Skip to Content

Best Practices for Canadian Visual Art

Best practice guidelines outline for artists and the people they work with the best ways to establish professional relationships that are beneficial for everyone, regardless of the context.

Some examples:

Best Practices for the Saskatchewan Visual Art and Craft Sector
Best Practices for Visual Artists in Quebec
Resources and Best Practices for the Visual, Media and Craft-Based Arts Sector (Ontario)
Professional Standards for Dance
Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector
United Kingdom Code of Practice for the Visual Arts

Have you ever received a contract from a gallery on the night of an opening, or not at all? Have you ever been frustrated with a dealer who avoided setting a payment schedule for sales? Have you ever been unsure if was the gallery’s responsibility or your own to cover insurance for your artworks when exhibited?

If these kinds of questions are familiar to you – you are not alone. Most artists engage in short-term contracts and working conditions vary every time they take on a new project. Misunderstandings between galleries and artists are common, particularly when a written agreement is not used. Sometimes one or both parties are left wondering what their rights and responsibilities are.

To make working relationships more understandable for artists, CARFAC has developed contract templates and advisory notes on a number of topics, such as working on public art commissions, working with public galleries and dealers, and understanding copyright. While these documents help you to understanding your rights as an artist, we have been working on a set of guidelines for best practices for the visual arts sector as a whole. These guidelines will have wider community input and endorsement – not only from artists, but also from public and private galleries, media arts centres, and government. We hope that these guidelines will encourage respectful and healthy relationships between creators and producers.