The Globe and Mail covers a report that says “artist earnings have been decreasing since 1990 – a decline likely to intensify over the next two years. While average earnings for the overall labour force rose by almost 10 per cent from 1990 to 2005, artists experienced a slide of 11 per cent” and also points out that though there are more female artists, they earn, on average, less than men. Oh, and a lot of them take part-time work doing other stuff to survive.
Canada doesn’t support it’s artistic community. And women get paid less than men. Neither of these should come as a shock to anyone who even dabbles in the arts. The economy is tanking, and artists are going to suffer too, though as was mentioned on the radio the other day, because they always live on the edge of insolvency, they’re more likely to have coping strategies already in place.
“While artists earn much less than the overall labour force and outnumber the workers directly employed by the Canadian automotive sector (140,000 versus 135,000), they’re better educated than most Canadians. The Hill study reports that 39 per cent of all Canadian artists have at least a university degree at the bachelor’s level, whereas for the overall labour force the percentage is 21.” (my emphasis). The government needs to get a clue and invest in culture as well as infrastructure, rather than simply bailing out companies whose time has passed.