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Visual Artists and the 2021 Federal Election

Election day is September 20th, and the next Canadian Government must commit to ensuring that Canada’s artists, and all Canadians who are impacted by precarious work, are able to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, and be positioned to flourish in the future. 

Members of all parties use language such as “build back better”; now, we must ensure that this language translates into action. There are many issues impacting visual artists, and the larger arts and culture sector, and many policy and economic changes that must be put in place. 

We urge artists to familiarize themselves with the parties’ positions on arts and culture.The Canadian Arts Coalition has prepared a summary of arts and culture commitments from the leading federal political parties, and has invited members of the leading parties to respond to a set of questions through video statements.  Please click here to learn more, and watch the video responses.

Debate on Culture 2021 | September 13th, 12 - 1:30 p.m.

The Coalition for Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) and the Department of Communication of the Universite de Montreal will present a debate on cultural issues featuring members of the leading federal parties: 

  • Steven Guilbeault (Liberal Party)
  • Steve Shanahan (Conservative Party)
  • Martin Champoux (Bloc Québécois)
  • Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)
  • Mathieu Goyette (Green Party)

The debate will be broadcast live on CPAC's websitePlease note that the debate will be conducted in French, and an English translation will be available.  

To ask a question during the debate:

  1. Twitter: use the hashtag #CultureElxn44
  2. Facebook: post your question on the event’s Facebook page.


Primarily self-employed, visual, media, and craft-based artists derive income through various revenue streams. It is extremely rare for a single source of revenue to provide enough income to live on. It is a common practice for artists to occupy several roles, including but not limited to: creation, sales, instruction, mentorship, consultancy, speaking, curation, writing, and working for art institutions and organizations. This leads to a mixture of royalties and fees paid, sales, and wages from additional part-time jobs, such as teaching in universities or working for galleries. Many artists and cultural workers supplement their arts incomes with labour in other sectors, which often involves low-paid and/or precarious gig-work.  


VOTE.Information on how to vote in 2021 can be foundhere.  

USE SOCIAL MEDIA.Elevate issues important to you, your practice, and your community. Connect with the Federal party leaders: 

On Twitter: 

Jagmeet Singh (New Democratic Party) 

Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party of Canada)

Annamie Paul (Green Party of Canada)

Erin O’Toole (Conservative Party of Canada) 

Yves-Francois Blanchet (Bloc Quebecois) 

And tag us @carfacnational and @carfacontario

On Instagram: 

Jagmeet Singh (New Democratic Party) 

Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party of Canada)

Annamie Paul (Green Party of Canada)

Erin O’Toole (Conservative Party of Canada) 

Yves-Francois Blanchet (Bloc Quebecois) 

Use the hashtags:#ArtsVote #votezarts #Elxn44 #cdnpoli 

ASK QUESTIONS. Questions you can ask your local candidates (candidates for each riding can be found using this search tool): 

To survive the economic impact of the pandemic, Canadian artists require an extension of the Canada Recovery Benefit. Do you support an extension of this program? 

How will you address gaps in the Employment Insurance program to ensure self-employed and gig-workers, and low-income Canadians, are supported? 

All Canadians will benefit from a Basic Income Guarantee. Will your party commit to studying effective ways to design and implement such a program?

Is your party committed to increasing equity and inclusion in the arts sector? If so, how? 

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