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Impacts on Montreal’s cultural sector: Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire

(Évaluation des impacts sur le milieu culturel montréalais : Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire)

June 23, 202023 June 2020

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts

Culture Montréal

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Two fact sheets summarize the early results of separate surveys on the impacts of COVID-19 on Montreal artists and cultural organizations. The individual artist summary, dated March 27, indicates that there were “over 300” survey responses from both individuals and organizations. The total had grown to 380 as of April 3, the publication date of the organizational summary. Given the non-random survey design, it is uncertain to what extent the survey results provide a representative sample of Montreal’s artists and cultural organizations.

Approximately 100 responses from organizations were received, including respondents working in  theatre, dance, music and sound recording, visual arts, multidisciplinary, and literature.

At the time of reporting (early April), the median number of cancelled contracts per organization was 14, including performances, rehearsals, tours, exhibitions, film shoots, screenings, book releases, and more. In early April, the predominant reported impact was an increase in telework. However, almost 50% of responding organizations indicated that they had carried out temporary layoffs, and 15% anticipated the possibility of future dismissals.

The anticipated financial impacts vary widely by organization. Respondents also noted that the financial impacts would depend on the duration of physical distancing. During the first 30 days of quarantine, the largest proportion of responding organizations (25%) expected losses between $10,000 and $20,000. The questionnaire asked about an extension of confinement until June 1, and the largest proportions of responding organizations expected losses over $100,000 (17%) or between $20,000 and $40,000 (16%).

For the survey of individual artists and self-employed arts workers, the largest segment of respondents works in music and sound recording, followed by film and television, theatre, multidisciplinary, and visual arts.

At the time of reporting (late March), the median number of cancelled contracts per individual was 4. The average number of cancelled contracts was 6. (Note: These figures were as of the time of reporting, not projected through the end of 2020, as is the case with the estimates from I Lost My Gig Canada.)

During the first 30 days of quarantine, about two-thirds of responding individuals (68%) expected financial losses to be less than $5,000. However, with an extension of confinement until June 1, the largest proportion of respondents (44%) expected losses to be between $5,000 and $10,000. About one-third of responding artists expected their losses to amount to more than $10,000 during this timeframe.

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