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Visual artists miss out on $42,760 in Resale Right payments

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 – Five auctions held in the last month have resulted in $855,205 in sales of artwork by ninety living Canadian artists. Many people profited from these sales – everyone except the artists.

Artists have requested that the government address this discrepancy by paying artists 5% when their work is resold, as is done in 69 other countries. If Canada had the Artist’s Resale Right, the artists would have received a combined total of $42,760.

For example, three pieces by Toronto artist, Rita Letendre resold including Mandragore which sold for $76,050 at Heffel. Letendre estimates that she originally sold it for around $400. If Canada had the Artist’s Resale Right, she would have received $7606 for the three resales.

“I would like the work of the artist to be acknowledged,” said Letendre, “The work exists because the artist created it. Without the artist there would be no artwork, and with no artwork, no market. The Artist’s Resale Right is a great idea that would allow the profits to be shared with the artist. It is simply a matter of respect.”

It has been a busy auction season. In addition to the big sales of Canadian art that happen every fall through Waddingtons and Heffel, there was also the Charles Bronfman Claridge Collection auction, Waddingtons’ Inuit Art Auction and Walker’s Canadian and International Fine Arts Auction.

In May, opposition MPs expressed their support for the Artist’s Resale Right with the presentation of a motion from Montreal MP, Pierre Nantel, and a private member’s bill from Newfoundland MP, Scott Simms. The reaction from the government side continues to be positive, although a commitment has not yet been made.

The impact for artists across Canada

BC artist Takao Tanabe’s piece Gulf Island 3/82 Afternoon Fog sold for $43,875 at Heffel, missing out on $2193 in resale payments.

BC artist David Alexander’s piece From the Vault Top resold for $4012 at Waddingtons. If Canada had the Artist’s Resale Right, he would have received $200.

Saskatchewan artist, Joe Fafard’s piece David Suzuki sold for $21,060 at Heffel, missing out on $1053 in resale payments.

Saskatchewan artist, Allen Sapp, saw his piece A Little Pine Reserve sell for $5520 at the Charles Bronfmans Claridge Collection sale at Waddingtons, missing out on $276 in resale payments.

Alberta artist, Alex Janvier’s piece Kindred Soul sold for $2596 at Waddingtons, missing out on $129 in resale payments.

Cape Breton artist, Jacques Hurtubise, has two pieces resell including Odette which sold for $21,060 at Heffel, more than twice the estimated price. Hurtubise missed out on $1253 in resale payments.

Four pieces by Newfoundland artist, David Blackwood, were resold including Ephraim Kelloway’s White Door which sold for $105,300, missing out on $6145 in payments in total.

Three pieces by Montreal artist, Claude Tousignant, resold including Poem Aeroscolaire, Carre #6 which sold for $2242 at Waddingtons. In total, Tousignant missed out on $273 in resale payments.

Artists across Canada support the Artist’s Resale Right

We have put together a video message for the new Heritage Minister, Shelly Glover, to welcome her to her new job and make it clear that artists across Canada are united in our desire to see the Artist’s Resale Right brought to Canada.

Please take a look. We hope it inspires you to send her your own message.