Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

COVID-19 B.C. Arts & Culture Sector Impact Survey & Report

On December 7, 2020, GVPTA released its latest report on COVID-19's profound impact on the arts and culture sector across the province, based on survey responses collected between October and November, 2020 through the GVPTA COVID-19 B.C. Arts & Culture Impact Survey.


As part of a data collection strategy developed to gain a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic on arts and culture organizations, artists, and arts workers throughout all disciplines across British Columbia, GVPTA developed a survey in March that was issued province-wide, and across artistic disciplines. An initial report of results was shared in June (located below, on this page), and subsequent survey iterations have evolved to address current and changing realities. 


This report includes responses from 443 unique respondents received between October 24 and November 14, 2020. Most questions were optional. Data in this report notes the number of responses (“n”) for the question. 


Aggregate data is shared with funders, researchers, and arts service organizations for regional, provincial, and national reporting and analysis. 

Download the December 2020 Report (PDF)

Highlights from the December 2020 Report

  • Of the 443 respondents57% were individual artists & arts workers, and the other 43% responded on behalf of an organization. Of the 253 responding as individuals, 54% identified solely as an artist17% solely an arts worker, and 29% as both artist and arts worker.
  • The top five disciplines of respondents included: Theatre (48%)Music (37%)Visual Arts (32%), along with Dance and Community Arts (tied at 30%).
  • The majority (61%) of respondents were based in Metro Vancouver.
  • Obstacles:
    • Most organizations identified that they face multiple obstacles, including current government regulations relating to public health orders (67%); financial constraints (59%), and lack of resources or capacity to adapt (51%);
    • Most individuals identified that they face multiple obstacles, including general uncertainty and inability to plan for the future (83%); shortage of available work opportunities (74%); and a shortage of personal energy and motivation (61%);
    • Individuals aged 35–54 reported a higher number of obstacles in the last three months in comparison with other age ranges;
    • 80% of Indigenous and Racialized respondents identified personal or family health and safety concerns, compared to 54% of non-Indigenous or Racialized individuals. 
  • 58% of organizations feel that they are financially prepared for the second wave of COVID-19.
  • Compared to the previous three months, organizations expect a net decrease in the number of staff, artist contracts, and hours worked over the next three months.
  • 91% of organizations had remote workers (working more than half of their hours) in September, an increase of 26 points compared to pre-pandemic. 86% of organizations expect to continue to have remote workers after vaccines are available.
  • 19% of artists and arts workers originally projected they would earn less than $20K this year from all sources of income, but now 56% expect to fall within that income bracket. 
  • 84% of respondents are interested in digital programming and practices. 49% indicated they don’t have access to the necessary technology to make the shift.
  • More respondents in non-urban and northern communities, compared to other communities in the province, feel they don't have affordable, reliable, high-speed internet in their region. 
  • Organizations are more optimistic about their own recovery now than in the spring, while artists and arts workers are less optimistic.
  • Overall, both organizations and individuals are less optimistic about B.C.’s arts and culture sector’s recovery today compared to responses in May/June.

Summary Report

Download the December 2020 Report (PDF)

Questions and Further Analysis 

If you have questions about the report, or are looking for other segmented information, by discipline, region, demographics, or others, contact Executive Director Kenji Maeda with your specific request.

June 2020 Impact Survey Report

Past Report Overview & Survey Background
COVID-19 Impact Survey Report title shown with background of theatre seats
GVPTA collected data from March 12, 2020 to June, 2020 in order to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on arts and culture organizations across the province.          


This survey was designed for all arts disciplines, artists, arts workers, cultural organizations, and museums across B.C. 


Originally, we at Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance had released a survey exclusively for theatre organizations, but through feedback received from funders, colleagues in other arts disciplines, and discussions with our colleagues at BC Alliance for Arts + Culture and BC Museums Association, it made sense to expand the existing survey to be inclusive of all arts and culture organizations in British Columbia.


We measured financial, human resources, and other impacts based on decisions that have been made about your programming, activities, and operations. We also asked for demographic information so we can review the impact based on different segments of our community. 

Aggregate data was shared with funders, researchers, and arts service organizations for regional, provincial, and national reporting and analysis.
  
Past Report Summary Highlights
COVID-19 Impact Survey pie chart showing disciplines surveyed and number of respondents

June Summary Report Highlights

The summary report released on June 1 was based on survey responses submitted across three versions of survey between March 12 and May 20. Note that, as with any survey, the data is only partial representation of the impact COVID-19 has had on the arts and culture sector in British Columbia.
  • 866 unique respondents completed the survey between March 12 and May 20; 64% of respondents identified as artists or arts workers, and 36% of respondents completed the survey on behalf of an organization.
  • The top four disciplines represented were Visual Arts (39%), Theatre (29%), Community Arts and Music (tied at 19%).
    were Visual Arts (39%), Theatre (29%), Community Arts and Music (tied at 19%).
  • Responses from 28 Regional Districts across the province were received, with 61% of respondents based in Metro Vancouver
    across the province were received, with 61% of respondents based in Metro Vancouver
  • Theatre, Music, and Festivals reported a higher percentage of financial losses from ticket sales compared with other disciplines.higher percentage of financial losses from ticket sales compared with other disciplines.higher percentage of financial losses from ticket sales compared with other disciplines.higher percentage of financial losses from ticket sales compared with other disciplines.
  • Organizations that operate a facility are disproportionately impacted by the loss of revenue from ticket sales and rentals (45%) compared with organizations without a facility (24%)
  • Facility-based organizations report more than twice the average financial loss compared with organizations without a facility
  • Organizations operating facilities will face critical cashflow challenges sooner than those without a facility
  • 43% of artists and arts workers are concerned that they will lose more than 75% of their projected income in 2020
  • 96% of respondents report experiencing higher stress and anxiety
  • Past Report Download
    Download the June 2020 Summary Report (PDF)