Profile of the Cultural Workforce


Saskatchewan Arts Alliance 2002

Characteristics of the Cultural Sector

  • Cultural work is labour intensive.
  • The cultural sector is characterized by high degree of self-employment, part-time employment, and contract employment. 36% of all cultural workers are self-employed. There are significant variations within the sector, for example 70% of visual artists are self-employed.
  • The cultural workforce is highly educated, 36% of cultural workers are university educated.
  • High motivation and job satisfaction is characteristic of cultural workforce.
  • Low-income and / or fluctuating annual income is characteristic of the workforce in general, as are fluctuating employment patterns.
  • There is lack of access to benefits, collective rights and protection for cultural workers.

Critical Economic Factors and Connections

  • The cultural sector is a growing part of our economy. Cultural jobs grew at four times the rate of other sectors in 1999.
  • Self-employment, which has always been a large and important part of the cultural sector, is growing in the labour force in general.
  • The cultural sector is an important contributor to Saskatchewan's economy. In 1994/95 the cultural sector contributed $450 million or 2.3 % of Saskatchewan's GDP.

Impact on Other Sectors Direct and Indirect

  • The cultural sector is connected to and impacts some of the economic sectors, including new technology, tourism, education, small business and the service sector.

Critical Social Factors

  • The health of the cultural sector impacts directly on health and viability of communities, both urban and rural.
  • Cultural sector jobs are a growing part of the economy and are appealing to young people.

Elements of the Sector

  • The cultural sector is complex. It can be conceived of as three elements: creators and primary producers (eg. Visual artists, writers, performers etc.); cultural industries (eg. Film, music, sound recording, publishing); direct and indirect related employment (eg. printers, museum workers, technical support workers, etc.)


Profile sources: this descriptive profile of the cultural workforce is drawn from a variety of government, cultural sector and Statistics Canada resource documents.

Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, 2002

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