Labour in the Arts is an artsworker collective that attempts to observe and demystify the Canadian arts industry through experimentation and with creative projects.
We want to empower our community by creating pathways to knowledge, so that anyone can critically navigate the industry — and challenge the conditioned notion that institutionalized education is a prerequisite to succeed in the arts.
The Canadian cultural ecosystem is mystified and vague, which makes it challenging for newcomers/emerging artsworkers to thrive and grow. We want to shift industry discussions around cultural policy and institutional practices from the boardroom to the workroom.
Our collective was created in 2020, and is currently grassroots and volunteer run. Our work is evolving and in very slow progress. This website is one of the first projects in our strategic vision.
We have not written this strategic vision yet.
(For now, majority of our work is trying to book a zoom meeting over three time zones across Canada)
Let's deconstruct and
re-imagine the work we do
— our current project
Our collective's official first project — we are conducting interviews to collect lived experiences. What is it that our peers really "need"? What realities are they facing? If this phase of our research is successful, our next steps will be to engage with artist/artsworkers to "build" this new imagined world.
We are interviewing artist/artsworkers across Canada in various disciplines to participate in a designed workshop to imagine their ideal artsworld.
We are reaching out to individuals who can tap into their own communities to facilitate a more focused imagination exercise — on designing an ideal section of their artsworld.
This is the team who are working on this website, whenever we have time. If you are interesting in working with us in any capacity,
You can reach all of us at email@example.com
Jason Li (he/him) holds a MEd in Curriculum & Pedagogy at OISE University of Toronto and a BA (Hons.) in Arts Management, Music & Culture, and Sociology at University of Toronto Scarborough. His independent research focuses on critically assessing arts labour reports and the history of precarity in the arts.
He looks forward to the infinite conversations that can arise from this website.
Emily is an artist and artsworker working in Toronto with a focus on the nonprofit arts sector.
She has been working in cultural organizations such as the Toronto International Festival of Authors and Theatre Passe Muraille with a keen interest in Canadian cultural policy, nonprofit labour advocacy and community centric fundraising.
Madeline has a MA in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University and a BA (Hons.) in Anthropology from Trent University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Gallery Management & Museum Curatorship Studies from Fleming College.
She has curated exhibitions for the City of Peterborough and The Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies and has worked for various arts and culture non-profit organizations in Toronto, Ontario. She currently is focused on research, support, and advocacy for labour issues in the arts.
Wing is an emerging artist and arts worker who graduated from the University of Toronto Scarborough (HBA) in Arts Management, Studio Art and Curatorial Studies.
She has worked in art groups and organizations such as InsideOut Film Festival, ARTSIDEOUT 2020, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and 'Spread Arts: The Pandemic Auction!'
Navigating a career path as an arts labourer is allowing her to experience & observe issues that are seldom discussed/ taught in the classroom nor within the sector. She believes that through a creative practice of learning, researching and decoding, more peers like herself can better understand and get involved in important conversations that can impact us in many different ways.