Sask Music is conducting a survey in hopes of understanding what the industry was like before the pandemic spread.
The Music Issues Survey is an economic impact survey to collect data on what is called the last normal year of activities in the music industry in Saskatchewan. It is operated by Nordicity.
“We can see that the epidemic has had some major impacts,” said Lorena Kelly, director of communications and operations at Sask Music.
“And we realized we didn’t have any benchmark data for the current regular year of music, so once we’re on the other side of all of this, we can look at things and see when we’ve really made a recovery.”
Kelly said the last time such a survey was conducted was in 2008, and these responses are widely dated. They hope to appreciate the economic impact, social benefits, and financial health of the local music scene.
People will be asked how much money they are making, what are their expenditures, and the survey will try to measure how many people are in the industry. Without this data, Kelly said, they are unsure whether the industry is growing or contracting.
“We always want to make sure that the support we’re getting is appropriate for the size of the industry,” Kelly said. “We find it really difficult to know how many people there are and how much money they’re making and without that we can’t really properly defend the other side of this.”
It’s great for us to have the numbers that show, yes, our industry is as big as other very important industries.– Lorena Kelly
“It will be very important to see that on the other side of the epidemic, how do we recover,” she said. Will live music still be an important source of income on the other side of this as it was in 2019?
Kelly said they currently have anecdotal evidence of highly skilled people – such as sound and lighting technicians and recording engineers – who are leaving the county. She said estimating the revenue loss is also difficult without solid data.
Kelly said that anyone with anything to do with music in 2019 or 2020 is asked to participate, including industry artists / workers, music gurus, venue owners, producers, lighting and sound technicians, publicists, accountants and lawyers.
Static data shows the state of the music economically: Sask Music
Sask Music will also look at who has reached federal support, how venues persist, whether venues are closed and how people diversify – such as music teachers and symphonies moving to digital trainings and performances.
“Equally important, there is often a misconception that the arts have no impact, especially on the economic front,” she said. “It’s great for us to have the numbers that show, yes, our industry is as large as other very important industries in the province.”
Kelly said she hopes this shows how music industry professionals affect quality of life and the economy.
“Sometimes, with solid data, it spells out why music is there and needs both moral and economic support.”
The survey responses are confidential and anonymous. People who answer the survey will also be entered into a prize draw. The deadline for people involved in any way in the industry to take the survey is April 12th.
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