, which is 44% less than immigrants who work in the overall labour force ($45,000).
  • Aboriginal artists have low average earnings ($22,700), a 38% difference when compared with Aboriginal workers in the overall labour force ($36,300).

Cultural workers in each of these three groups earn between 9% and 14% less than the overall labour force in the same group.

 

Earnings of artists with activity limitations

The National Household Survey asked whether a physical condition, mental condition, or health problem reduces the amount or the kind of activity that respondents can do at home, at work, at school, or in other activities.

As shown in Figure 11, for the 5% of artists who indicated that they are often limited in the activities that they can do, average earnings are $20,600 (44% lower than workers in the overall labour force who are often limited in the activities that they can do - $36,400).

For the 10% of artists who indicated that they are sometimes limited in their activities, earnings are 48% lower than workers in the overall labour force who are similarly limited ($22,200 vs. $42,400).

 

Earnings by employment status

The average earnings of self-employed artists ($21,400) are less than one-half of the average earnings of self-employed workers in the overall labour force ($44,600). Self-employed cultural workers earn, on average, $27,400.

Artists with a paid position earn an average of $33,800, which is 26% lower than employed workers in the overall labour force ($45,600). Employed cultural workers earn an average of $42,500. These statistics are shown in Figure 12.

 


Section 6: Changes in the number of artists and cultural workers between 1989 and 2013

Because of major methodological changes, data in this report are not comparable to data derived from the census of 2006 or prior years. Background research regarding the methodology of the National Household Survey has indicated that data on artists from the voluntary NHS are substantially different from data from the mandatory long-form census.[24]

The Labour Force Survey, despite having a much smaller sample size than the National Household Survey, does supply a reasonable and historically-comparable estimate of the total number of artists in the employed labour force (including those who are self-employed). The “employed labour force” is a slightly narrower estimate than the “experienced labour force”, which is used elsewhere in this report.[25]

Because of the relatively small sample size of the LFS when dealing with smaller population groups (such as artists and cultural workers), there is substantial unexplained year-to-year volatility in estimates based on the LFS. In order to smooth out these irregular fluctuations, this report provides historical estimates using three-year moving averages. LFS historical data are available from 1987 to 2013, and three-year moving averages are provided for 1989 to 2013.

In order to compare growth in the number of artists, cultural workers, and the overall labour force, an index was derived. The index was set at 100 in 1989 for each group of workers.

As shown in Figure 13, there was a 56% increase in the number of artists in Canada between 1989 and 2013. This is higher than the 38% increase in the overall labour force. The number of cultural workers in Canada increased by 47% between 1989 and 2013.

Given major methodological changes in the National Household Survey compared to prior census years, as well as the limited breakdowns that are possible from the Labour Force Survey, demographic changes or changes in artists’ earnings cannot be analyzed.


 

Appendix: Description of arts occupations and list of cultural occupations

50 cultural occupations

Artist occupations

  • F021 Authors and Writers
  • F031 Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations
  • F032 Conductors, composers, and arrangers
  • F033 Musicians and singers
  • F034 Dancers
  • F035 Actors and comedians
  • F036 Painters, sculptors, and other visual artists
  • F132 Other performers
  • F144 Artisans and craftspersons

Cultural occupations related to broadcasting, film & video, sound recording, performing arts, and publishing

  • F022 Editors
  • F023 Journalists
  • F122 Film and video camera operators
  • F123 Graphic arts technicians
  • F124 Broadcast technicians
  • F125 Audio and video recording technicians
  • F126 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts
  • F127 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts
  • F131 Announcers and other broadcasters
  • A342 Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting, and performing arts

Cultural occupations related to libraries, archives, and heritage

  • A341 Library, archive, museum, and art gallery managers
  • B513 Records management technicians
  • B551 Library assistants and clerks
  • B552 Correspondence, publication, and regulatory clerks
  • F011 Librarians
  • F012 Conservators and curators
  • F013 Archivists
  • F111 Library and archive technicians and assistants
  • F112 Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries

Cultural occupations related to architecture

  • C051 Architects
  • C052 Landscape architects
  • C053 Urban and land use planners
  • C125 Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
  • C151 Architectural technologists and technicians

Cultural occupations related to design

  • C075 Web designers and developers
  • C152 Industrial designers
  • C153 Drafting technologists and technicians
  • F141 Graphic designers and illustrators
  • F142 Interior designers and interior decorators
  • F143 Theatre, fashion, exhibit, and other creative designers
  • F145 Patternmakers, textile, leather, and fur products

Cultural occupations related to printing

  • B523 Desktop publishing operators and related occupations
  • H018 Supervisors, printing and related occupations
  • H521 Printing press operators
  • J181 Plateless printing equipment operators
  • J182 Camera, platemaking, and other pre-press occupations
  • J183 Binding and finishing machine operators

Cultural occupations not included elsewhere (natural heritage, communications, photography)

  • C124 Conservation and fishery officers
  • F024 Professional occupations in public relations and communications
  • F121 Photographers
  • J184 Photographic and film processors

 



[1] The “overall labour force” refers to the experienced labour force, which includes all those who worked during the NHS reference week as well as unemployed people who had worked for pay or in self-employment since January 1, 2010.

[2] A technical report from Hill Strategies Research provides significant details about the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey as sources of data regarding the situation of artists in Canada. Data sources on artists in Canada: Methodological details regarding the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey, Hill Strategies Research Inc., May 2014, http://www.hillstrategies.com/content/data-sources-artists-canada.

[3] NHS Dictionary, Statistics Canada, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/dict/pop031-eng.cfm, consulted August 6, 2014.

[4] For more information about labour force measurements in the National Household Survey, visit http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/guides/99-012-x/99-012-x2011007-eng.cfm.

[5] Other occupation groups, such as photographers, were also considered for inclusion in the analysis. However, further investigation found that a large majority of photographers captured by the census work as commercial photographers, which would limit the usefulness of including photographers in the analysis.

[6] See Appendix 1 for descriptions of the nine arts occupations and a list of the 50 cultural occupations, drawn from the 2006 National Occupation Classification (NOC), http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=12-583-X&lang=eng.

[7] Data sources on artists in Canada: Methodological details regarding the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey, Hill Strategies Research Inc., May 2014, http://www.hillstrategies.com/content/data-sources-artists-canada.

[8] The 2011 NHS estimate of artists in the employed labour force (128,300) is 3% lower than, but still within the margin of error of, the 2011 LFS estimate (132,300).

[9] Membership in artist associations is another possible source of data. However, this would not provide complete information as only some artists belong to associations. In addition, some artists who belong to an association may not be active as an artist in a specific year.

[10] NHS Aboriginal Population Profile: About the data, Statistics Canada, 2013, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/aprof/help-aide/about-apropos.cfm?Lang=E, retrieved on February 26, 2014.

[11] Most of the statistics in this report relate to the “experienced labour force”, which includes all those who worked as an artist during the NHS reference week or worked as an artist longer than any other position since January 1, 2010. A narrower statistic, the “employed labour force”, includes only those who worked as an artist during the NHS reference week.

[12] Industry comparison based on sector data from the 2011 National Household Survey. The utilities sector includes “establishments primarily engaged in operating electric, gas and water utilities. These establishments generate, transmit, control and distribute electric power; distribute natural gas; treat and distribute water; operate sewer systems and sewage treatment facilities; and provide related services, generally through a permanent infrastructure of lines, pipes and treatment and processing facilities.” Source: North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012, Statistics Canada, http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p3VD.pl?Function=getVDPage1&db=imdb&dis=2&adm=8&TVD=118464, retrieved March 7, 2014.

[13] Canadian Culture Satellite Account, 2010, Statistics Canada, September 2014, Catalogue no. 13-604-M — No. 75, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/13-604-m/13-604-m2014075-eng.htm.

[14] All industry comparisons are based on sector data from the 2011 National Household Survey. The wholesale trade sector includes “establishments primarily engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise…. This sector comprises two main types of wholesalers: merchant wholesalers that sell goods on own account and wholesale electronic markets, agents, and brokers that arrange sales and purchases for others generally for a commission or fee.” Source: North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012, Statistics Canada, http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p3VD.pl?Function=getVDPage1&db=imdb&dis=2&adm=8&TVD=118464, retrieved March 7, 2014.

[15] Aboriginal people include First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. Visible minority, as defined in the Employment Equity Act (and used in the NHS), refers to "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab, West Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese and Korean. Definition and examples taken from Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/concepts/definitions/minority-minorite1-eng.htm.The term “immigrant” refers to people who are, or have been, landed immigrants in Canada. A landed immigrant is a person who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities.

[16] While the differences are not as pronounced, the LFS estimates of self-employment among cultural and the overall labour force are also higher than the corresponding NHS estimates.

[17] In addition to self-employed and paid workers, the NHS has a third employment category known as unpaid workers. These figures are very small in the arts labour force and are not presented in this paper. However, the self-employed and paid worker categories do not add to 100% for all of occupations because of the few unpaid workers.

[18] The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector includes independent artists, performing arts companies, museums, art galleries, and heritage institutions (as well as spectator sports, amusement, gambling, and recreation industries). The educational services sector includes schools teaching dance, drama, music, photography (except commercial photography), and fine art (except commercial and graphic arts), language schools, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, as well as various specialized schools. The information and cultural industries sector includes publishing (except internet), motion pictures, sound recording, broadcasting (except internet), telecommunications, information services, and data processing. Industry definitions from the North American Industry Classification System (2007) are available at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/naics-scian/2007/list-liste-eng.htm.

[19] The median is a measure of the income of a “typical” worker in various occupations. Half of individuals have incomes that are less than the median value, while the other half has incomes greater than the median. The median is less influenced than the average (more appropriately known as the “mean”) by extreme observations, such as a few individuals reporting very large incomes. As a consequence, median incomes are typically lower than average incomes.

[20] About one-half of artists live in cities with a population of 500,000 or more. Low-income cutoffs “are income thresholds below which families devote a larger share of income to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than the average family would”. The percentage of family income spent on necessities in low-income households was 63% or more, which is 20 percentage points higher than the average amount spent by all Canadian households. Information on low incomes was obtained from Low Income Lines, 2010-2011, Statistics Canada, June 2013, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75f0002m/75f0002m2012002-eng.htm, retrieved February 10, 2014.

[21] Other money income includes items not accounted for elsewhere, such as “severance pay and retirement allowances, alimony, child support, periodic support from other persons not in the household, income from abroad (excluding dividends and interest), non-refundable scholarships, bursaries, fellowships and study grants, and artists' project grants”. Source: NHS Dictionary, Statistics Canada, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/dict/pop107-eng.cfm, retrieved March 7, 2014.

[22] Information on low incomes was obtained from Low Income Lines, 2010-2011, Statistics Canada, June 2013, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75f0002m/75f0002m2012002-eng.htm, retrieved February 10, 2014.

[23] The median is a measure of the earnings of a “typical” worker in various occupations. Half of individuals have earnings that are less than the median value, while the other half has earnings greater than the median. The median is less influenced than the average (more appropriately known as the “mean”) by extreme observations, such as a few individuals reporting very large incomes. As a consequence, median earnings are typically lower than average earnings.

[24] A separate technical report provides significant details about the National Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey as sources of data regarding the situation of artists in Canada.

[25] The 2011 National Household Survey estimate of artists in the employed labour force (128,300) is 3% lower than, but still within the margin of error of, the 2011 Labour Force Survey estimate (132,300).

 

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