First of its kind “research map” charts the strengths and weaknesses in our understanding of the visual arts sector in Canada.

Ottawa, June 15, 2011 – The Visual Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the release of a new research study: “The Visual Arts in Canada: A Synthesis and Critical Analysis of Recent Research”.

Commissioned by the Visual Arts Alliance, the study was conducted by Professor Guy Bellavance of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Centre – Urbanisation Culture Société, Montréal. It documents over 550 Canadian studies and a further 315 studies done abroad, identifying the biggest shortcomings in the available research on the visual arts , and proposing strategies to fill those gaps.

Among the study’s important findings are that the value to Canadian culture of this sector is underestimated economically because of a lack of study of the arts education systems, that research is thin in many areas because universities give precedence to the study of art history over study of visual arts policies, that much more needs to be done on the provincial level to address regional specificity, and that of five sub-sectors studied, the most poorly understood is the art market – how art reaches its audiences.

The study was made possible by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. The report and an executive summary are available in English and French, on the VAA website: www.visualartsvisuels.ca.

The Visual Arts Alliance is an umbrella organization of national visual, media, and craft arts service organizations that represent artists, art museums, artist-run centres, arts professionals and art dealers in Canada that came together during the Visual Arts Summit held in November, 2007.


More about the study and a link to the final report on our Resources page.

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