Why should I join CARFAC

In addition to being part of an association of professionals in your field, as a CARFAC member, you will also benefit from:

    • the CARFAC Copyright Fee Schedule, which recommends minimum payments of artist fees for the use of your copyright;
    • you have access to reduced fees on Certificates of Canadian Origin;
    • you are exclusively eligible to purchase an International Association of Artists card, which grants free or discounted entry to many museums outside Canada;
    • you may enjoy free admission to the National Gallery of Canada and many other galleries in Canada;
    • you are eligible to vote at the annual CARFAC National AGM;
    • you will receive CALENDAR, CARFAC’s national biannual newsletter;
    • you can purchase CARFAC Advisory Notes and publications at reduced member prices;
    • you can access CARFAC’s advise on various topics related to the business side of your artistic practice;
    • and you benefit from the advocacy and lobbying work that CARFAC does on a national level.

For more details on our services, visit the Membership Services section of our website.

Artists’ Contracts

Why should I have a contract?

A contract is essential in determining the legal rights which exist in an agreement made between two or more parties. As an artist, a written contract is your best way to ensure that your interests are protected since both parties are legally bound to live up to the terms of the agreement. The contract clearly establishes each party’s rights and what is expected of the parties involved, thus avoiding possible misunderstandings. It is always important to get the terms of your agreement in writing.

CARFAC Ontario has published Artists’ Contracts: Agreements for Visual and Media Artists. This publication serves as an important educational primer, providing information on the essentials of contractual agreements, how to draft and negotiate them, and what to do if disputes should arise. It also introduces legal terms found in most contracts. This publication addresses the most common agreements artists enter into during their careers.

Currently, this publication is available in English only. For a similar publication on contracts in Quebec, Le droit et les contrats en arts visuels au Québec, please contact the RAAV office

Exhibiting Internationally

I need to send an artwork outside of Canada. What can I do to avoid potential complications?

Each case is unique when shipping art across international borders, depending on the country to which the work is being shipped, the duration of the voyage, the reasons for which the work is being sent, etc. In general, however, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk of travel complications, especially at the border. Firstly, it is recommended that you purchase a Certificate of Canadian Origin from CARFAC National, for use in the temporary export of artworks. Make sure handling instructions, such as ‘fragile,’ are clearly identified to reduce the risk of damage. Documenting your work through certificates, photographs, etc. as well as registering your artist material (cameras, videos, etc.) may prove to be a worthwhile practice in the event that something should go wrong.

If you are planning to sell the work outside of Canada, you should contact the CARFAC office nearest you to obtain copies of our Advisory Note, Exhibiting / Selling Works Outside of Canada. It outlines the forms you need if the work is being shipped to a commercial gallery in the US, which will then sell the work on your behalf.

Currently, CARFAC Advisory Notes are available in English only. Please contact the RAAV office for publications on this topic in French 

Income Tax

Where can I get assistance in preparing my income tax return?

If you are knowledgeable and are prepared to make the required time commitment, then you may choose to prepare your own personal income tax return. CARFAC offers an Advisory Note, Preparing Your Tax Return, which may be useful. Further, some provincial affiliates, like CARFAC Ontario and Saskatchewan, offer workshops on the subject.

However, many artists prefer to hire an accountant to do their taxes. If you fall into this group, you should find a professional accountant experienced in working with artists, and your provincial affiliate may be able to assist you in finding specialized accountants in your area. Whichever choice you make, remember that it is your return and you are responsible for its contents.

Additionally, membership fees paid to professional associations such as CARFAC are allowable business expenses and are tax deductable.

Currently, CARFAC Advisory Notes are available in English only. Please contact the RAAV office for publications on this topic, and for advice on preparing taxes in Québec. 


Can insurance coverage be attached to my homeowner or tenant policy, and how much insurance is necessary?

Your coverage will depend on a number of factors, including the nature and the extent of your artistic activity. If, for instance, your activity qualifies as a minor business, you may be allowed to attach it to your homeowner’s or tenant’s policy. It is important that the insurance company be fully informed about the nature of your studio activity, to ensure that your coverage is intact and will not be jeopardized if a loss or damage is reported.

Homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance is calculated on a blanket basis, meaning that property is insured up to a certain value rather than insuring individual pieces of property. If you have a commercial package policy which covers studio contents, it is recommended that more specific coverage is obtained for artwork since this policy sharply limits the amount recoverable in the event of the loss of artwork or business records. It is always advisable to maintain a duplicate set of business records in a separate location.

CARFAC’s Advisory Note, Insuring Your Artwork may be of some assistance in helping you determine your needs. Your provincial affiliate may have suggestions for specialized insurers in your area.

Currently, CARFAC Advisory Notes are available in English only. Please contact the RAAV office for publications on this topic in French.


Where can I access grant money?
At the federal level, there are numerous grants available through the Canada Council for the Arts as well as private and corporate funders.

At the provincial level, some provinces have directories of granting institutions and most have an arts advisory board that issue grants to visual artists:

Professional Artists’ Fees

The current CARFAC Minimum Fee Schedule is divided into 4 parts, and is available on CARCC’s website.

Are there recommended CARFAC fees for visual artists teaching workshops and giving artist talks
Section 4 of our Fee Schedule deals with Professional and Consultant fees, as well as Preparation and Installation fees for artists. Our Artists’ Professional Fees are rated by half day (under 4 hours) and full day (over 4 hours).
Are there recommended CARFAC fees for curatorial work?
CARFAC’s Minimum Fee Schedule is not intended to set fees for curators or other museum staff as this is not within the services we offer or scope of our organization. However, we might suggest that curators take their time and full expenses into account when setting their fees (duration, number of hours worked, etc.).

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