Performance Artists in Canada: Executive Summary

May 30, 2019 News Comments Off on Performance Artists in Canada: Executive Summary

Assessing Professional Conditions for

Performance Artists in Canada


May 30, 2019 — From May to August 2018, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference / Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés (ARCA), Canadian Artist Representation /Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), and the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) conducted research on the professional conditions for performance art in Canada. The organizations approached this study according to their respective mandates to support presenters and artists, with the implicit understanding that many performance presenters in Canada are also practicing artists.

ARCA circulated an online survey throughout the artist-run centre and performance art festival networks in Canada, while CARFAC/RAAV circulated a survey to their individual members and conducted a series of interviews with professional performance artists. Sharing many findings in common, these two surveys provide a current, detailed overview of the field’s particular requirements, recommend adjustments to CARFAC/RAAV’s royalties schedule, and highlight an array of best practices currently in use in the sector.

This research was undertaken as a result of discussions held during a series of community meetings initiated in 2012 by Vancouver’s LIVE International Performance Art Biennale and pursued since then every two years by the organizers of various festivals such as L’Écart’s Biennale d’art performatif (Rouyn-Noranda, QC), FAAS (Sudbury, ON), M:ST (Calgary, AB), and RIAP/RIPA (Québec, QC). While the surveys acknowledge performance art festivals’ and artist-run centres’ established structures and supports, the responses will also inform timely revisions to CARFAC/RAAV’s schedule of recommended fees and the development of best-practice guidelines aimed at improving the professional conditions of performance artists presenting their work with the support of Canadian arts organizations—organizations frequently unfamiliar with the presentation of performance art.

Overall, the survey results underline the need for organizations and artists alike to advocate for better conditions through negotiation while challenging existing hierarchies between studio and post-studio art forms. The results also differentiate the conditions of festivals from those of artist-run centres (which enjoy resources such as exhibition spaces and established sources of funding, and which program according to a cyclical timetable). The survey data illustrate plainly that better support is needed for festivals that present performance art, the more so given that they often are in competition for funding with much larger festivals.

Perhaps the most difficult to pin down among the visual arts, performance art may be understood to include furtive actions, relational projects, durational works, happenings, and infiltration projects. As such, determining a schedule of recommended fees is no easy task and simply cannot be carried out reliably without valuing and taking into account the perspectives of the artists who work in the field.

Some 51 respondents participated in ARCA’s survey (conducted May 2–19, 2018), the majority representing artist-run centres and festivals with operating budgets corresponding to Category I organizations in the CARFAC/RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule (<$500K). 154 respondents participated in the CARFAC/RAAV survey (conducted in August 2018), and ten performance artists were interviewed personally. Read the CARFAC-RAAV-ARCA-Summary of both reports, available in French and English. Full reports in English may be requested by contacting ARCA or CARFAC.


Call for New Board Members – 2019

May 13, 2019 News Comments Off on Call for New Board Members – 2019

Call for New Board Members

CARFAC is looking for board members, to be elected at our National Annual General Meeting
(AGM). If you are a professional visual or media artist interested in improving the working
conditions of your fellow practicing artists through advocacy and education, you may put your
name forward for consideration to our Nominating Committee. Each nomination must be
supported by two current CARFAC members.

CARFAC strives to be an inclusive and safe space for all, and to accurately reflect the diversity
of the various arts communities that we serve. We strongly encourage applications from artists
who are members of marginalized and/or underserved/underrepresented communities,
especially individuals who identify with: First Nations, Metis, or Inuit, or people of colour; diverse
gender and sexual identities (including LGBTQ2+); people living with dis/ability, etc.

All Directors are elected for a term of two years and may be re-elected to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. Directors will be elected to a position by our members at our AGM. At the 2019 AGM, up to six out of fourteen volunteer director positions will be open, to be filled by new and/or returning candidates. Following the AGM, the board will choose its Executive Officers, as per CARFAC’s Bylaws.

If you wish to put yourself forward for a board of directors’ position, please fill in the Board-Nomination-form and submit a short biography, by email no later than June 5th. We are committed to equitable recruitment practices. In order to be considered for equity-based recruitment, please include a note in your email stating, “I’d like to be considered for recruitment equity.” While you are welcome to elaborate further, it is not required.

Please consider carefully whether you can fulfill the responsibilities set out below. If you are not a current member, you will be required, if asked to stand for election, to become a member under the terms of most positions. The submission of an application does not necessarily mean that you will be asked to stand for election. If you are not selected for nomination this year by our committee, we will keep your interest on file for future years.

For additional information on CARFAC National and the role of Directors, please email April
Britski, Executive Director.

Responsibilities and Duties of CARFAC Board Members

Service as a member of CARFAC’s Board of Directors requires time, dedication and commitment to the aims and purpose of CARFAC. For CARFAC to fulfill its unique role and reflect the views of its membership, Board members must participate fully in their roles and functions. The Directors of CARFAC National are responsible for setting goals, defining organizational policies and priorities, and approving plans to achieve our goals.

Professional visual and media artists who are social justice-minded and have demonstrated their commitment to community organizing are highly desirable candidates. Experience working with organizational finances, or legal or labour matters concerning artists, are considered assets.

CARFAC Board members are required to act in good faith and in the best interests of CARFAC National, to formally declare any real or apparent conflicts of interest, and to respect the confidentiality of sensitive information. Part of the due diligence required of Directors is attending Board meetings and keeping yourself informed about the affairs of CARFAC by reading the materials prepared for the meetings, newsletters, and e-mail bulletins. The board typically meets in-person twice yearly, with additional board and committee teleconferences, as required.

Notice of Annual General Meeting / Convocation à l’assemblée générale annuelle

August 1, 2018 News Comments Off on Notice of Annual General Meeting / Convocation à l’assemblée générale annuelle

CARFAC National will hold its Annual General Meeting at Ottawa City Hall on Sunday, September 9th at 9 am EST.

We invite all CARFAC members in good standing to attend, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the organization. The AGM Agenda is available here. The AGM will coincide with our national conference, from September 7th to 9thClick here to see the full conference schedule.

CARFAC National tiendra son assemblée générale annuelle à l’hôtel de ville d’Ottawa le dimanche 9 septembre à 9 h (HNE).

Nous invitons tous les membres en règle de CARFAC à y assister, ainsi que toute personne intéressée à en apprendre davantage sur l’organisme. L’ordre du jour de l’AGA est disponible ici. L’AGA coïncidera avec notre congrès national qui se tiendra du 7 au 9 septembre.


Several bylaw amendments will be presented to our members for a vote at the AGM. If you have questions or concerns about any changes, please contact our national office.

Plusieurs modifications aux statuts et règlements seront présentées à nos membres et soumises à un vote à l’AGA. Les documents sont disponibles en anglais seulement. Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations au sujet de certains changements, veuillez communiquer avec notre bureau national.

Current Bylaws

CARFAC General Operating By-law, 2018 proposed amendments

By-Law Briefing for Members.


Want to know what we’ve been up to this year? Check out our Annual Report .

Vous voulez connaître nos réalisations de  cette année? Consultez notre rapport annuel.

Has the artist been paid? Mais avez-vous payé l'artiste?