On Wednesday, November 18, Kelly Hill of Hill Strategies Research presented draft findings from a series of research projects aimed at creating significant new information and insights regarding the status of arts and culture in British Columbia.
The research project, commissioned by the Alliance for Arts + Culture and funded in part by the Vancouver Foundation, includes the following four streams:
- Examining existing research and data;
- A province-wide survey of not-for-profit arts and culture organizations;
- Conducting successful practices interviews;
- A comparison of revenue sources of select BC arts and culture organizations with similar organizations in other provinces.
1. Despite recent increases, BC arts organizations are underfunded compared with peers in other provinces.
2. Most BC arts organizations are deeply involved in education.
3. BC survey respondents reported a total attendance of 4 million (from 118 organizations), with over 1.5 million free attendees.
4. Human resources in BC arts organizations are stretched to their limits. "The job is 35 hours a week on paper, but in reality the job is a lifestyle."
5. A majority of BC arts organizations reported having a focus on culturally diverse individuals. Almost 40% reported a focus on Aboriginal people.
6. BC arts organizations primarily serve their municipal areas and broader regions. A significant minority serve the province, Canada, or an international scope.
7. BC arts organizations reported a range of benefits in communities:
- Artistic impacts
- Stimulating thought
- Fostering creativity
8. Major challenges reported by arts organizations include:
- Business / individual support
- Staff capacity
- Competition (time / other entertainment)
9. Major strengths reported by arts organizations include:
- Retaining staff and attracting volunteers
- Community partnerships
- Getting government support
- Financial health
10. Key issues anticipated for the near future:
- Staff capacity
- Finances (earned revenues, general, government support)
Watch our blog and the Hill Strategies website for the final report coming soon.