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The Visual Arts Landscape in Canada as Seen through CADAC, 2011-12

This report examines data on 243 visual arts organizations regarding their finances and activities, as reported by the organizations in their submissions to CADAC (Canadian Arts Database / Données sur les arts au Canada). The organizations include 127 art museums and public art galleries, 88 artist-run centres, five visual arts production centres, 21 visual arts service organizations, and two “other” organizations. All of the organizations received “an operating grant (annual or multi‐year) from one or more arts funders who are members of CADAC”.

CADAC data have limitations. As the report cautions, “statistical data from CADAC are not currently reviewed in the same manner as financial data (which are reconciled with financial statements by CADAC analysts). Statistical data are reported here as is and likely contain some reporting errors.” In addition, “not all provincial and territorial funders are members of CADAC”. As such, organizations in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and the three territories are likely underrepresented in the dataset.

Regarding the diversity of the visual arts organizations, the report indicates that 7% of the organizations “are diverse in terms of their mandate”, including groups serving Aboriginal, official language minority, and culturally diverse Canadians. As noted in the report, “these figures do not capture all aspects of diversity as they do not represent the degree to which mainstream organizations may undertake programming with respect to diverse communities”.

In 2011-12, the different types of visual arts organizations had different revenue structures, as shown in the table below.

Type of organization

Government grants

Earned revenues

Private sector revenues

Art galleries

49%

26%

25%

Artist-run centres

75%

13%

13%

Visual arts service organizations

57%

37%

7%

Production centres

34%

45%

21%

Note: The above percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.

For each type of organization, artist fees and artistic salaries represented between 40% and 60% of total expenditures in 2011-12.

The visual arts organizations represented in the dataset curated 3,100 exhibitions in 2011-12, of which 76% were contemporary exhibitions. The report highlights the role of visual arts organizations in supporting the work of more than 20,000 artists (about 90% of whom are Canadian) and engaging “the public in significant ways in the visual arts (attendance of more than 12 million at exhibitions and 1.7 million at arts education activities)”.

Summary: 

This report examines data on 243 visual arts organizations regarding their finances and activities, as reported by the organizations in their submissions to CADAC (Canadian Arts Database / Données sur les arts au Canada).