Art Matters


In case you haven’t heard the leaders’ stance on the arts, it’s all here in a CBC report on their answers to an ACTRA petition — minus, of course, any input from the Conservative Party.

Of particular interest is an NDP promise for any artist making under $30,000 a year to be exempt from paying income taxes. The rest of you will still have to register for a GST number, unfortunately.

If you think the arts issue is of little import in the coming election, consider these facts, pulled from a Blogs Canada post:

  1. Direct economic impact of arts and culture 1996-97: $22.5 billion (3.1% of total economy), $781 per Canadian
  2. Direct employment in arts and culture 1996-97: 640,726 (4.8% of total employment)
  3. Number of artists in Canada in 2000: 120,000
  4. Culture spending by governments (all levels) 1999-2000: $5.9 billion
  5. Federal culture spending 1999-2000: $2.8 billion, $92 per Canadian
  6. Canada Council grants 2001-2002: $133 million (4.8% of federal culture spending), $4.25 per Canadian
  7. Canadians’ total consumer spending on arts and culture events and activities 1996: $14 billion
  8. Canadian families’ average annual consumer spending on arts and culture events and activities 1996: $1,121
  9. Tourist spending on arts and culture events and activities in Canada 1998: $760 million
  10. Growth in Canadian culture merchandise exports 1996 to 1998: 25%
  11. Growth in Canadian culture merchandise imports 1996 to 1998: 18%
  12. Number of Canadians volunteering in arts and culture organizations 1997: 500,000
  13. Number of Canadians contributing financially to arts and culture organizations 1997: 560,000
  14. Increase in Canada Council funding to the arts between 1996-97 and 2001-2002: 58%
  15. Inflation-adjusted increase in Canada Council parliamentary appropriation 1992-93 to 2001-2002: 17%
  16. Average annual employment income of a visual artist 1996: $12,633

By Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?

1 comment

  1. AC:

    Thanks for the stats. If you take the “direct impact of the arts” at $22.5B and the cultural spending by all governments at $5.9B, it means a return on the taxpayer’s investment at nearly 400%. The government would clearly take back their investment in tax dollars, plus the rest of that money goes into the economy because artists tend to buy things like food, clothing, shelter, G5s.
    The bias by neo-cons and others against arts funding is not based on an economic arguement but on a political argument, based on how each side perceives the other. Good to see we never really leave high school…..


    PS: Every vote makes a difference in this election –get out and vote!

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