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New Agreement on Exhibition Fees

Ottawa, December 20, 2007 – On November 19 and 20, 2007, representatives from the Canadian Artists’ Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuals (RAAV) met with the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization (CAMDO) and the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) to negotiate a new agreement with a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario as mediator. Subsequently, the agreement was formally approved by the national boards of all organizations involved. The announcement of this agreement was made at the opening of the Visual Arts Summit, where over 450 artists, dealers, collectors and museum officials were present on November 25th, 2007.

The new streamlined fee schedule goes into effect on January 1, 2008 for a 5-year term, and will be adjusted annually by a 3% increase. The new agreement only includes temporary solo and group exhibitions, both touring and non-touring.

Fees are determined by the institution’s budget size accordingly:
– operational budgets under $500,000
– operational budgets over $500,000
– International I (cultural centres, embassies or other locations under the auspices of a federal agency)
– International II (major international exhibitions, such as international biennials and surveys, which are funded by several funding bodies and/or sponsors)

The fees indicated in the agreement are recommended minimums, and as such, artists are free to negotiate up from these minimums.

Due to our current negotiations with the National Gallery of Canada under Status of the Artist law, fees for this institution are being negotiated outside this agreement.

The four organizations agreed to form a joint committee that will continue to meet to negotiate fees for such items as permanent collection exhibitions; performance, film and video fees; exhibitions in other venues; exhibitions of a reproduction; creation of a work in public. Reproduction fees, Advertising and Commercial Fees, and Fees for Professional Services will also be further discussed.

In the meantime, we recommend that galleries, artist-run centres, and other institutions exhibiting artworks continue to pay CARFAC fees for these uses. For details on these rates, contact CARCC.

The parties also agreed to pursue the establishment of a new Exhibition Right Fund, similar to the Public Lending Right Fund, which provides compensation to authors of books used in public libraries. When the new Exhibition Right Fund is established the fee schedule will be renegotiated at that time, and in the meantime, the fees in the current agreement will be honoured.

The joint committee will advocate for the proposed Exhibition Right Fund, as well as develop templates for standardized contracts for exhibitions and acquisitions, and address mutual interests which will move the visual and media arts forward.

The new agreement was officially approved by CARFAC-RAAV, CAMDO and the CMA. However, there are other exhibiting institutions that were not present. We are currently in discussions with the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCCC), and should have their response on the agreement shortly. In the interim, we recommend that artist-run centres pay the new fees, with an understanding that it could take time to make an adjustment where the new fees represent an increase. We also recognize that in some cases, the new fees are lower than what some artist-run centres are currently paying, and we recommend that they continue to pay those rates, as our new fees are recommended minimums.

Throughout the past 3 years, CARFAC and RAAV have held meetings with CAMDO and CMA to discuss a fair level of payment for artist fees. The meetings began in 2004, when CARFAC released its new formula for the CARFAC Minimum Fee Schedule. The fees primarily refer to Exhibition Fees, the copyright royalties that are paid by museums to publicly present an artist’s work.

At the end of 2006, the meetings came to an impasse. Regardless, all parties were determined to resolve their differences and find solutions so that they might begin to build a stronger visual and media arts community. As such, CARFAC, RAAV, CAMDO, and the CMA jointly agreed to undertake a mediation process in order to work towards establishing a mutually acceptable fee schedule.