Dear PAL Friend,
Your generous contribution to PAL Vancouver directly maintains our 111 apartments and provides vital annual rental assistance to our residents.
A shocking new report discloses 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). I urge you to read the report and a link appears at the end of this letter.*
For the past four years our Board has been working on breaking new ground to address PAL Vancouver’s ten-year waiting list. There is still much to do, however PAL is on the cusp of providing further relief to local senior artists who continue to bear the brunt of our region’s ongoing housing crisis.
Like the socially innovative work PAL accomplishes — our actors, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, writers, directors and associated creative professionals are groundbreakers. They break with convention, experiment with storytelling, establish independent film and theatre companies, tour from coast to coast to coast, and find new ways to express the complexity of being alive. Sometimes they help us to understand one another, and help us to feel more connected to our community.
Beyond the tickets we buy, festivals we enjoy, music we download, and ballets we attend – we must care for the well-being and safety of our senior artists. They have given so much of themselves to enhance our lives, it is crucial that we, in turn, work to ensure that those who are at risk are cared for with safe, affordable homes in their senior years. Over 50% of PAL residents who receive assistance have annual incomes below $18,000. PAL rents start at $475 per month.
For older adults experiencing physical, emotional and financial challenges, every trace of their energy is needed to cope. A nimble actor may lose her/his physical mobility. A stunt performer’s injury may be deemed inoperable. A musician’s hearing may decline. For vulnerable seniors living alone in substandard housing, far away from peers and services, the isolation they experience places them at even greater health risk.
Thank you for your enduring support for the vibrant, creative community of artists imagined by our visionary co-founders Jane Heyman and Joy Coghill. As you may know, there is no available government support for PAL’s Rental Assistance Program. It continues to operate thanks to caring individuals, family foundations, businesses and performing arts organizations.
Please consider contributing to PAL by December 31st this year, as we build a more compassionate future together.
P.S. PAL Vancouver receives no annual government support for our housing operations and must raise $300,000 every year to fund our integral rental assistance program and preserve the integrity of our facility. We do this solely through donations from caring individuals, private and public foundations, businesses, and dedicated members of Metro Vancouver’s performing arts community.
* Hill Strategies, 2019. Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada in 2016. ISBN 978-1-926674-48-3, Hamilton, Ontario http://hillstrategies.com/resource/statistical-profile-of-artists-in-canada-in-2016/