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Fredericton artist wins National Visual Arts Advocacy Award

Tuesday June 7th, 2011 – The national association of visual artists (CARFAC) announced today that Fredericton artist, Sarah Petite, has won the National Visual Arts Advocacy Award. This award honours a professional artist who has made a significant contribution to the Canadian visual arts community. Petite has given close to ten years of volunteer service to visual artists in various roles including President of CARFAC Maritimes from 2006 to 2009. During this time she has also continued her practice as a professional artist, workshop leader and public speaker for the arts community.

“Sarah has been an exceptionally active advocate for artists, both regionally and nationally, through her involvement with CARFAC National and CARFAC Maritimes for nearly a decade,” said jury member and CARFAC Newfoundland Representative, Michael Pittman.

The National Visual Arts Advocacy Award will be presented as part of the program for the National Conference for Visual Artists.

Award Presentation:
Saturday, June 11th, 7:30 pm,
Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax

About Sarah Petite

Based out of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Petite has advised professional artists in the Maritimes on rights and copyright for close to ten years. She first became president of CARFAC New Brunswick in 2002 and was instrumental in bringing together artists from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to create CARFAC Maritimes – the regional office of the national association for visual artists.

As President of CARFAC Maritimes, Petite advised charitable organizations on ethical art auctions, compiled a database of galleries and arts organizations, helped organize the CARFAC National Conference (Wired Studios Branchés) in Fredericton and provided services to members. She also created a Francophone Committee to improve services to francophone artists in the region. Together with l’ Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau Brunswick, Petite sent an open letter to Maritimes public galleries regarding exhibition fees paid to artists. All of this work was done as a volunteer.

Petite is an encaustic painter who has shown across Canada. Her work can be found in several private and public collections as far afield as New Zealand. She was nominated by CARFAC Maritimes President Susan Tooke and artist Richard Rudnicki. “Without Sarah Petite and her dedication to the organization CARFAC Maritimes would not exist,” said Tooke.

About the National Visual Arts Advocacy Award

The inaugural National Visual Arts Advocacy Award was presented to Kim Ondaatje and Tony Urquhart – two of CARFAC’s founding members – in 2008, in celebration of CARFAC’s 40th anniversary. A new era of arts activism was born under their leadership, and through this award, we pay tribute to further achievements made by artists in the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of visual artists, and the overall well-being of the visual arts community. Marlene Creates of Portugal Cove, Newfoundland won in 2009, and Todd Janes from Edmonton, Alberta received the award in 2010.

CARFAC (The Canadian Artists’ Representation/le Front des artists canadiens) is the national association of Canada’s professional visual and media artists. CARFAC defends artists’ rights through advocacy and professional development and produces a schedule of artists’ fees that is widely recognized as the national standard. The Status of the Artist Act empowers CARFAC to negotiate with national organizations on behalf of all visual artists in Canada.


For more information or to arrange interviews contact:

Melissa Gruber
Communications Coordinator, CARFAC National
Phone: 613-233-6161, Cell: 613-791-6411

April Britski
Executive Director, CARFAC National
Phone: 613-233-6161, Cell: 613-255-4645