Data Shows Precarity in Canada's Arts & Culture Sector

Arts Insight Canada's newest datasets have revealed wide-spread precarity in Canada's arts and culture sector. The data highlights some of the challenges facing the sector as Canada continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • One in Four arts, entertainment and recreation workers lost their job in 2020, an increase from 2019, and a net loss of 114,000 jobs.
  • The 25% decrease in arts and cultural jobs was higher than any other industry in 2020; by comparison, accommodation and food services job loss was 23%.
  • Stress and burnout levels among artists and art workers are high (62%), with stress levels even higher for those who are deaf or have a disability (65%), are BIPOC (68%), serve as a primary caregiver (69%), or are a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community (78%).
  • 63% of eligible workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector received at least one Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payment in 2020.
  • Economic activity in live performance was 63% lower than pre-pandemic levels.
  • In the arts, entertainment and recreation sector the number of organizations and businesses with at least one employee decreased 8% between January 2020 and May 2021; the same decrease as the accommodation and food sector. The average decrease in all sectors of the economy was -1%.