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Eighteen Inuit artists miss out on resale payments at auction

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – Eighteen living Inuit artists saw their work go up for auction on Monday at Waddington’s auction house in Toronto. It is common for artwork to increase in value over time but these profits are not currently shared with the artists. The Canadian associations of visual artists (CARFAC & RAAV) have requested that the government address this discrepancy by adding the Artist’s Resale Right to the Canadian Copyright Act as has been done in at least 69 other countries.

For example, Cape Dorset artist, Kiawak Ashoona, had three sculptures that sold including the piece Growling Polar Bear which sold for $6000.

A representative from Ashoona Studios commented that if Canada had the Artist’s Resale Right “Kiawak’s situation in the last phase of his life could be improved upon with respect to quality of life… it will certainly be a much welcomed addition to the too few resources on hand for Canada’s northern arts community.”

Several other auctions of Canadian artwork are coming up before the end of the month including Waddingtons Fall Auction of Canadian Fine Art on Wednesday, November 27th and Heffel’s Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art auction on Thursday, November 28th.

Photo: © Oxford