4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector
The cultural labour force in Canada remains a leading topic for study and debate in today's rapidly changing cultural environment. Measuring and categorising cultural occupations has nevertheless remained problematic owing to different definitions of cultural work, methods of counting cultural workers, sources and procedures used to generate data. Much of the cultural labour force data is derived from the Canadian Census every five years, the monthly Canadian Labour Force Survey and annual or biannual cultural surveys. The cultural labour force, as defined by Statistics Canada for the purposes of the Census, includes those Canadians 15 and over in any of 45 cultural, heritage and artistic occupations.
Recent trends using employment indicators for 2001 include a high incidence of self-employment among 130 700 artists comprising nine cultural occupations in Canada (writers, producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations; conductors, composers and arrangers; musicians and singers; dancers; actors; other performers; painters, sculptors and related artists; and artisans and craft- persons); wide variations in income between low-income writers, musicians, visual artists and dancers and higher income cultural managers, for example and a strong representation of part-time and multiple job holders in the cultural sector. In 2003, Statistics Canada estimated that the cultural sector directly employed 615 900 or 3.9% of the total labour force (see provincial distribution of the Canadian cultural labour force in Table 2 below). Part-time employees continued to out-number full-time workers in not-for-profit heritage institutions, with a continued reliance on volunteers as an integral component of their work force. Art museums and galleries indicated that over 85% of their total work forces were volunteers while historic sites indicated volunteers made up 74% of their work force. In the film and television production labour market, 119 500 full-time equivalent (direct and indirect) jobs were generated in Canada in 2004-05, 11% fewer jobs than the previous year and the third straight annual decrease. Just under 7 500 full-time and almost 1 400 part-time employees in the book publishing industry contributed to the cultural labour force in 2004.
Table 2: Culture employment by province, 1995-2003
More recent research has estimated that nearly 1.1 million jobs can be attributed directly and indirectly to economic activity generated by cultural sector industries in Canada in 2007 (Conference Board of Canada 2008).
Earlier research on the cultural labour force demonstrated:
Recent federal initiatives in cultural human resource development include: