Changes in the economic impacts of the visual arts since 2010
Longer-term and pandemic-induced changes in Canada
Last week, I showed that the direct economic impact of the visual arts was $4 billion in Canada in 2021. I provided the breakdown for four areas of the visual arts and offered comparisons with the performing arts.
Today, I’ll look at changes in economic indicators for the visual arts before and during the pandemic, back to the beginning of comparable data in 2010.
Between 2019 and 2020, the GDP impact of Canada’s cultural sector decreased by 8% (after adjusting for inflation and population growth). Cultural jobs decreased by 11%. How did the visual arts fare? Have the visual arts recovered from their pandemic economic lows?
Two measures of the economic impact of the visual arts are provided:
Gross Domestic Product (GDP, or direct economic impact, a measure of net value-added to the economy). Changes in the GDP statistics have been adjusted for inflation and population growth to provide an estimate of real per capita growth or decline.
Jobs (including both full-time and part-time positions, not on a full-time-equivalent basis)
The changes in the financial statistics in this post have been adjusted for both inflation and population growth, which are also called real per capita changes. The quarterly changes have been adjusted for inflation only, not population growth in 2020 and 2021 (roughly 1% each year or about 0.25% each quarter).
Four areas of the visual arts are the focus of today’s post: original visual art, art reproductions, photography, and crafts.
Statistics Canada’s descriptions of the four areas of the visual arts are:
“Original visual art: includes original art such as paintings, drawings, pastels, engravings, prints, lithographs, sculptures and statuary, as well as dissemination services such as commercial art galleries.
Art reproductions: include copies of original visual arts, produced with the use of technology, such as unlimited edition prints, posters, statuettes, and ornaments.
Photography: includes traditional still and digital photography services, covering all fields including portrait, wedding, action, and specialty, commercial and industrial services.
Crafts: includes hand-made artisanal goods from all materials, including textiles, jewellery, pottery, statues, ceramics, furniture, housewares, musical instruments, etc.”
See the notes at the end of this post for further explanations and definitions.