Demographic Diversity of Artists in Canada in 2016
Partners: The Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Ontario Arts Council
This report focuses on four demographic groups of artists: women, Indigenous people, members of racialized groups, and members of official language minority groups. It is the 51st report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts (SIA) series from Hill Strategies Research.
In order to better understand the situation of artists in each key demographic group, the following factors are examined in the report:
- Number of artists and proportion of all artists in Canada
- Median income
- Number of artists and median income by occupation
- Other characteristics, such as immigration status, age, and education, where available in the custom dataset
The report also provides an intersectional analysis of artists who are in more than one of the key demographic groups (for example, Indigenous women artists). Because data related to disability, deafness, and sexual orientation are not available from the census, they could not be analyzed in this report.
Purpose of study
A shared commitment to making arts research available to inform the work of Canada's arts community and inform the general public about Canada's arts sector.
This report contains statistics on the working lives of artists analyzed from the 2016 long-form census. Readers should keep in mind that when the census was conducted in 2016, Canadians 15 and older were classified in the occupation in which they worked the most hours during the census reference week (May 1 to 7, 2016). If they did not work during that week, they were classified based on the job at which they worked the longest since January 1, 2015. If they did not work at all during that period, they were excluded from the experienced labour force (and the statistics in this report). The census collected income information for 2015, the most recent full calendar year.
It is also important to note that, due to major changes in methods between the 2011 National Household Survey and the 2016 census, data in this report are not comparable to previous reports.
- A higher proportion of Canada’s artists are women (52%) than in the overall labour force (48%).
- A higher proportion of women than men artists have a bachelor’s degree or higher (51% vs 42%).
- There are substantially fewer women producers, directors, and choreographers than men (12% of women artists vs. 23% of men artists) and substantially more women dancers than men (11% vs. 2%).
- Women artists have a median income ($22,300) that is well below that of men artists ($27,100).
- The 5,000 Indigenous artists in Canada account for 3.1% of all artists in the country.
- Fewer Indigenous than non-Indigenous artists are 45 or older (41% vs. 46%).
- Much higher proportions of Indigenous than non-Indigenous artists are artisans and visual artists.
- Indigenous artists have a median income of $16,600 while non-Indigenous artists have a median income of $24,600.
- There are 23,300 racialized artists in Canada, representing 15% of all artists in the country.
- A much higher percentage of racialized than non-racialized artists are immigrants (60% vs. 14%).
- A slightly higher proportion of racialized than non-racialized artists have a bachelor’s degree or higher (50% vs. 46%).
- Racialized artists have a median income of $18,200 while non-racialized artists have a median income of $25,400.
Official language minority artists
- The 7,300 English-language artists in Quebec represent 4.6% of all Canadian artists.
- The concentration of artists is 1.40% among Anglophones in Quebec, compared with 0.78% among Francophones in the province.
- The 2,000 French-language artists outside Quebec represent 1.2% of all Canadian artists.
- The concentration of artists is 0.59% for Francophones outside Quebec, compared with 0.93% for Anglophones outside Quebec.