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Concentration of Artists in Canada

November 8, 2023

Toronto Arts Council, in partnership with the Canada Council, City of Vancouver, Calgary Arts Development, and Conseil des arts de Montréal, conducted a research project on the issues that impact where artists live and work.

Research goal

This research identifies factors that impact where artists live and work in Canada’s four largest cities and how funders might address them.


Artists that had lived in one of the municipalities within the last three years were engaged through a survey and focus groups. The survey was completed by 664 respondents and two discussion groups were held in each city.


The research led to the following key insights:

  • One of the top reasons in each city for why artists have left the city, or were thinking of leaving, was that the cost of living was too high.
  • Access to both affordable housing and creative space is a struggle.
  • Allowable subsistence levels in grants are inadequate and do not reflect increases in cost of living or inflation.
  • Racism and other intersecting forms of discrimination persist within the sector.

The findings from this research will inform the Canada Council’s support to artists.


Please contact the Research, Measurement and Data Analytics Section at research@canadacouncil.ca.