The cultural industries were one of the sectors most impacted by the public health measures put in place as a response to the spread of COVID-19 in Canada beginning in March 2020. For many workers in the creative sector, the pandemic exacerbated challenges that they were already facing because of technological change, the precarity associated with gig work and self-employment, and the rising costs of living.
Cultural policymakers need data in order to better understand and address these issues. Two gaps were identified. First, artists and content creators tend to have complex employment patterns—working several jobs, often in the gig economy—and this complexity may not get captured in large-scale data-gathering tools like the Census. Second, there was a need to generate data quickly to better understand the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists and content creators across the country.
The Canadian Artists and Content Creators Economic Survey (CACCES) was a pilot project designed to fill these gaps in a flexible, timely manner. With the assistance of organizations representing a wide range of cultural industries, Canadian Heritage designed an online survey that would be open to all creative workers, including those who might operate beyond the traditional scope of government grants and contributions programs.”