A new artist-run survey of Vancouver animation industry employees has revealed stunning low salaries that in some cases barely reach Metro Vancouver’s baseline standard for a living wage.

Another key revelation from the survey, besides low wages, is that over 90% of animation workers in Vancouver have reported not being compensated for overtime work, a major violation of British Columbia labor law. When the unpaid overtime hours are factored into the salaries, many Vancouver artists earn below a living wage for Metro Vancouver.

Here is the survey’s overview to date of median wages in the Vancouver industry. Bear in mind, these figures are in Canadian dollars, which is significantly weaker than the U.S. dollar. (A layout artist’s CAD$875 weekly wage is only US$673.)


The results of the survey are being updated weekly and shared publicly on AnimationWageShare.tumblr.com. The artists who organized the survey told Cartoon Brew that they launched it because they are “currently in the process of organizing a grassroots movement to improve our working conditions,” with the belief “that transparency in our jobs will help us understand our present situation and empower us to change it.”

Everyone involved in the initiative has chosen to remain anonymous. “As you know with the Sausage Party animators, blacklisting is a real concern for us,” they told Cartoon Brew. “Some of us have already been anonymously harassed on social media for speaking out about our working conditions.”

Besides the wage sharing survey, the artists are posting commentaries that defend why unionization is currently their best option and explain what to do if a Vancouver artist learns they’re being underpaid. They point out that all of the thousands of live-action film workers in Vancouver are unionized and receive overtime compensation.

Below are more preliminary wage survey results for different positions at major Vancouver studios, including Atomic Cartoons, Bardel Entertainment, Big Bad Boo Studios, DHX, Rainmaker, Bron Studio, 9 Story, and Titmouse. Vancouver industry artists can anonymously complete the survey here.

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