The Status of the Artist Act gives artists the right to bargain collectively with federal producers to set minimum standards for pay and working conditions. CARFAC and our Quebec partner RAAV are certified to negotiate on behalf of visual artists in Canada.
Once a signed federal agreement is reached with an institution and is ratified by our membership, it is legally binding and will set a major precedent for other federal and even provincial institutions.
In 2015, CARFAC and RAAV ratified their first scale agreement with the National Gallery of Canada. The agreement covers terms and conditions for the exhibition and reproduction of works of art, as well as the provision of professional services by living Canadian artists. It includes mandatory minimum fees and working conditions offered to artists by the gallery. Artists remain free to negotiate above these minimums, but they can never be offered less.
In May 2018, visual artists from across Canada voted to approve a new scale agreement with the National Gallery of Canada. The National Gallery of Canada Agreement takes effect June 1, 2018 and remains in effect until May 31, 2022, or until such time that it is renegotiated.
CARFAC has recommended fees payable to artists since its inception in 1968. The CARFAC Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule has been updated yearly through negotiation and usage, and reflects increases in the cost of living. All fees are considered minimum payments for the use of an artist’s copyright and professional services. Widely recognized as the national standard, our rates are recommendations, with the exception of agreements negotiated under the Status of the Artist Act, which are binding. That said, many arts councils require that public galleries pay artist’s fees as a condition of their funding. Additionally, the payment of the Exhibition Right and the Reproduction Right are included in Canada’s Copyright Act.
Our Fee Schedule includes recommendations for exhibition fees, reproduction fees, advertising/commercial reproduction fees, and professional services fees.
In 2007, CARFAC and RAAV signed a voluntary agreement on Exhibition Fees with the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization (CAMDO) and the Canadian Museums Association (CMA). The agreed fee payments went into effect on January 1, 2008 for a 5 year term, with a 3% annual increase, and were incorporated directly into the Exhibition Fees section of our Fee Schedule. In 2013, this agreement was renewed for an additional 3 years, with the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA) also signing on.
In 2015, CARFAC plans to work with CAMDO, CMA, and ARCA to renew our current agreement, and to meet with the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) to negotiate a voluntary agreement on media arts fees.