must read: New report provides insight into the status of women in the arts in Canada

Toronto, October 17, 2018 – The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has released The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural industries: Research review 2010–18, a report commissioned from a research team led by Dr. Amanda Coles, a Canadian on faculty at Australia’s Deakin University.

This report provides an important synthesis of existing research on the status of women in the arts in Ontario and Canada.The majority of existing research focuses on specific sectors (such as media arts/screen, theatre, etc.), rather than addressing the arts and cultural industries as a whole.

The report covers six sectors: visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music and media arts/screen.

Key findings from the report

Earnings and income

  • Research shows a pervasive gender-based income gap across all six sectors under review. Overall, women’s average incomes are lower than those of their male peers – a defining feature of work in the Canadian arts and cultural industries.

Education and training

  • Gender inequality in the arts and cultural industries cannot be explained by the education or skill of professional female artists and cultural workers. A cross-sectoral analysis of available data on education and training clearly shows that across all six sectors, women are as highly educated as men.


  • Women are well-represented in organizational leadership roles in visual arts, publishing and theatre, and in the top tier of Canadian orchestras. Executive and organizational leadership roles in the music industry are male-dominated. There is a notable shortage of data on organizational leadership in broadcasting, film and television production, the interactive digital media sector, and dance.
  • Women are severely under-represented in key artistic leadership roles in media arts/screen, theatre and music. In contrast, key artistic leadership roles in visual arts and publishing, such as curators and editors, are female-dominated.

Career and industry recognition

  • Across all sectors, women’s artistic and creative works receive significantly less public visibility (for example, productions or exhibitions) and recognition (awards) than those of men.

Workforce and employment patterns

Overall, the arts and cultural industries workforce in Ontario is gender-equal. Fifty-two percent of Ontario artists, and fifty-one per cent of cultural workers in Ontario, are female. However, the gender distribution within nine key arts occupational groups varies considerably:

  • Four groups are gender imbalanced, with more than 60% representation of one gender: dancers (86% female); artisans and craftspersons (61% female); producers, directors and choreographers (33% female); and conductors, composers and arrangers (35% female);
  • Four groups are gender balanced (i.e. no less than 40% and no more than 60% of one gender): other performers (53% female); visual artists (54% female); authors and writers (54% female); and actors and comedians (46% female);
  • One group, musicians and singers (50% female) is gender equal (i.e. 49-51% gender distribution).

Learn more.

Literature review identified gap

The review identified a lack of existing research that examined how gender inequality may be compounded when combined with other factors of discrimination such as racialization, age, sexual orientation, disability, etc. In addition, the existing research largely frames gender as binary (i.e. in terms of male and female only). These gaps in the existing research meant that the report was unable to address the important issues of intersections and non-binary gender equality.


“I am pleased that the Ontario Arts Council is able to contribute to our overall understanding of the status of women in the arts. This is not a new issue. However, there is a renewed interest in the subject, at times as part of larger discussions about equity. We will build on this work by asking individual applicants a broader range of demographic questions, including gender, beginning in 201920, through a voluntary self-identification approach,” said Rita Davies, Chair of the Ontario Arts Council.

“OAC’s report will complement other upcoming initiatives that will add to our collective knowledge in this area. For example, there is the pending report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s review of Gender Parity on the Boards and Senior Leadership Levels of Canadian Artistic and Cultural Organizations,” said Peter Caldwell, OAC Director & CEO. “We look forward to exploring with our arts and funder colleagues how to help the arts community gather better data on their workforce.”


This report includes a cross-sectoral analysis, identifying the common themes that emerge from a review of the sector-specific research studies – and noting differences across the sectors. It focuses on key quantitative indicators that illuminate the professional experiences of women artists and cultural workers in Ontario specifically and in Canada more broadly.

Data was sourced from published literature, with an emphasis on scholarly research and high-quality industry reports. Secondary sources, including mainstream media sources and industry advocacy material, were used when credible and appropriate, to fill in knowledge gaps.

About Dr. Amanda Coles

Amanda Coles is a Canadian scholar who holds a PhD in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University. She is a lecturer in the Masters of Arts and Cultural Management in the Faculty of Business and Law program at Deakin University (Australia), a Co-Researcher with the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT) in Montreal, Canada, and an Affiliate Researcher with the Centre for People, Organisation and Work (CPOW) at RMIT University (Australia).

Research Inquiries

Kathryn Townshend
Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation
1-800-387-0058 ext. 7456

Media Inquiries

Kirsten Gunter
Director of Communications
1-800-387-0058 ext. 7403

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residency opportunity: CeramAIR Ceramics Residency

Now accepting Applications for CeramAiR 2019

  • Residency Dates: January 4th – April 5th (dates are flexible) 2019

A Partnership between the Caetani Cultural Centre, the Arts Council of the North Okanagan and the Vernon Community Arts Centre.

Application Process

Open to emerging and established visual artists in ceramic or overlapping interdisciplinary practices. Applications are accepted on-line only. Please visit our website for more information or Contact Us if you need assistance or experience any difficulties.

The artist is provided with accommodations at the Caetani Centre, and is also provided with use of a shared studio workspace and equipment at the Vernon Community Arts Centre (VCAC) operated by the Arts Council of the North Okanagan (ACNO).

The residency is a multi-faceted experience that will include opportunities for teaching, community outreach, interaction with other artists, and studio care, and will culminate in an exhibition of new work.

  • Deadline to Apply for 2019: November 4th, 2018
  • Successful applicants will be notified November 16th, 2018
  • Solo exhibition: resident will have a show during the last week of their stay.

NOTE TO ALL INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: Please ensure that you apply far enough in advance and that you are able to travel, have visas and passports in order and are able to accept a residency for the dates specified prior to making application.

Selection of Applicants

The successful CeramAIR Resident has a genuine commitment to working with clay, a willingness to work with the local community, and a desire to grow in the development of their own work. They bring a high level of professionalism and competency to the studio that enriches the quality of our programs and facility.

A selection committee composed of arts professionals will review and select candidates for the program. Selection is based on the body of work presented, cv and project proposal.

Professional Development, Opportunities & Obligations

The Resident Artist Program offers individuals the opportunity to further develop their work, and to establish professional practices and standards. Both Centers offer the support of their staff and facilities to help Resident Artists reach the next stage of development in their careers.

Artists-in-Residence are requested to leave a piece of art in the community, if possible.

Sponsored Artist Support

Whenever possible, the program will strive to provide an honorarium (Canadian funds), however this is not guaranteed unless specifically noted prior to the start of the residency. Honorariums are payable at the end of the residency following successful completion of the program. All honorariums are dependent upon funding.


We are happy to support any successful applicants for funding prior to attending the residency with letters of support, etc.

Please note:

  • The residency does NOT include travel expenses, food, health insurance, art materials, shipping costs, exhibition costs, or other personal expenses.
  • Most participants apply for grants to institutions, foundations, universities, government agencies, etc. in their country/province of origin to assist with funding their stay.
  • Double-occupancy can be considered for an additional fee of $5/night ($150/mo). No pets or children please.

Residential Accommodation at the Caetani Cultural Centre

The Caetani Centre provides a private room, with shared kitchen, bathroom, and common areas. Please visit our website for more information.

The Caetani Centre does not provide daily cleaning of the studios or rooms, or daily meals. Residents are expected to maintain their studio spaces and rooms, shared common areas of the kitchen, bathroom and other common areas in a clean, tidy and orderly manner, with respect for the other residents using the space. There is a damage/cleaning deposit fee, refundable upon inspection following the residency.

Shared Studio Facilities and Equipment at the VCAC

Shared studio/work area is included for the residency at the Vernon Community Arts Centre. Classes are sometimes conducted in the vicinity of the studio and the CeramAiR resident will be given notice ahead of time of class schedules.

The purpose of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan is to stimulate, encourage, support and develop the varied artistic and cultural projects and activities in the Greater Vernon. The Arts Council operates the Vernon Community Arts Centre, a public arts facility which houses 8 professionally equipped studios. VCAC is located in scenic Polson Park which allows easy access to many outdoor services and amenities. Please visit the Caetani website for more information.

Please note: If you have special equipment needs you should contact the Centre to ensure that this program is suitable for your expectations prior to making application.


The Caetani Centre residential accommodation is within walking distance to most downtown shopping amenities and the Vernon Community Arts Centre is located about a 15 minute walk from the Caetani Centre. Parking is available at both Centres.

Arrangements for transport of materials may be arranged through volunteers and staff whenever possible, but is not guaranteed. Taxi service is also available. A complimentary bicycle and helmet are also available for the resident’s use (at their own risk).

Location, location, location…

The Caetani House is located two blocks from downtown Vernon, and is within walking distance or public transportation to shopping, as well as most public facilities and amenities. Bike trails and bus service are available in the region, and also to larger centres.

The Vernon Community Arts Centre is located about a 15 minute walk from the Caetani Centre, in beautiful Polson Park.

In the heart of award winning wine country, the Greater Vernon community offers hiking trails, nature centres, a public art gallery and arts centre, performing arts centre, recreation centre, Vernon Community Music School, commercial galleries, library, science centre, and shopping. We are located between three lakes: Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, and 25 minutes from world class cross country and downhill skiing, and mountain biking at Silver Star Mountain. 30 minutes from Kelowna International Airport. 5 hours from Vancouver by car, 6 hours from Calgary.

Caetani Centre
3401 Pleasant Valley Road
Vernon, BC
Canada V1T 4L4
250-275-1525 |