New Statistics From Hill Strategies

On March 27, Hill Strategies released “A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada in 2016”, a report based on information collected from the 2016 long-form census. This report focuses on the working lives of artists in Canada, including statistics on:

  • The overall number of artists
  • Artists by occupation
  • Demographic information
  • Self-employment rates
  • Income
  • The industries where artists work

According to this report, 183,200 Canadians are artists (who spend more time at their art than at any other occupation). This represents almost 1% of the overall Canadian labour force. That means the number of artists is greater than the labour force in automotive manufacturing (154,100) and the utilities sector (144,900). Take into consideration how many artists are not included here: those who derive most of their income from teaching, research, administration or another job that fuels their professional arts practice, and that number skyrockets. However, for the purpose of the Hill Strategies study, only those census-reporting artists are included in the numbers below.

Out of 183,200 artists, 9% identify as artisans and craftspeople (a total of 17,300 people). On average, artisans and craftspeople make $20,300 per year… 52% lower than the average of all Canadian workers ($41,900).

This report also contains other key demographic and employment characteristics:

  • Women comprise 53% of all artists, higher than the proportion of all Canadian workers (48%).
  • A much larger percentage of artists than all workers have a bachelor’s degree or higher (44% vs. 27%).
  • 52% of artists are self-employed, compared with only 12% of all workers.
  • The age distribution of artists is fairly similar to all workers: nearly one-half of artists (47%) are 45 years of age or older, similar to the 45% of all workers. However, more artists than all workers are 65 years of age or older (12% vs. 6%).
  • Racialized Canadians are under-represented among artists (15%) compared with all workers (21%).
  • Indigenous and immigrant workers are slightly under-represented among artists: Indigenous People (3.3% of artists and 4.0% of all workers) and immigrants (21% of artists and 23% of all workers).

Thank you to Hill Strategies for their work in providing arts sector information. Click here to read the full report.

It is important that we recognize that these numbers only include a portion of those practising professional arts. To that, the Canadian Crafts Federation would like to say to ALL craft artists – full-time, part-time, primary income or secondary income – that we see you and we recognize, appreciate, and celebrate your work. We continue to work with Statistics Canada and Canadian Heritage to make statistical improvements that will clarify and reflect the full ecosystem of craft.

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Banner: Marie Claude Morin (left), Julia Reimer (right)