I read an article today that surprised me.
Over 50% of Canadians cannot name a Canadian painter: poll
Meanwhile, 97% of Canadians can name three or more hockey players
TORONTO— A new Mainstreet Research poll commissioned by Key Gordon Communications Inc has found 54% of Canadians cannot name a single Canadian visual artist, living or dead. The poll found that a stunning 59% of people age 18-34 could not name a single Canadian painter, with only 16% of all Canadians able to name three or more Canadian artists.
Meanwhile, 97% of Canadians could name three or more Canadian hockey players.
Not surprisingly, of the painters a minority of Canadians could name, most were associated with the Group of Seven. The top painters named were Emily Carr and Tom Thompson, at 20% and 19%, respectively nationwide, while in Quebec 41% named Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Key Gordon Communications president Grant Gordon asked, “Why does it take Steve Martin to remind us that Lawren Harris is a great painter? Kim Dorland sells out his shows in Manhattan and Canadians have never even heard of him? There needs to be a stronger effort to ensure Canadian artists are known to Canadians. We have great artists—but sadly few Canadians know about them.”
Gordon suggested, “It’s not simply a matter of more government funding — although that is always a good idea. We also need to ensure curricula and classroom learning focus on introducing the next generation to Canadian artists.”
Mainstreet surveyed 1500 Canadians from May 9th-11th. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Results were weighted by geography, age and gender based on the 2011 Canadian census.
Key Gordon Communications is a Toronto-based advertising and design firm. Founded in 2001, it was the first creative agency in North America to focus exclusively on the branding and marketing of environmentally and socially responsible products. Key Gordon is proud to work with some of Canada’s preeminent arts and culture organisations.
So I started tweeting the names of Canadian Visual Artists, which I will continue to do, until I can't think of any more. How many can you name?
I'd like to see every Canadian hang an original piece of artwork in their home. At least one. Often times, it's possible to buy a piece of art from a student for less than the same size overproduced counterpart at WalMart. No excuses.