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Shocking New Report on Canadian Artists’ Incomes

A shocking new report (published March 2019) commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage, based on data collected in the 2016 census, provides clear and current evidence that few working artists in Metro Vancouver will ever have the means to independently purchase a home or save for their retirement. The report, based on the 2016 census, reveals that the median income of artists is 45% lower than all Canadian workers. By occupation, the median incomes are the following: dancers ($15,100); actors and comedians ($17,500); musicians and singers ($17,600); composers ($28,700); writers ($38,000); and producers/directors ($48,700).

The report is called, “A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada in 2016” compiled by Hills Strategies:

The report focuses on the working lives of artists in Canada, including statistics on:

  • The overall number of artists
  • Artists by occupation
  • Demographic information such as gender, education, age, Indigenous people, members of racialized groups, and more
  • Self-employment rates
  • Total incomes, employment incomes, and household incomes
  • The industries where artists work, with a focus on the three most common sectors for artists: 1) arts, entertainment, and recreation; 2) educational services; and 3) information and cultural industries

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