Vancouver's cultural sector during recession

As most of you know, the Alliance has partnered with 2010 Legacies Now to host a Vancouver Arts Summit at the Vancouver Public Library tomorrow and Friday. Thanks to 2010 Legacies Now, the Summit was offered free of charge, but with the caveat that participants had to fill out a detailed survey on how they are reacting to current economic climate.

The results are still being collected and reviewed, but I thought I'd share a few of the key findings with you before the Summit begins:

  1. Social media is on the rise. Among the organizations surveyed, 78.4% of respondents said that they were looking at increasing their use of social media to respond to the changes in the economy. 71.3% of individuals responded similarly.
  2. Despite the rumours, the recession isn't decimating arts organizations in Vancouver. 44.4% of organizations said they would break even at year end, with 19.8% showing a deficit of under 10% and 23.5% showing a surplus. Only 3.7% of respondents anticipated a deficit of more than 25%.
  3. Partnerships and collaborations are becoming more common. Among both individuals and organizations, this was one of the most popular ways of responding to the current economic trend, with 55% of individuals and 75.7% of organizations saying they were investigating more partnerships. However, as one artist pointed out, this has a downside: "Because theatre companies are now doing more co-pro's, the amount of work for actors like me is going down substantially."
  4. Volunteers are more in demand than ever. 44.6% of the organizations polled said they would be relying more heavily on their volunteer base to respond to the economy.

We will be posting more results in the days to come, as well as doing some live blogging from the Summit, so watch this space in the next few days.

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