Status of the Artist Survey

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Status of the Artist Survey

Status of the Artist is an initiative directed at improving the social and economic standing of artists.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first introduced the concept of Status of the Artist in the 1970s.

In Canada, the UNESCO recommendations resulted in the development of the federal Status of the Artist Act (1992). Status of the Artist legislation has been enacted in the following five provinces:

  • Quebec (1987 and 1998)
  • Ontario (2007)
  • Saskatchewan (2009)
  • Nova Scotia (2012)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (2017)


Alberta is considering ways it can:

  • Recognize and raise awareness of the value of artists in Alberta.
  • Improve the economic and working conditions of artists.

We’re gathering feedback from the arts community and welcome your thoughts on this initiative.

Online survey

Provide your input by June 30, 2018, to help us:

  • Better understand the needs of Alberta’s arts community.
  • Determine potential options for improving recognition and public awareness of artists and their contributions.
  • Identify specific actions the government could take to recognize and improve the status of Alberta’s artists.

To take the survey, visit


Your feedback will be used to:

  • Ensure the government’s actions are meaningful and reflect Alberta’s arts community.
  • Better inform government policies and programs that impact artists.

This engagement builds on what we learned during an initial round held in November and December of 2017.

Arts in Alberta

Alberta’s arts community is robust and diverse, and many Albertans value and are engaged in the arts. According to recent research:

  • 44,880 Albertans were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation in 2016.
  • 76% of Albertans surveyed attended an arts event.
  • 57% of Albertans surveyed participated in artistic activities.
  • 87% of Albertans surveyed believe arts and culture make their community a better place to live.
  • 84% of Albertans surveyed feel arts activities are important in contributing to the overall quality of life in their community.

Despite their important contributions to the province, artists often face economic challenges and income disparities, compared with the overall labour force:

  • 44% lower earnings ($32,600) than the average income of the overall labour force ($58,200).
  • 55% lower earnings ($30,300) than those with the same academic credentials at or above a bachelor’s degree ($66,500).

By pursuing Status of the Artist, the government will further the work it’s doing to recognize the importance of the arts sector and commit to actions that address some of the challenges faced by artists.

To take the survey, visit

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