“I am a student going on emerging artist. The art world can be an intimidating and complicated place, but thanks to CARFAC I feel like I have a support system. CARFAC will help me make sure that I don’t sell my work for less then I deserve, that I’ll be up to date with opportunities, events and residencies, and will keep me educated about my financial and legal rights.
CARFAC is a national organization that stands for Canadian Artists’ Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens. You can find out about their different offices by clicking here.
A CARFAC Ontario representative named Aysen Farag spoke to my Drawing and Painting thesis class, and I took intensive notes about the things that they do for artists. She began by telling us that CARFAC began as a place to get standard, fair fees for artists. It is an art service organization.
There is a membership fee, the cost for students is $30.00 for a year, and $ 50.00 for a recent graduate. There is a special membership promotion happening right now, if you join or renew your membership before March 31st you will be entered into a draw for special prizes. Examples are tickets to Factory Theatre productions, subscriptions to Canadian Art Magazine, and more! Keep checking back on the website for the full list of prizes, coming soon.
CARFAC is involved with big picture work. In partnership with VITAL Toronto, Kristian Clark, the Executive Director of CARFAC Ontario, was involved with budget talks at Toronto City Hall when there was a threat to arts funding. Kristian Clark presented priorities for why arts funding should not be cut in Toronto, and as a result, funding to the arts in had not been cut. To learn more about VITAL Toronto visit their Facebook page.
The presentation also discussed the concept of the Artist Resale Right, the idea that an artist would get a percentage of the amount that their work is resold at auctions, which is especially important for Aboriginal artists and other Canadian artists. Because art work tends to appreciate in value, an artist’s income would be supported by this percentage. The Artist Resale Right already exists in some countries throughout Europe and CARFAC is working on bringing it to Canada.
To those artists that do not live in a big city, CARFAC Ontario is involved in community outreach in the Northern Ontario area, by establishing professional development workshops and networking events, many of them are free.
CARFAC members receive free consulting with lawyers through their VALCO services. They also have a publication for sale that can be found on their website, that has template contracts for use and also discusses how to negotiate and modify contracts. The presentation discussed that a verbal agreement is a moral obligation, but risks miscommunication between the people involved. A contract is preferable because it is a historical document. So it is very important to understand what to put in a contract when selling your work or getting gallery representation.
I’m most excited about CARFAC online it is an email bulletin which, unlike other websites, checks to see if the opportunities for artists pay fairly and are to the benefit of the artist.
The presentation gave us advice on setting prices of our work, “Top 12 Tips for Setting Prices” is an article on the CARFAC website that you can read for free right now!
It is also important to be aware of how you share your images online, and be aware of what images you use in your artwork. All artists should be aware of the Canadian Copyright Act and know about the differences between source images and public domain images. The Canadian Artist Representation Copyright Collective administers the reproduction fees based on copyright usage.
And most importantly: discounts!”
- Submitted by Ania Stypulkowski, ArtBridging Ontario Coordinator is a current Drawing and Painting Thesis student at OCADu (Ontario College of Art and Design).