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Income disparity of professional artists in Ontario: how LAC's business case #P-8 is addressing it

Professional artists are significantly disadvantaged financially and are often one step behind the poverty level. According to Statistics Canada 2021, the median personal income of professional artists in Ontario was 41% less than that of other workers.

What is more, artists with different racial, gender, sexual, and social identities have experienced added barriers and have not been able to meaningfully participate in and contribute to the London community.

The expanded Arts in Communities Programs such as Artist in Residence, London Arts Live, Cultivating Allyship through the Arts, and Youth Art Incubation will provide adequate support and equitable opportunities for Indigenous artists, equity-deserving artists, and future arts professionals for their growth and development and encourage their cultural, social, and economic participation in the London community. Business Case #P8: Expanision of London Arts Council's Arts in Communities Programs, under Reconciliation, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion requests a gradual increase to expand the capacity of Arts in Communities programs to $500,000 by 2026. Expansion of existing programs:

  • Artist in Residence – Proposed to serve 12 additional culturally and artistically diverse artists.

  • London Arts LiveProposed to provide over 1,200 additional diverse arts activations and artistic opportunities throughout London.

Addition of new programs:

  • Cultivating Allyship through the ArtsProposed to support over 50 new projects. This program will provide eligible artists/creators in the following streams with relational grant opportunities through specialized assistance and support.

 Indigenous Arts Stream This stream will provide micro and major grants for research/creation/presentation for Indigenous artists/creators in London and the surrounding three First Nations as they continue to practice art forms and create art works.

This stream will increase provincial and federal fund-leveraging opportunities for Indigenous artists/creators.

Diverse Expressions of Arts Stream This stream will provide micro and major grants for research/creation/presentation for diverse artists/creators from equity-denied communities as they continue to practice art forms and create artworks.

This stream will increase provincial and federal fund-leveraging opportunities for diverse artists/creators from equity-denied communities.

  • Youth Art Incubation This program will provide paid art internship and mentorship opportunities for students in secondary/post-secondary schools to explore and engage with the local arts sector while developing their expertise through professional learning experiences.

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