Frequently Asked Questions

Who is doing this study?

The Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research (SPAR) was formed by the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and the University of Regina to develop a common base of research relating to the provincial arts community that could inform effective, evidence-based policies and programs. SPAR is advised by a Community of Understanding consisting of individuals representing the point of view of key stakeholders: artists, patrons, municipal and provincial governments, and respected arts researchers at the national and international levels.


Why is it important that you respond to our surveys or participate?

This study’s research will directly influence funding, programs and policies which can strengthen the provincial arts ecology from the perspective of emerging and senior artists as well as appropriately reflect the role of artists and creativity more generally within local communities and the whole province. Studies have shown that artists and the arts can be vital contributors to the health and well being of communities as well as their cultural and economic sustainability. Our partners want to know the extent to which that is currently true in Saskatchewan to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a climate that will maximize such contributions in the future.


How can I participate?

Please contact us (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) about participating in any of these stages of the research:

  • A survey (closed in May 2014) of all types of artists focused on the connections that facilitate their creative work and their involvement in the “creative economy” of Saskatchewan
  • A survey (closed in May 2014) of the general public focused on understanding the role of the arts and artists in communities and perceptions regarding the contributions artists make to Canadian society
  • Cultural mapping of the province including artist clusters, arts organizations and cultural facilities along with data derived from the surveys
  • Focus groups (2 hours in length) which follow up on issues which emerge from the surveys
  • Case studies concerned with particular artists, cultural groups, arts organizations, businesses, communities, etc which will enable the research team to pursue key issues arising from the surveys and focus groups in more depth. These studies will involve individual interviews of @ 60-90 minutes.
  • Release and review of research findings and policy recommendations.

What do you mean by “the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan”?

References to “Arts Ecology” draw from the concept of ecology first developed in the natural sciences to refer to integrated, interconnected systems of living organisms. Increasingly the term “ecology” has been applied to other types of social, economic or cultural systems--like the arts. The implication of the term is that various arts disciplines and organizations as well as the individual artists they encompass function as an integrated, interconnected system. Theories regarding “creative economies” and “creative cities” have further suggested that the creative work of artists is an integral component of thriving 21st century economies and communities. It’s also argued that artists are fundamentally central to the identity, health and well-being of communities and the individuals who live in them. However, we actually know very little about how artists work on a day to day basis, the kinds of connections they make or need for the realization of their work, their particular role in the larger economy or the extent to which they benefit directly from it, or the extent to which they and their creative work are integrated into and connected with what the artist defines as their “community.” The goal of our research is to understand the extent to which there is a functioning arts ecology in Saskatchewan at these various levels and how that ecology can be strengthened.

How do I access your research results?

Reports which analyze the results of the surveys, focus groups and case studies will be posted on this website. As they become available various cultural maps will also be posted in an interactive format so that they can be used by a range of stake-holders to supplement the reports. Members of the research team will also be presenting and publishing papers related to our research. Please see the events section for upcoming venues for presentations and publications. Alternatively individuals are encouraged to bring specific questions, requests, or suggestions for further research projects or partnerships directly to SPAR researchers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A fuller discussion of research questions and methodology click here

If you have any further questions concerning the Arts Ecology of Saskatchewan research project, please contact:

Mary Blackstone, Director
Saskatchewan Partnership for Arts Research,
c/o Department of Theatre
University of Regina, S4S 0A2

tel: 306-337-3182
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fax: 306-585-5530