In Resources on the Arts (scratch)

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: A Demographic Profile of Calgary’s Arts Sector

September 11, 201911 September 2019

Local and provincial data on arts and culture

Calgary Arts Development

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In 2017, Calgary Arts Development conducted an equity, diversity, and inclusion survey of arts organizations in order to ascertain the demographics of artists, workers, and volunteers in Calgary’s arts sector and the presence of activities “for and with diverse participants”.

Organizations were asked to distribute a link to the voluntary survey to “all artists, administrators, and volunteers who worked with them in 2016”. The survey received 3,151 responses from people working or volunteering with 161 arts organizations. The report notes that, given the focus on organizations that receive annual operating funds, “generalizing the findings to all arts organizations in Calgary must be done with caution”.

The report finds that the arts sector “is less ethnically diverse than the population of Calgary” as a whole. In comparison to Statistics Canada data on visible minorities in the city (36%), 15% of survey respondents identify as a visible minority.

In terms of Indigenous representation, the report notes that “Indigenous peoples show extremely low rates of representation in the arts sector, but the percentage is in line with the proportion of individuals who identify as either First Nations, Métis or Inuit (FNMI) in the general Calgary population”.

The survey finds that, while numbers of respondents identifying as LGBTTIQ+ (not defined in the report) are higher than national estimates, the number of respondents identifying as people with impairments or disabilities are lower than national estimates.

Another key finding is that “the sector is in the midst of a generational shift”: among respondents under 25 years of age, there is a higher representation of visible minorities and of people who identify as “transgender / gender fluid / gender non-conforming”.

The survey also points to relationships between gender, ethnicity, age, and income levels and sources. “Significant differences in income are present between transgender, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, and female respondents compared to male identified respondents. Visible minorities report lower levels of income, less income from arts work and more likelihood of their arts earnings coming from outside Calgary”. Younger respondents are more likely to have lower incomes.

The report concludes that the findings serve as a call for greater equity for under-represented groups and that “the arts sector has a gap to close if it is truly to represent our city’s population”.

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