What types of jobs are there in Ontario’s arts and culture sector?

Newcomer artists and arts professionals have many desirable skills and experiences that are needed by Ontario’s arts community.

Arts and culture in Ontario refers to a dynamic and wide-ranging sector that embraces many disciplines and industries. There are over 274,000 artists, creatives and cultural workers working in the arts and culture sector in Ontario alone.

Some of those industries include:

  • the arts (visual arts and crafts, dance, music, theatre, literary arts)
  • cultural industries (digital and interactive media, design and advertising, film and television, book and magazine publishing, music recording and publishing)
  • museums and heritage
  • libraries 

Arts and culture is a large and impactful sector, both economically and socially. According to the Ontario Arts Council, arts and culture in Ontario contributes $27.5 billion annually to the provincial economy by helping to:

  • enhance communities
  • drive tourism
  • create shared identity and belonging

What kinds of jobs are available in the arts?

At the heart of the sector, there are artists and creators. These are people who independently or collaboratively practice any of the creative arts (sculptors, painters, craftspeople, designers, novelists, poets, performers, dancers, filmmakers, and people who combine several of these practices). Many artists and creators are also entrepreneurs who are running their own small businesses.

However, you do not need to be an artist to work in the arts. There are many people in the sector who work as arts professionals; people who support the presentation and appreciation of the arts. This includes people who work for:

  • Arts and Culture Organizations - like galleries or museums
  • Arts Service Organizations - professional organizations that support specific disciplines or creative communities through advocacy, professional development, resources, financial support and/or networking
  • Non-profit and For-profit Cultural Industries - like film production or book publishing 

Arts professionals might take on roles in:

  • management
  • community engagement
  • program development
  • organizational capacity
  • administration
  • accounting
  • marketing
  • data analysis
  • fundraising
  • and many other areas 

What skills are in demand in the arts?

If you are interested in working in the arts, tech skills are in demand, but combined with soft skills like:

  • creative-problem solving
  • critical thinking and observation skills
  • communication skills
  • people skills (empathy, compassion and collaboration)
  • adaptability and flexibility

Many of the skills that are used in jobs outside of the arts are transferable and in demand within the arts. Skills like:

  • project management
  • sales and fundraising
  • customer service
  • marketing and communications
  • community engagement
  • research and analysis
  • design and production
You might also find this Job Board Trends Report interesting on all the recent hiring trends. 

What supports are there if I want to work in the arts?

The arts and culture sector presents many rewarding and exciting career options for newcomers and immigrants looking to start or build a career in the arts.

Working in the Arts is a new program from WorkInCulture that aims to help newcomers streamline their pathway to careers in the arts through a series of training sessions and online resources. Be sure to check out the Resources and Pathways for Newcomers section of their site for the latest updates to help you with your career in the arts.

Presented by: WorkInCulture

For more information:

  • WorkInCulture: Supports the professional lives of artists, creatives and cultural workers in Ontario through skills development, research, and career resources, including their arts and culture JobBoard.
  • Airsa: Supports New Canadian artists and arts workers through training, events and community art initiatives.
  • The Immigrant Writers Association (IWA): Provides programs, activities, and services that empower and support immigrant writers on their journeys.
  • The Institute for Creative Exchange (ICE): Provides a space where artists can freely explore diverse culture and creative processes and multi-disciplinary artistic expression.  
  • Paralia Newcomer Arts Network:  Supports and promotes newcomer artists as well as encourages their self-sustainability by providing them with the skills and resources needed to establish an artistic presence in Canada.
  • The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC):  Champions the talent and experience that immigrants bring to the Greater Toronto Area. TRIEC supports organizations to become more inclusive, and helps newcomers expand their professional networks and understand the local labour market.
Last updated: April 17, 2023 4006562