Articles

Organization launched to assist artists in their senior years – SARP

In Announcements on November 11, 2010 by danceumbrella

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CANADA’S SENIOR ARTISTS AT RISK: Organization launched to assist artists in their senior years
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Equity’s Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan, on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Senior Artists Research Project (SARP), is pleased to announce the release the project’s final report and recommendations for action.

Started by a small group of arts associations six years ago, SARP grew and developed into a significant research undertaking involving three years of work and all the major arts associations in Canada. The report’s recommendations identify a number of issues, some common to all seniors, some exclusive to the arts and culture sector. Equity and its colleagues will now continue the work to remedy these problems so that artists who are our mentors, teachers, leaders, bosses, colleagues and inspirations will enter the next stage of their careers with dignity and support.

Equity members will all eventually benefit from the improvements made for senior artists and the work done by SARP is a critical first step.

Some of the SARP findings on senior artists include:
As many artists are self-employed, they are not entitled to the same benefits as employees. They experience wildly fluctuating incomes, often declining significantly at a much earlier stage in their career than other Canadians. The situation worsens as they reach their senior years.
* 46% have had health care needs not covered by public health plans in the past year and 38% do not have extended health coverage. Overall, 73% are at moderate or high health risk;
* 35% have annual income from all sources that is less than $20,000;
* 61% are at moderate or high financial risk; and
* 23% reported having “financial difficulties” over the past year.

The SARP Steering Committee has determined that a new organization should be formed to provide needed programs and services, promote existing programs and services and to work with existing organizations to identify and fill gaps in service.

Information on the SARP Summary of Findings and the new organization’s mandate is available at http://www.dtrc.ca/sarp .

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