Partnerships Help Us Understand the Art

By: SaskCulture Staff January, 2014

In March 2015, the Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research (SPAR) announced results of its Understanding the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan research, which included the first comprehensive survey of artists across the spectrum of arts in the province.  As a funding partner in the SPAR project, SaskCulture, along with Saskatchewan Arts Alliance (SAA), the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the University or Regina, were pleased that 348 respondents completed the survey (resulting in a margin of error of ± -4.95%, to the 95% confidence level). This information is important to building a greater understanding of the role of the arts and creativity in the social, cultural and economic fabric of the province.

Key findings from the first survey from the artist’s perspective included:

  • Over 83% self-identified as professional artists – however based on criteria laid out in the Saskatchewan Arts Professions  Act or granting agency guidelines at least 90% of respondents  could be classed as “professional”;
  • Nearly 47% of artist respondents were 55+;
  • Artists’ volunteer rate exceeded the provincial rate of 56%, their volunteering within “Arts and Culture” was 65.5%;
  • Average artist income from all creative work is $15,380;
  • Average artist income from all sources of employment is $44,335;
  • Only 28.5% received a public grant within the last two years to support their work; and
  • Many provincial cultural organizations, supported through  Saskatchewan Lotteries system, were often-identified among   “the most important arts organizations” to which respondents belong.