An Open Letter to Minister Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

July 15, 2016 News 2 comments


Dear Minister Joly,


Please accept our sincere congratulations on the start of a promising new mandate in the service of arts and culture in Canada.

We represent Canadian artists, their representatives and associations from a wide range of artistic disciplines. Today, we are writing to request further clarity regarding the composition of your Cultural Policy Advisory Group. As well, we would also like to pass along the message that artists from the visual and media arts, theatre, dance, writing, music and publishing sectors would like to see representative inclusion in the Advisory Group that you have recently struck.

We commend the government for engaging in what you have called “a sweeping review of Canadian cultural policy,” and many of us have worked to ensure that artists and administrators from our various sectors fill out the consultation survey that your department launched several months ago. We agree that changes to cultural policies are needed. Regulations surrounding Canadian content, digital content and copyright affect the lives and livelihoods of all artists and cultural sector workers. It is therefore concerning to us that your Cultural Policy Advisory Group excludes representation from most of the major artistic disciplines in Canada; that there is a lack of creator representation in your group; and that the twelve experts in the group do not sufficiently represent the cultural, gender and sexual diversity of our communities.

Artists and arts institutions in Canada have urgent needs that require the partnership of our government. Please consider our request for clarity and inclusion to be in the spirit of constructive feedback from the sectors your Ministry represents in Ottawa. We intend to pass your response to this letter along to the artists, cultural workers and advocates that we represent and with whom we work.

It is our position that artists, their representatives and national arts service organizations should be included in any group of experts providing you with their advice and knowledge of the sector as you work to review our cultural policies and legislation. We do not agree that the task of bringing our voices to the table is impossible.

We are eager and excited to work with you and your teams as you bring the Canadian and Québécois cultural sector forward into a digital world. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.




Marcia Lea, Executive Director, Canadian Artists Representation/ le Front des artistes Canadiens National (CARFAC- National)

Sara Meurling, Executive Director, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT)

Christen Thomas, Executive Director, Literary Press Group of Canada (LPG)

Jane Needles, on behalf of Conseil québécois du théâtre (CQT)

Carol Anne Pilon, Directrice adjointe, Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF)

Arden R. Ryshpan, Executive Director, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (Equity)

Greer Attridge, Canadian Artists’ Representation/ le Front des artistes Canadiens-British Colombia (CARFAC-BC)

Yael Brotman, Visual Artist and Lecturer, Dept of Arts, Culture and Media, University of Toronto

Bruce Pitkin, Executive Director, Theatre Ontario

Maegen Black, Director, The Canadian Crafts Federation / Fédération Canadienne des Métiers d’Art

Dave Andrews, Executive Director, Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL-CARFAC)

Eric Coates, Artistic Director, Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC)

Ann MacDonald, on behalf of the University and College Art Galleries Association of Canada

Christian Bédard, Directeur general, Le regroupement des Artistes en arts visuels du Quebec (RAAV)

Sally Lee, Executive Director, Canadian Artists’ Representation/ le Front des artistses Canadiens- Ontario (CARFAC- ON)

Penny McCann, Director, SAW Video Media Art Centre

Martha Hynna, President, Board of Directors, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra/  l’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa (OSO)

Wendy Nelson, Executive Director, Canadian Artists’ Representation/ le Front des artistses Canadiens- Saskatchewan (CARFAC-SK)

Chris Carson, Executive Director, Visual Arts Alberta (VAA-CARFAC)

Michael Adam Murray, Executive Director, Toronto Musicians’ Association

Brian Quirt, Artistic Director, Nightswimming Theatre

Ann Bertrand, Executive Director, Artists Run Centres and Collectives Conference/ la Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés (ARCA)

Alexis Kinloch on behalf of Canadian Artists’ Representation/ le Front des artistses Canadiens- Manitoba (CARFAC-MB)

Robin Sokoloski, Executive Director, Playwrights’ Guild of Canada (PGC)

Ben Donoghue, Managing Director, Media Arts Network of Ontario/ Réseau des Arts Médi­a­tiques de L’Ontario (MANO)

John Degen, Executive Director, The Writer’s Union of Canada

Remco Volmer, Managing Director, Artengine

Greg Johnston, President, Songwriters Association of Canada / Association des auteurs-compositeurs Canadiens

Marvin Dolgay, Chair of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada

Emmanuel Madan, National Director, Independent Media Arts Alliance / Alliance des arts médiatheques indépendants

Elisha Denburg, General Manager, The Canadian League of Composers/ La ligue canadienne des compostieurs

2016 AGM Wrap Up

June 28, 2016 Events , Features , News Comments Off on 2016 AGM Wrap Up

Melissa PanelCARFAC’s 2016 AGM and Draw More Income Panel discussion was awesome!

On June 4th, in Montreal, CARFAC and RAAV (Regroupement des artists en arts visual) members gathered along with members of the creative community to participate in a productive conversation about artists’ rights and economic wellbeing. Our panel of remarkable artists came from all across the country and generously shared their work and experience with a crowd of over one hundred people.

Theresie Tungilik came from Nunavut and spoke in detail about the ways Inuit and Northern artists are working in traditional and contemporary mediums. She spoke to the myriad successes and challenges that are particular to artists in the north and gave us insight into how CARFAC can work to support artists’ rights to members of her community.

Moridja Kitenge Banza lives in Montreal and shared images of his remarkable practice with us. He showed us slides of his work which draws from cartography as well as “chiromancie” (palmistry). He spoke to the fact that he has needed to become a business person and that all artists are business people. He said that he has access to three art markets as a French speaking, African, Canadian resident and that he creates work specifically to be sold on those three markets.

Melissa Mongiat is a Montreal based artist, who works internationally and through a collective called Daily tous les Jour. Her work is site specific and uses digital technologies. She gave us the insiders history of her most sought after art piece, Musical Swings. She described the challenges and joys of creating innovative installation work that interacts with communities.

Collin Zipp joined us from Winnipeg and described his cheeky body of work through slides and storytelling. He also spoke to the nascent, yet burgeoning art world of Winnipeg, where there are few commercial galleries. He shared with us that in order to make a living as an artist he has had to do many kinds of things from teaching to installation as well as creating art pieces.

After the panel discussion, participants heard presentations regarding the Artists’ Resale Right (Droit de Suite), the updated news about Copyright Visual Art (formerly CARCC) and our work to harmonize the CARFAC fee schedule with the IMAA (Independent Media Arts Alliance) fee schedule. All of these presentations gave our members much needed insight into the ongoing work that CARFAC is doing on their behalf. More information about all of these dossiers is available to our members on our website or by calling our offices.

It was a wonderful gathering of intelligent and motivated artists! Our partner RAAV, did a marvelous job of hosting us while we engaged in the important discussion of what will drive CARFAC into the future. Thank you to all who came out!

For those of you who missed being in Montreal in person a video recording of the Draw More Income panel and presentations will be available soon on our website.

Important Announcement from CARCC

June 27, 2016 Events , Features , Media Releases , News Comments Off on Important Announcement from CARCC

FROM CARCC to Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels

(French follows)
Canadian Artist Representation Copyright Collective – CARCC — was established in 1990 by CARFAC. It was founded to put into practice the principles concerning artists’ copyrights – preparing the written agreements (licenses) and the payment of appropriate royalties for the use of their art works. CARCC members – better known as affiliates – are part of a copyright collective, and affiliation means that the artist gives a mandate to CARCC for the purpose of administering their Copyright, also known as AUTHOR’S RIGHTS.

Last December, our longtime friend and colleague Janice Seline retired from CARCC. Since then, we’ve been going through a transitional period, transferring CARCC’s administrative duties between our partner in Quebec, RAAV, and our CARFAC National office in Ottawa.

Copyright Laws are not static. Following the introduction of the Copyright Modernization Act, and despite all efforts from artistic and cultural players, nothing could prevent the partial destruction of the protection of Copyright in Canada. The act to “modernize” copyright came into force in 2012 and in the following year, university and school networks – who had campaigned for its adoption – began to rely on the education exceptions to free themselves off of the obligation to pay royalties to Access Copyright. This had the direct effect of dramatically reducing CARCC’s income, threatening its very existence.

As artists do when confronted with a difficult situation, CARFAC and RAAV took advantage of this challenge and decided to dramatically renew their copyright collective society, turning it into Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels.

A new name and a new vision
While keeping its corporate name, CARCC will be operating under the name Copyright Visual Arts – and “en français” : Droits d’auteur Arts visuels. Under this new appellation we will be serving artists in both languages from sea to sea.

Copyright Visual Arts has also become a copyright collective society administered by a board of directors delegated by CARFAC and RAAV. The two largest associations of visual artists are now working together to ensure the provision of professional copyright administration services by their society: Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels
Here are its new mission and vision statements:

Copyright Visual Arts is a non profit organization providing Copyright administration for professional Canadian and Québécois visual and media artists through comprehensive access to artworks licensing and professional services.

Copyright Visual Arts responds to a shifting Art economy in the digital age by providing effective tools developed with CARFAC and RAAV to enable visual and media artists to achieve sustainable careers.
Copyright Visual Arts will facilitate broad access to the finest works by Canadian and Québecois artists through simple and effective online licensing.

Administering Authors’ Rights for the benefit of Artists
As you may know, even after the original work is sold, the copyrights remain with the artist unless specifically assigned. Assigned or not, a work may generate income through use in exhibition, reproduction, digital reproduction, in film and so on. Copyright Visual Arts helps artists to protect their copyright and benefit from it. Any time an affiliate’s works are used, Copyright Visual Arts issues a license to the party using it. The license is a written “permission to use” in order to hold an exhibition, make a reproduction, etc. The license specifies the royalties to be paid for each way in which the work will be used, which are based on the CARFAC-RAAV minimum fees schedule. Once it has received payment from the users Copyright Visual Arts remits the money to the artists.

“Fee”, a word often misused

Speaking of “fees”, it is important to understand that when we speak of “exhibition fees” or “artist’s fees” we are speaking in reality of “exhibition royalties” because the Exhibition Right is included in the Copyright Act. Most artists and users understand that a reproduction fee is a copyright royalty but many think that the exhibition fee or artist’s fee is not. Because they also cover such payments as per diem, transportation, equipment rental, etc., these non-royalties payment are then deemed to be included in the exhibition royalty paid to the artist which is not right. Additional payments made to the artist for the exhibition of their work can be added to the Exhibition copyright fee but are not included.

That is also why Copyright Visual Arts deals with the Exhibition Right. In the future, we as artists in the visual and media arts sectors, should start using the term “exhibition royalties” and our fee schedule should be called the “CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Copyright Fees Schedule”.
Daily administration

We know that this transition has caused some delays in communication, which we sincerely apologize for hoping that you understand that it takes some time to reorganize Copyright Visual Arts’ services.
The daily administration of Copyright Visual Arts is now divided between two locations. Renuka Bauri, Membership Coordinator for CARFAC National, and Samar El-Chemali from RAAV have been working closely with RAAV’s Executive Director, Christian Bédard, so that we can ensure that all our affiliates are receiving the full benefits of their membership with us. Renuka is interacting with affiliates and the users to prepare the licenses, while Samar is handling invoicing and accounting. A Coordinator overviews the administration and ensures proper relations between the society and its members, CARFAC and RAAV.
CARFAC, RAAV and Copyright Visual Arts exist for the promotion and respect of artists’ rights because paying artists for the use of their works is the best way to improve their socioeconomic conditions.
Together, we will promote Copyright Visual Arts’ services in order to interest more artists to benefit from its services.

New exciting developments are on the way for Copyright Visual Arts. We will keep you posted. Long live Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels

Paddy Lamb and Deborah Carruthers
Copyright Visual Arts – Droits d’auteur Arts visuels

For information or affiliation: Christian Bédard, Coordinator :

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