A growing list of nearly 1,100 artists and creators have signed a letter urging the Government of Canada to put creators at the heart of cultural policy. So far, the list includes:
Gord Downie, Alanis Morissette, Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies, Grimes, Gordon Lightfoot, Jann Arden, Michael Bublé, Randy Bachman, Bryan Adams, Royal Wood, The Sheepdogs, Metric
Marie Claire Blais, Guy Gavriel Kay, Rosemary Sullivan, Rudy Wiebe
Sharon Pollock, Daniel David Moses, Mary Vingoe
Gary Barwin, Patrick Lane, Dwayne Morgan, Alice Major, Armand Garnet Ruffo, Maureen Hynes, Tanya Evanson, Glen Sorestad
We encourage more Canadian creators to add their names to the letter by visiting FocusOnCreators.ca
The initial list of creators grew to nearly 1,100 individuals in a short time, but is expected to increase now that the initiative is launched.
Without urgent attention from government, thousands of Canadian creators will not be able to tell their uniquely Canadian stories, because making a living as a creator has become too hard
Creators have mastered the necessary digital tools, and are using all available means to monetize their work, but still struggle to earn an adequate living. The creative middle class has all but disappeared
- Creators are generally worse off today than they were in the 1990s.
- The laws of the 1990s were designed to ensure that creators and technological innovators could thrive together in a digital ecosystem. However, those laws have ultimately resulted in more income and profit flowing away from creators to a concentrated technology industry.
Minister Joly’s cultural policy review and the Copyright Act review in 2017 are an opportunity to re-establish a fair working environment for creators
Canadian cultural industry associations have united to support the Focus On Creators initiative. Supporting partners are:
- Independent artists earned an average of $7,228 per year from music-related activities in 2011, not nearly enough to allow them to pursue a music career full-time. On average, most artists spent only 29 hours a week pursuing their music career.
- It is becoming harder and harder for Canadian writers to earn a living from writing. Taking inflation into account, writers made 27 percent less in 2015 than they did in 1998 from their writing. With average writers’ revenues that fall below the poverty line, the Writers’ Union of Canada says that writers will increasingly abandon their craft for other employment.
- The average income of a playwright in Canada, in 2004, was less than $10,000.
Music Canada, the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), the Writers’ Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, the Canadian Music Publishers Association, the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Canadian Country Music Association.