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CARFAC National Gathering Speakers 2019

Protecting Knowledge: Indigenous Intellectual and Cultural Property Rights

Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw Artist and Community Arts Advocate

 My English name is Lou-ann Neel, and I am from the Mamalilikulla, Ma’amtagila, and Da’naxda’xw on my mum’s side of the family; and Kwickwasutaineuk, ‘Namgis and Kwagiulth on my dad’s side of the family. I come from a rich history of artists on both sides of my family, and have been practicing in Kwakwaka’wakw design for over forty years now. I create works in various forms – jewelry; textiles and hides; paintings and prints; and vector designing for multiple applications including animation, storybook illustration and 3D printing. One of my first passions was carving, so I have recently begun apprenticing in wood carving with my brother, Kevin Cranmer.

In addition to my artistic practice, I consider myself a community arts advocate – always seeking to build solutions that will enable Indigenous artists to balance our respective rights, responsibilities and obligations with new, contemporary expressions of our work, including full time careers as practicing artists.  I support and encourage exploration and innovation, and consider it an enormous honor to now serve as a mentor to younger artists in my family. My vision for the future is the establishment of local, regional, provincial, national and international Indigenous arts, culture and language organizations where there is consistent support for training and professional development in all artistic disciplines (traditional and contemporary); organizational development, management, and curatorial practice.


Blockchain for Visual Artists: The future of digital rights management

Roanie Levy – CEO & President | Champion of Creator Rights | Blockchain Visionary

Roanie is an internationally recognized champion of creator rights. Strategic and forward-thinking, she bridges the worlds of intellectual property law, content rights management and exponential technologies to represent and advocate for creators and rightsholders.

Roanie serves as CEO and President of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes millions of dollars annually in licensing royalties to creator and publisher affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright’s creator-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through Blockchain and other technologies. Prior to joining Access Copyright, she held key positions on major policy files at Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada, and as a private sector management consultant for Fortune 500 companies. An Intellectual Property lawyer by vocation, Roanie has been called to the bar in Ontario and Quebec. She is fluently bilingual.

Sapanpreet Singh Narang is an accomplished technology professional helping organizations grow and transform. Strategic and forward thinking, Sapan is passionate about applying technology to solve real business problems and create value for the organizations and their customers. Sapan’s innovative approach to solving business challenges is informed by his deep understanding of systems and technology, paired with a creative and strategic mindset.

His role at Access Copyright builds upon his extensive experience counseling organizations on how to use exponential technologies to advance their business goals. Sapan also leads innovation and product development for Prescient, Access Copyright’s innovation lab dedicated to exploring how technologies, such as AI and Blockchain, can advance creator rights in the digital world. Prior to joining Access Copyright, Sapan was a Manager with Deloitte Canada’s Blockchain practice. Sapan’s career spans a wide range of industries: Financial Services, Provincial and Federal Government, Healthcare, Supply Chain, Transportation, Mining, Professional Services and Rights Management for creative industries. Sapan holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada and Bachelor of Engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College, India.


Alternative Labour Models for Artists

Renuka Bauri is the Director of Communications and Advocacy for CARFAC. She is on the steering committee for the Canadian Arts Coalition where she serves as Vice-Chair, and she is an active member of the SAW Video Board of Directors. She completed her B.A. (Honours) in Film Studies and English Literature and her M.A. in Film Studies at Carleton University. Renuka has worked with various film festivals in the Ottawa area, including currently with Mirror Mountain Film Festival, as a jury member, programmer and front of house manager, and has previously served on the board of the Media Arts Network of Ontario. She has worked for various local and national non-profit artistic and cultural organizations, including the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Copyright Visual Arts. In 2017, Renuka completed a certificate program in Management for Women and she also holds a certificate in Canadian Copyright Law Management.

Zita Holbourne; Poet~Artist~Activist

Zita is a proud and committed trade union activist, and she has co-founded several equality and justice campaigns and initiatives. She is the National Vice President of the PCS Union and Joint National Chair of Artists Union England. She is also the Co-Founder and National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK. Zita works with unions across Europe and Internationally to campaign for migrant and refugee rights and against racism, other forms of discrimination and for human rights. She also campaigns around the links between climate change, migration & refugees & spoke at COP21 in Paris.

Zita studied art & graphic design at the London College of Printing and Watford School of Art. She has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator & make-up artist, and she exhibits at a range of national and international cultural, community, and political events. Zita is a spoken word artist and a performance and published poet. Her campaigning and creative work has been recognized internationally, including by the United Nations. She is part of the UNESCO Coalition of Artists for the General history of Africa.  She is one of 13 British women campaigners featured in the book Here We Stand; Women Changing the World, which won the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing in 2015.  Zita is the author of Striving for Equality Freedom and Justice. Zita curates the Trades Union Congress, Race Relations Committee, the Roots Culture Identity art exhibition, to provide a platform for black and minority ethnic artists.

Arnaud Hubert is a 29-year old Belgian who lives in Brussels. After completing his master’s degree in European Affairs, Arnaud focused his work on labour politics and industrial relations in different research institutes both in Belgium and Ireland such as European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), Think Tank for Action on Social Change (TASC) and Eurofound where he developed great interest for cooperatively owned businesses.

In 2019, Arnaud was sent in the United States by SMartEU – the cooperative for freelance workers in Europe – to explore the feasibility and logistics of introducing a similar cooperative designed after SMartEU model into the USA with the goals of helping self-employed and creative workers share knowledge and create a safe and protected framework. Hosted in Philadelphia, Arnaud conducted his research in partnership with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC).

Jonny Sopotiuk is a queer artist, curator and labour union organizer living and working on the Unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and Tsleil-Watututh people in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was born and raised on Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Over the last two decades Jonny has worked as a community and labour union organizer for union, political and community organizations across Canada. In 2018, Jonny graduated from visual arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC. His interdisciplinary arts practice explores compulsion, control, queerness, power, displacement, colonization, sexuality, and gender through the lenses of production, labour, and work. Jonny is proud to serve as the Vice-President for CARFAC BC and is one of the founding worker members of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative (VALU CO-OP). VALU CO-OP is composed of a group of artists and community organizers who are committed to challenging exploitative labour practices. VALU CO-OP is a unionized workers cooperative that provides direct sustainable and flexible employment for artists through services to the community. Jonny believes that artists deserve a living wage, decent benefits and to retire with dignity and support.

Lise Soskolne is an artist and core organizer of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.). An organizer within W.A.G.E. since its founding in 2008 and its core organizer since 2012, she began working in arts presenting and development at downtown New York City nonprofits in 1998. Venues have included Anthology Film Archives, Artists Space, Diapason Gallery for Sound, Meredith Monk/The House Foundation for the Arts, Participant Inc, and Roulette Intermedium.


Modifications to the CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule

April Britski is the Executive Director of CARFAC, Canada’s national association for visual artists. She has worked and volunteered as an art educator, curator, and arts administrator since 1998, and joined the staff of CARFAC National in 2005. She is a co-founder of Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa and the Visual Arts Alliance, and she has served on several boards of cultural policy and artist-run organizations. April’s primary responsibility at CARFAC is the development and implementation of organizational policies and strategies related to artists’ legal and economic rights. She is actively involved in the research, development, and coordination of advocacy efforts, including CARFAC’s Artist’s Resale Right campaign. She assists with negotiating collective agreements for visual and media artists under the Status of the Artist Act, as well as other national voluntary agreements with presenters. Originally from Saskatchewan, April currently resides in Burnaby on the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish Nations including the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, and Tsawwassen Nations.