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Reports on Canadian artists’ earnings and funding

By Marie Claire Forté

“Artists’ earnings are well below the overall labour force average in every province.” Though this may come as no surprise, this statement is quantified in the Artists in Canada’s Provinces and Territories Based on the 2006 Census report published by Hill Strategies Research, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. The report documents the average yearly earnings of the overall labour workforce ($36,301), of artists ($22,731) and of dancers ($13,167). The report also notes that, “among the 10 provinces, British Columbia has the largest percentage of its labour force in arts occupations (1.08%), the only province above 1% and a figure that is well above the Canadian average of 0.77%.”
In Vancouver, the managing director of the city’s Cultural Services submitted a report entitled Models for Arts Councils – Research from Other Municipalities to the City of Vancouver. This report, published in February, includes a Comparative Arts Council Review of a few cities in Canada and the United States. It seems that Vancouver faired well in the comparison, with funding per capita at $18 from a grants budget of $10.4 million, compared to Toronto, with $4.16 per capita from a grants budget of $9.7 million and Montréal, with $5.22 per capita from a grants budget of $9.5 million. The report highlights that, “Each jurisdiction surveyed has evolved its own unique and organic approach to the delivery and creative scope of arts funding.”

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