The Saskatchewan Arts Sector

Posted August 22, 2012.

Saskatchewan Artists

Number of professional artists: 9,387 (2007)(1)

  • Counted are those who define themselves as artists – some portion may include emerging.
  • Excludes advocacy and production-based organizations.
  • 38 organizations found on report.

Stats Canada 2006 Census – 3,000 artists based on the job that respondents spend the most hours at during a specific week in May. This is an “in between” period for many artistic endeavors. The classification of occupations is based on the job that respondents spend the most hours at during a specific week in May. This is an “in between” period for many artistic endeavors.

Artist Employment

42% of artists are self-employed – six times the self-employment rate in the overall labour force. Further, 39% of artists have a bachelor’s degree or higher, nearly double the rate in the overall labour force (2006 Census). (2)

Earnings Gap for Saskatchewan artists is 40% (2001 Census data) compared to the overall labour force. An earnings gap is the difference between artists’ average earnings and the overall labour force.

Saskatchewan People (3)

In 2010, all Saskatchewanians 15 or older (99.8%, or 832,000 people) participated in at least one of the 18 arts, culture or heritage activities. Other key groupings of the participation data show that, in 2010:

  • 77.1% attended a performing arts event or a cultural festival – 642,000
  • 37.6% visited art galleries; the percentage doubled between 1992 (18.9%) and 2012 (37.6%).
  • 67.0% attended at least one theatre, popular music, or classical music performance (558,000 people)
    • 41.9% attended a theatrical performance – 349,000 people
    • 49.3% attended popular musical performance – 410,000 people
    • 9.6% attended classical music performance – 80,000 people
  • 66.1% read a book
  • 61.5% attended a movie or drive-in.

Saskatchewan Consumer Spending (4)

Saskatchewan residents spent 62% more on live performing arts ($49 million in total) than on live sports events ($29 million) in 2008. In addition, many more households reported spending at least some money on live performing arts (43% of households) as on live sports events (27%).

Overall, Saskatchewan consumers cultural spending is the second highest of all provinces at $905 per resident compared to Canadian average of $841.

29,000 Saskatchewanians volunteered in arts and culture organizations, contributing about 2 million hours – worth an estimated $30 million dollars.


The arts and culture sector contributed $85 billion to Canada's GDP in 2007 (7.4% of Canada's real GDP).(5)
Saskatchewan's cultural sector directly contributed $900 million to the province's GDP in 2003.
The cultural sector generated approximately $26 billion in taxes for all levels of government in 2007. This is more than three times higher than the $7.9 billion spent on culture by all levels of government in 2007. (5)


  1. Profile of Sask. Professional Arts Organizations 2007
    Sask. Arts Alliance, 2007
  2. A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada: Based on the 2006 Census
    Hill Strategies Research, 2009
  3. Saskatchewanians’ Arts, Culture and Heritage Activities in 2010
    Hill Strategies Research, March 2012
  4. Volunteers in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2004
    Hill Strategies Research Inc., 2007
  5. Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada's Creative Economy
    Conference Board of Canada, 2008


Posted August 22, 2012.