New Report Examines the Number and Situation of Artists in Canada

Statistical Insights on the Arts is a quantitative research series, created by Hill Strategies Research, that aims to provide reliable, recent and insightful data on the state of the arts in Canada. The latest edition in the series finds that there are more artists in Canada than auto workers. 

An excerpt from this edition is listed below; click the link at the bottom for the full report. 

A Statistical Profile of Artists and Cultural Workers in Canada
7 October 2014 

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).

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%).

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).

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.

Click here for the full report »

Statistical Insights on the Arts is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. 

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