The 2005 Exhibition Fee Rates have been extended by one year.
Canadian Artists Representation/Le front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) introduced a new fee schedule for visual artists in 2005. The new schedule included a system of establishing exhibition fees based on the operating budgets of arts institutions. This change creates a more equitable means of calculating the fees paid to artists for the public exhibition of their work. It also began a process of increasing the fee rates so that by 2010 the amount paid to an artist for an exhibition of their work would be fair and reasonable, given the levels of income earned by most professionals in society. This is in light of the fact that artists are among the lowest paid workers in the country.
While most arts institutions support an increased income for artists, there was concern that they had not received enough warning of the intended increases, although they were scaled over six years. They argued that budgetary constraints and the fact that they plan one to two years in advance made compliance difficult.
With this in mind, the membership of CARFAC voted to extend the 2005 exhibition rates for an additional year to allow arts institutions the time to adjust to the new rates. It is important to note that this applies only to exhibition rates. Reproduction and related rates have remained the same with a standard 3% increase in 2005 and 6% in 2006 to keep up with the cost of living.
In response to criticisms from arts institutions, CARFAC has also re-formulated the rates for group exhibitions to make them more manageable.
The extension of the exhibition rate for a year will mean that the proposed increase rates through to 2010 will now extend through to 2011. This means that the proposed increase for 2006 will take place in 2007, 2007 in 2008 and so on through to 2011.
CARFAC hopes the extension of the 2005 exhibition fee rates will be received in the spirit of cooperation. The raise in fees is intended to help artists achieve a minimum level of income from their work. It is also an issue of respect and recognition for that work. As the social and economic importance of culture increases, so too must the recognition of artists’ central and crucial contribution to it. Artists are an essential part of a public arts economy and, as CARFAC has argued, they deserve to be fairly compensated for the part they play in it. Artists need to close the gap between what they contribute (as a percentage of public arts programming) and what they receive for it.