Basic Income: An Artists’ Commission

Saturday, January 30 to Sunday, January 31
Time 12:30 — 5:30 EST


How could a Basic Income trans­form the lives of artists and cul­tur­al work­ers? The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has stressed that the Cana­da Emer­gency Response Ben­e­fit (CERB) was only ever meant to be a tem­po­rary stop-gap. Not only that, the program’s restric­tions also left many Cana­di­ans behind in deep pover­ty. At the same time, CERB gave many oth­er Cana­di­ans their first taste of what a Basic Income (BI) pro­gram might look like: not just the­o­ry, but in prac­tice. At the heart of the con­ver­sa­tion around BI is the dream of how our soci­ety would be dif­fer­ent if everyone’s needs were tak­en care of, if social jus­tice was an inte­gral part of polit­i­cal deci­sion-mak­ing, if the sys­tems that gov­erned our dai­ly lives reflect­ed our rights and inher­ent val­ue as human beings.


The Basic Income: An Artists’ Com­mis­sion aims to gath­er ver­bal and writ­ten tes­ti­monies from artists about the impact that hav­ing a steady, fixed income, or its lack, has had or may have on their men­tal, phys­i­cal and artis­tic lives. The tes­ti­fiers will include Cana­di­an artists and activists from a range of lived expe­ri­ences, includ­ing CER­B/non-CERB eli­gi­ble, low income, home­less or pre­car­i­ous­ly housed, BIPOC, urban/rural, labour and hous­ing jus­tice, etc. 


The tes­ti­monies will inform a report by four com­mis­sion­ers which will be made avail­able late win­ter 2021. The goal is to con­tribute to the broad­er polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic dis­cus­sion around BI by cen­ter­ing our voic­es as artists and cul­tur­al work­ers, and to explore how Basic Income might shape our col­lec­tive futures.


Rebec­ca Applebaum
Nahed Mansour
Michael Murray
Greig de Peuter

Com­mis­sion­er Bios


To attend and view some or all of the com­mis­sion please reg­is­ter below. After reg­is­ter­ing, you will receive a con­fir­ma­tion email con­tain­ing infor­ma­tion about join­ing the Zoom.

We will use this mail­ing list to inform you of any news or actions relat­ed to this project. All infor­ma­tion will be destroyed at the con­clu­sion of the event.