Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Funding: To be or not to be?
Thank you all for contributing to the success of B.O.A.T. inc.'s daily blog.  Artists' ears generally perk-up with the topic of "funding", even though the statistics show the greatest percentage of income from a business of art is from sales, not grants, and not artist copyright fees.  Before approach potential government funding agencies save time and frustration by examining their respective mandates closely in relation to your aesthetic practice and concerns. A commercially viable established aesthetic, not contributing to contemporary discussion on what is art, has a harder time obtaining public funding assistance. Arts funding mandates are different at the municipal, provincial and national art agency levels.  I'm not suggesting anyone create toward these mandates. Generally, if the art is commercially viable as an established aesthetic, and not taking the discussion on art further, public funding agencies are not interested.

Indeed, there are 22,000 to 28,000 professional visual artists in Canada and most art income is from sales rather than funding grants. Only 43% of visual artists made any money at all from their studio practice after expenses, the median loss being $556.  Public funding grants are intended as "assistance" that complements other sources of income. More later.

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