Engagement status: Under review. Survey closed July 8
Ministry responsible: Culture and Tourism


Status of the Artist is an initiative directed at improving the social and economic standing of artists.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first introduced the concept of Status of the Artist in the 1970s.


Alberta is considering ways it can:

  • recognize and raise awareness of the value of artists in Alberta
  • improve the economic and working conditions of artists

We gathered feedback from the arts community through in-person engagement sessions and an online survey, which closed on July 8. Input provided will help us:

  • better understand the needs of Alberta’s arts community
  • determine potential options for improving recognition and public awareness of artists and their contributions
  • identify specific actions the government could take to recognize and improve the status of Alberta’s artists


Your feedback will be used to:

  • ensure the government’s actions are meaningful and reflect Alberta’s arts community
  • better inform government policies and programs that impact artists

This engagement builds on what we learned during an initial round held in November and December of 2017.

Arts in Alberta

Alberta’s arts community is robust and diverse, and many Albertans value and are engaged in the arts. According to recent research:

  • 44,880 Albertans were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation in 2016
  • 76% of Albertans surveyed attended an arts event
  • 57% of Albertans surveyed participated in artistic activities
  • 87% of Albertans surveyed believe arts and culture make their community a better place to live
  • 84% of Albertans surveyed feel arts activities are important in contributing to the overall quality of life in their community

Despite their important contributions to the province, artists often face economic challenges and income disparities, compared with the overall labour force:

  • 44% lower earnings ($32,600) than the average income of the overall labour force ($58,200)
  • 55% lower earnings ($30,300) than those with the same academic credentials at or above a bachelor’s degree ($66,500)

By pursuing Status of the Artist, the government will further the work it’s doing to recognize the importance of the arts sector and commit to actions that address some of the challenges faced by artists.


Aaron Talbot
Arts Services Consultant - Communications
Arts Services, Culture and Tourism
Phone: 780-644-7588
Email: Aaron Talbot