The Impact of COVID-19: Results of the National Arts and Culture Impact Survey
Most arts and culture organizations are holding on for now, but very high stress levels suggest that the impact of the pandemic aren’t just economic, according to the newly released results of the November 2020 National Arts and Culture Impact Survey (NACIS).
The NACIS was co-commissioned by a group of 30 national and provincial arts service organizations representing a range of artistic disciplines. The survey was open from November 3 to 23, 2020. In total, 1,273 individuals and 728 organizations from across Canada completed the survey, for a total of 2,001 responses.
Findings from the NACIS pointed to the following insights:
1. One in two organizations had positive experiences with digital programming, but many respondents indicated that going digital is not right for them.
- A majority of individuals and organizations agree that digital programming is necessary (59% and 65% respectively). However almost one in two (44% and 48% respectively) indicated that they lack access to the necessary equipment for the digital pivot.
- 62% of organizations went digital between August and October, and 80% reported that the experience either met or exceeded their expectations.
- Interestingly, respondents had mixed opinions on the role of digital programming in advancing artistic practices. And a significant proportion indicated that going digital is NOT right for them (28% of organizations and 36% of individuals).
2. Organizations are fairly optimistic, given the circumstances, while individual artists and arts workers are uncertain about their future in the arts
- Respondents were much more optimistic about the ability of their own organization to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 (67%) than they are about the ability of the industry as a whole to recover (42%). This is a positive sign.
- However, individual respondents anticipate an 18-month recovery period and as many as one in three are uncertain about their future in the arts.
3. Government support through the pandemic is generally positively perceived
- Perceptions of government emergency support programs were in general quite positive.
- Nine in ten individuals had received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the same proportion of organizations had received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- About half of respondents commented on gaps in support programs such as eligibility and clarity or the need for more funding.
4. Very high stress and anxiety levels suggest that the impact of the pandemic isn’t just economic
- Over three in four individuals and organizations reported very high or high levels of anxiety (76% and 79% respectively).
- This is three times greater than self-reported levels of anxiety before COVID-19 (26% and 25% respectively).
- Over three times as many individuals AND organizations report very high or high levels of stress and anxiety today (79%) as compared to before COVID-19 (25%).
> To find out more about the NACIS and read the reports, visit https://oc.ca/en/national-arts-and-culture-impact-survey/.
June 15, 2021 update:
> Consult the dance-specific results contained in the Dance Organization Report and the Individual Artists Report.