For the arts, the show must go on after COVID-19

Republished by ECBN from: Policy Options

The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the arts sector. The consequences for society will be devastating unless an agenda for innovation and inclusive growth is implemented to support the arts during and after COVID. Innovation in the arts is essential because large gatherings are likely to be untenable for a long time. Inclusive growth is essential because the arts heal us, entertain us, give us meaning, drive economic activity and seed new ideas across sectors. Even before the pandemic, the arts were often under-supported despite the large number of Canadians engaged in them. A 2019 report based on 2016 census data indicates that there are over 158,000 working artists in Canada. Before COVID-19, artists’ incomes were substantially lower than that of most Canadian workers. After COVID-19, artists – many of whom were living on the edge financially – are moving out of the arts to survive.

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