In November 2019, Hill Strategies Research Inc. released the study Artists in Canada’s Provinces and Territories in 2016 (With Summary Information about Cultural Workers).
Based on the 2016 census, this report examines the number and incomes of artists in each of Canada’s provinces and territories. The report also provides a brief summary of the situation of cultural workers in each province and territory.
How many artists are in Canada?
A previous report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series found that there are 158,100 artists in Canada, representing almost 1% of the overall Canadian labour force (0.87%). In this report, this percentage is referred to as the “concentration of artists”.
- There are 13,300 artists in Alberta, representing 8.4% of Canada’s artists!
Which art disciplines are prominent in Canada?
Nine detailed occupation codes are included in the count of artists. From largest to smallest in Canada as a whole, the arts occupations are:
- Musicians and singers: 35,000 (22% of all artists)
- Authors and writers: 27,700 (18%)
- Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations: 27,600 (17%)
- Visual artists: 21,100 (13%)
- Artisans and craftspeople: 14,700 (9%)
- Actors and comedians: 11,400 (7%)
- Dancers: 10,100 (6%)
- Other performers: 6,300 (4%) (includes circus performers, magicians, models and other performers not elsewhere classified)
- Conductors, composers, and arrangers: 4,200 (3%)
There are 726,600 cultural workers in Canada, including heritage occupations (such as librarians, museum workers, and archivists), cultural occupations (such as designers, editors, and architects), and the nine arts occupations.
Cultural workers account for 4% of the overall labour force (also called the “concentration of cultural workers”).
Profile of Alberta Artists
Here are the Alberta highlights from the report.
Working conditions and education
- The total median individual income of artists in Alberta is $25,800, 51% lower than that of all Alberta workers ($52,400).
- 52% of artists are self-employed, much higher than that of all Alberta workers (12%).
- Artists are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (42%), compared to all Alberta workers (27%).
- Female artists make up a large proportion of artists (60%), compared to 46% of all Alberta workers.
- Racialized artists are under-represented within Alberta’s arts community, making up 13% of the artist populations, compared to 22% of all Alberta workers.
- Indigenous artists are slightly under-represented within Alberta’s arts community, making up 4% of Alberta’s artists, compared to 5.1% of all Alberta workers.
- Immigrant artists are under-represented within Alberta’s arts community, making up 17% of the artist populations, compared to 24% of all Alberta workers.
Artists in Alberta by discipline
Of the 13,300 artists in Alberta, here is how they are broken down by discipline:
- Musicians and singers: 28%
- Authors and writers: 16%
- Visual artists: 14%
- Producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations: 11%
- Artisans and craftspeople: 10%
- Dancers: 9%
- Other performers: 5%
- Actors and comedians: 4%
- Conductors, composers, and arrangers: 2%
Cultural Workers in Alberta
- There are 68,500 cultural workers in Alberta, representing 3% of the province’s overall labour force.
- The total median individual income of cultural workers in Alberta is $47,100, 10% lower than that of all Alberta workers ($52,400).