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New Membership Fees

January 31, 2019

Every year the Board of Directors evaluates CARFAC Ontario’s membership fees to determine whether or not an increase is needed to keep up with rising costs. Membership fees were last updated in 2012 and as of April 1, 2019 there will be a necessary increase to membership fees. We encourage you to take advantage of the current rates, and renew your membership by March 31, 2019.

Introducing new membership categories!

We are also excited to announce the introduction of new membership levels created in response to feedback from our members.

Starting April 1, 2019, artists will be able to join at the Senior level. This category has been created to allow artists 65 years and older to continue with membership well into their career. Proof of age is required for this membership category.

A new organizational membership has been created to reflect organizations with varying operating budgets. Three options for arts organizations are as follows:

  • operating budget under $250K will be $150 per year *NEW CATEGORY*

  • operating budget between $250 - 500K will now be $200 per year

  • operating budget over $500K will now be $300 per year

Notice of Artists' Day Planner

January 12, 2019


Happy New Year!

With the new calendar year beginning for 2019 we have had a few requests for the CARFAC Ontario Artists’ Day Planner. Unfortunately, the Artists' Day Planner will not be available this year. We apologize that this information is coming to you at such a late date, especially for those who have made purchasing the day planner an annual custom.

After lengthy consideration, the board has come to the decision to discontinue the Artists’ Day Planner. Some of the reasons behind this include decreased sales, and an increased preference amongst members for digital planning tools. The Board also evaluated resources needed to produce the Artists’ Day Planner— staff labour, grant writing time, summer students’ hours— and concluded that the current format was unsustainable. This is particularly relevant given CARFAC Ontario’s current, reduced staff complement, and our need to focus on providing essential services to members.

We recognize that many of our members may be disappointed by this news, and appreciate your ongoing support of CARFAC Ontario. We will continue to publish granting and submission opportunities frequently on our various channels, and encourage you to stay engaged via CARFAC ONline and social media. Be sure to pass on any items of interest that may be of interest to fellow members, and if you are interested in volunteering on a committee please visit our website. We look forward to sharing upcoming projects with you in the near future.


The CARFAC Ontario Board of Directors

CARFAC Ontario in Thunder Bay

December 15, 2018

On December 14 & 15th, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery hosted "Get to Know Your Arts Service Organization (ASO): A panel for Northern visual and craft artists." 

This was a free in-person discussion with CARFAC Ontario, Craft Ontario, and OAC about how Arts Service Organizations can support visual arts and craft careers in northern Ontario.

Discussion topics included:

How ASO’s can support and advocate for your rights as an artist

Stories of impact, told by artists from Northern Ontario

Payment for artists, contracts, and more

Panelists include:

Maura Broadhurst, Ontario Arts Council

Sally Lee, CARFAC Ontario

Janna Hiemstra, Craft Ontario

Cheryl Wilson Smith, glass artist and current CARFAC Ontario Member (Red Lake)

Jean Marshall, craft artist (Fort William First Nation)


Maura Broadhurst, Denise Smith, Cheryl Wilson-Smith, Jean Marshall, Janna Hiemstra, Sally Lee, and Alana Forslund

A special thank you to Ontario Arts Council for funding this event, especially Alana Forslund, Northwestern Representative at 1-807-632-4575 or


November 28, 2018

The demand for content has never been greater – in Canada and beyond – yet it has never been more challenging for artists to receive payment when their work is used. Blockchain technology holds the potential to change things for the better. A new ecosystem, powered by exponential technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence, is emerging that will evolve the way visual artists engage with content. We believe this is the future of rights management.

Blockchain 101 for Visiual Artists seminar, jointly organized by CARFAC Ontario, Access Copyright and its innovation lab, Prescient, addresses blockchain’s potential for visual artists. Learn what blockchain is, how it works, and what it means for artists. More information can be found at . 

About Access Copyright ( Access Copyright is a collective voice of creators and publishers in Canada. A non-profit, national organization, we represent tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works.

Through agreements with sister organizations around the world we also represent the works of hundreds of thousands of foreign creators and publishers. This rich repertoire of content is highly valued, by educators, students, researchers, corporate employees and others who need to copy and share content.

About Access Copyright’s Innovation Lab, Prescient ( Prescient is exploring the future of rights management and content monetization. We're building a dynamic ecosystem for creators (including writers, publishers, visual artists and photographers) and their audiences that will enable novel ways for creators to engage their audiences and share their work.

L: CARFAC Ontario's General Manager, Elissa Pendergast R: Access Copyright's Chief Innovation Officer,  Sapanpreet Singh Narang & CEO Roanie Levy

CARFAC Ontario in the Classroom

October 31, 2018

Outgoing Executive Director Sally Lee met with a whip-smart group of Humber Arts Management students to talk artist fees, contracts, artist rights and advocacy.

Executive Director Sally Lee and Students at Humber Arts Management Students

CARFAC Ontario's New Secretary: Teresa Carlesimo

October 28, 2018

Teresa Carlesimo (Canadian-American) is an interdisciplinary artist currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen's University where her research considers various systems of power, class and empire as integral to the analysis of environmental crisis. Since her first involvement in Artist-run culture as an undergraduate, and shortly thereafter during her early work as a programming and organizational member of the MayWorks Festival of Labour, she has had a sustained interest in the economic issues facing living artists, and advocating for artists as workers.

As a cultural worker more broadly, she has served on the board of galleries and Artist-Run Centres, and facilitated and organized public projects, performances, interventions, and conferences. Her most recent project co-organized with Michael DiRisio was a weekend-long conference and parallel arts programming event titled Art & Social Strata which took place across various venues in Hamilton, Ontario and converged on the themes of increasing precarity, rising levels of debt, and inequality in the arts, and focus on the work being done by those artists and cultural workers who often remain underrepresented within the creative sector more broadly. research considers various systems of power, class and empire as integral to the analysis of environmental crisis. Since her first involvement in Artist-run culture as an undergraduate, and shortly thereafter during her early work as a programming and organizational member of the MayWorks Festival of Labour, she has had a sustained interest in the economic issues facing living artists, and advocating for artists as workers.

In her art practice her recent work explores labour, extractivism, and the urban built environment through large-scale immersive installations, with recent and forthcoming exhibitions including Museum London, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Rodman Hall Art Centre and the Thames Art Gallery. Her writing has been published in exhibition publications and catalogues, as well as in recent and forthcoming publications w

hich include Performance Research, Public Journal, Art Papers and Blackflash. Her work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Graduate Scholarships, Queen's School of Graduate and Professional Students, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, among others.

CARFAC Ontario's 2018 Annual General Meeting

October 28, 2018

Voting members met with the Board and staff of CARFAC Ontario to discuss the 2018 Annual General Meeting. Items presented: President's and Executive Director's Report; CARFAC National's news presented by Yael Brotman; Election of new Board Member Teresa Carlesimo; and Financials presented by the Auditor.  

CARFAC Ontario's President Kohila Kurunathan, Past-President Yael Brotman, Treasurer Clayton Windatt & Executive Director Sally Lee

Notice to Members and the Community -
Organizational Restructuring and Staffing Changes at CARFAC Ontario

October 24, 2018

As the arts climate changes CARFAC Ontario is adapting in order to remain an arts leader and ensure we remain a robust, well-resourced professional association serving the needs of many artists across Ontario. After much debate, consideration and strategic planning, CARFAC Ontario is restructuring our organizational operations to better accommodate the ever-changing needs of our membership and the larger visual arts community. CARFAC Ontario board and staff have engaged in a vigorous process of reorganization and reflection, taking into account programmatic needs, support services required to advance organizational goals, and effective budget planning for the next 3 years. We have collectively come to the conclusion that in the face of a drastic reduction over in recent years in revenues from project grants, which we had traditionally relied on to provide additional support for our basic operations,  our immediate priority is to make the most out of our limited financial resources  through reducing  staff expenses, while enhancing board and committee functions until we are able to build up our self-generated revenues and establish a more sustainable and self-sufficient operating model.

It is therefore with mixed feelings that we announce that as of November 1, Executive Director Sally Lee will end her tenure of over 3 years at the helm of the organization and that after 9 years, Operations Manager Victoria Glizer’s last day of service to CARFAC Ontario will be December 7. The board would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of both Victoria and Sally during their time on staff at CARFAC Ontario and thank them for their unwavering commitment to our members and the visual arts community.

Elissa Pendergast will continue to oversee day-to-day operations part-time as General Manager to ensure minimal disruption to front-line member servicing. Executive functions will become the responsibility of volunteer board members, with additional support from a robust committee structure that will benefit from the active participation of our artist members and individuals from the visual arts community at large. Sally will continue to be involved with CARFAC Ontario on an ad hoc basis as appropriate.

Executive functions will become the responsibility of volunteer board members, with additional support coming from robust committee and working group structures comprised of our members. We believe that both the organization and the entire community will benefit from the active participation of our artist members and individuals from the visual arts community at large, and we invite you to keep an eye out for updates related to the formation of these new committees and working groups.

CARFAC Ontario understands that reduced staffing will require some changes to the way we operate in the short term – for instance, we will now be asking members who wish to speak with us in person to make an appointment. Regardless, we believe that we will be able to continue to uphold our mission and mandate.

We do not take these actions lightly and feel strongly that this is the only path to ensure the ability of the organization to survive and thrive moving forward. We bring this information to you as we all feel that it is important to include you in these major organizational changes. CARFAC Ontario is among the most highly regarded professional arts associations in Canada and we want to show the world our shared vision of a bright future: It will take all of us to build this future together. Your interest and involvement are critical to this successful organizational restructuring.

CARFAC Ontario’s board of directors, and both outgoing and continuing staff will be available on-site at during the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, October 28 to answer questions from our members and explain details for our collective futures and how we can all take part in being involved.

Contact info moving forward is as follows:

General Inquiries:

Elissa Pendergast, General Manager:

Board of Directors:

PH: 416-340-8850 (toll free: 1-877-890-8850)

CARFAC's 50 Year Anniversary

October 21, 2018

In 2018, CARFAC celebrates 50 years as an artist-run organization. Since 1968 we have accomplished so much but there is so much more to be done: artists still need solidarity, guidelines for fair payment, and self-representation on public policy issues ranging from copyright to taxation, and beyond. As our founder Jack Chambers once said, CARFAC “appeals to the ‘doers’, to the people who try to create the conditions they want to live and work in.” For over five decades, it is important to remember that thousands of artists have committed their time and energy, working together from coast to coast.

On Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Forest City Gallery, London, Ontario, many joined in celebration to hear Aidan Urquhart talk about what CARFAC has meant to him – both as the son of CARFAC’s co-founder Tony Urquhart and as a visual artist and local CARFAC advocate. Following this was a presentation on copyright, designed by visual artists, for visual artists, presented by Copyright Visual Arts’ Licensing Officer, Rose Ekins. Topics include information about copyright royalties and the CARFAC Fee Schedule, the Artist’s Resale Right, Moral Rights, Fair Dealing, the difference between an assignment and a license, and the benefits of joining a copyright collective. Many great champions of CARFAC Ontario were present including Jamelie Hassan and Ron Benner. 

Images of Jamelie Hassan presenting and of Rose Ekins of Copyright Visual Arts

North Bay Creative Summit

September 30, 2018

CARFAC Ontario Executive Director Sally Lee was in North Bay for the 2018 Creative Summit being hosted by Creative Industries North to participate in two professional development sessions taking place on Saturday, September 29 at the WPK Gallery. The sessions were as follows:

- Info session together with Craft Ontario

- Creative Lab one-on-one sessions

(Other one-on-one sessions include Craft OntarioOntario Arts CouncilAboriginal Curatorial Collective, Artist-Run Centres Collectives Ontario, Canada Cultural Spaces FundThe Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound.)

We are grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for making it possible for CARFAC Ontario to participate in the Summit, especially Alana Forslund, Northwestern Representative at 1-807-632-4575 or


Photos by Vanessa Tignanelli of Executive Director, Sally Lee

Toronto Outdoor Art Festival 2018

July 6 - 8, 2018


CARFAC Ontario's team was at the TOAF '18 this year to answer your questions! From memberships, to resources, and more. 

Congratulations to the following award winners from this year's TOAF. In addition to their award, they received a complimentary year membership with CARFAC Ontario. Welcome!

Ivanna Hreshchuk - Founding Chairman's Award

Moira Ness - Catherine Bratty Award for Best of Art Fair

Kima Lenaghan - Best of Student Award 

Myseum Connects

June 6, 2018

Executive Director, Sally Lee and Membership and Communications Manager, Elissa Pendergast attended Myseum Connects Borders + Barriers: Creating Cultural Connections for Newcomers put on by Myseum of Toronto at the Centre for Social Innovation downtown Toronto. Grant information from the Ontario Arts Council, Staying Updated with Paralia Newcomer Arts Network, and Employment in Arts and Culture WorkInCulture presented each breakout sessions. It was great to see the Arts and Cultural Sector come out to help connect newcomers in the GTA to the various organizations and resources.

National Gallery of Canada Agreement

Ottawa, June 1, 2018

On May 28th, visual artists from across Canada have once again voted to approve a new scale agreement with the National Gallery of Canada. In January and March of 2018, negotiation teams from CARFAC, RAAV, and the National Gallery of Canada met about the terms of our scale agreement, first signed in 2015. The negotiations were successful, and our members have ratified a new four-year agreement that includes fee increases for many categories offered to living Canadian artists who are engaged by the gallery.

The agreement covers terms and conditions for the exhibition and reproduction of works of art, as well as the provision of professional services by living Canadian artists. It includes mandatory minimum fees and working conditions offered to artists by the gallery. Artists remain free to negotiate above these minimums, but they can never be offered less.

The agreement includes significant increases in fees paid for temporary exhibitions (for example, $9,500 for a solo exhibition, and $17,500 to represent Canada in a solo show at the Venice Biennale), and reproduction fee categories have been streamlined. All professional services fees have increased, and artists will be compensated for their work in preparing and installing an exhibition, providing lectures and participating in other speaking engagements, attendance at media events and exhibition openings, and offering skills workshops.

“It's great news for all artists everywhere in Canada. This historic scale agreement between CARFAC/RAAV and the National Gallery of Canada, significantly improves conditions for artists working with the NGC but also sets a standard for galleries across the country. Big thanks to our membership for taking the time to vote and making this happen!” said CARFAC National president, Ingrid Mary Percy.

“We are very pleased to acknowledge that the scale agreement with the NGC was renewed, this time for a longer period, and with significant increases in fees paid to artists. We also note the improvements regarding the management of the scale agreement, which will ensure stability for many years,” said RAAV president, Moridja Kitenge Banza.

The agreement will be in place from June 1, 2018 for a period of four years, and it is available online on the websites of CARFAC and RAAV.

Voting for this agreement closed on May 28th. Most members of CARFAC and RAAV voted online, and results were collected and reported externally by Sémato-Sondage polling services on May 29th. Members who voted by paper ballot returned their ballots by May 28th and ballots were delivered to external vote scrutinizers at ACTRA and Illustration Québec, who reported back to us on May 29th. All scrutinizers involved reported that CARFAC and RAAV members were overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying the terms of the agreement between CARFAC/RAAV and the National Gallery of Canada. Over 30% of CARFAC and RAAV members voted, with all but two members voting to approve the agreement.

Contact: Renuka Bauri, Dir. Communications & Advocacy at or 1.613.233.6161

New Creative Property Tax Class!

May 8, 2018

"At 401 Richmond in Downtown Toronto, a reception was held on the heritage building's rooftop deck to celebrate new provincial legislation that will have the effect of protecting buildings like it from redevelopment in high demand areas in the city where recent assessments have meant steep increases in taxes." - New Property Tax Class to Bring Relief to Arts and Culture Hubs of

“Dear Person I’ve Been Reluctant To Keep Engaging With But Have Had To For Professional Reasons.”

May 8, 2018

CARFAC National and CARFAC Ontario will be working with groups representing other disciplines as part of a Respectful Workplaces Committee being convened by the Cultural Human Resources Council to address gendered harassment and promote gender equity in the arts and culture sector.

Some of the work includes learning from what others are doing in this area. One great example is a campaign taking place in Australia. While developing a code of practice, they have in the meantime put together a list of reflective questions useful "for boards or sector leaders who receive an anonymous complaint about a third party" which we think is work sharing for now as well:

"1. The safety of individuals is paramount. Is there an immediate threat to the safety of an artist, staff member or other stakeholder? What is the nature and extent of that threat? What will the board do to protect each of these people? Is the board confident of providing the most useful referrals if support services or the police ought to be involved?

2. How current are the allegations? Is the person against whom the allegations are made still involved with the organisation and, if so, in what way? What conversations need to be had? What if anything needs to change about their work arrangements?

3. What steps is the board taking for the health and well-being of any member of staff or other stakeholder, including against fear of retribution?

4. Has the board sought advice from counsellors, police, publicists, lawyers and any other professionals who would be best placed to support a consideration of any action and the impact of those actions on artists, staff, the board, the organisation and the public?

5. Is the board documenting its decisions and actions? For its own protection, and to promote ethical decision-making, a record should be kept of what was decided and the reasons why.

6. Before taking any action, is the board confident of according procedural fairness, respecting the laws of defamation, and anticipating likely consequences – including through the media?

7. What will the board do to affirm the organisation’s commitment to avoiding harassment, bullying or abuse of power? And what will the organisation do to promote cultural change within the sector as a whole?"

Statement from CARFAC about artists facing CRA audits

May 4, 2018

As the date for filing taxes approached earlier this week, artists across Canada were alarmed to hear that artist Steve Higgins is being audited by the CRA.

On one hand, it’s not surprising that artists may be scrutinized by CRA. You are more likely to be at risk for assessment if you are self-employed, if you regularly report a business loss, or if your income varies considerably from year to year.

However, the circumstances of this audit are of unique concern because it appears that CRA declares his practice is a personal endeavor, or hobby, rather than a business. This is based on their assertion that income generated from grants, honorariums, and awards rather than sales of art are not eligible to claim related expenses against. This decision is worrisome for several reasons. Firstly, CRA bulletin IT-504R2 states factors used to determine if an artist has a reasonable expectation of profit and has achieved professional status. Mr. Higgins adequately proved he meets these criteria. Moreover, the disregard of public funding as an eligible income source from which expenses can be deducted not only shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how contemporary artists work in Canada, but it is inconsistent with CRA’s own advice on Artists’ Project Grants.

CARFAC is providing Mr. Higgins with assistance during his appeal process because the potential for his case setting a precedent for all artists is untenable. We are now aware that other artists have been audited or reassessed recently for a variety of reasons, and we are working to determine if there are any other worrisome trends. We invite artists to contact us if they have experienced an audit from CRA recently, so that we can gain a greater understanding of the issue.

On a larger advocacy front, the Canadian Arts Coalition has formed an Artist Taxation Working group which is writing a letter to the Minister of National Revenue about our concerns regarding recent audits of Canadian artists, and to request a review of policies that affect artists as it relates to taxation. We will help people who want to get involved by writing to their MP and relevant ministers – details to come soon. We also hope to convene a meeting of National Arts Service Organizations and other stakeholders to talk about taxation policy issues, so that we may bring forward meaningful recommendations for change, such as income averaging, or tax breaks on grants, awards, and copyright royalties.

We are hopeful that Mr. Higgins has a positive outcome in his appeal process, and that his experience is an unfortunate anomaly rather than a change in direction at CRA. We also hope that the discussions coming out of this situation will lead to positive policy change for all artists.

In solidarity,

April Britski,

National Executive Director, CARFAC and Co-chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s Artist Taxation Working Group.

In the Classroom

April 13, 2018

Executive Director Sally Lee presented to Jeanne LeSage's Arts Policy class at Humber College about CARFAC, artists' rights, and arts advocacy and policy yesterday. What a great opportunity to meet our future arts leaders - smart, curious, engaged, and passionate about the valuable role of art and artists in society!

Great News!

April 5, 2018

It’s not often we get to celebrate such a clear cut advocacy win! CARFAC Ontario is especially honoured to be a part of the ODSP & Grants Coalition. Not only does removing barriers for artists with disabilities benefit those artists, it also ensures that we as an entire society hear a diverse range of voices from our communities and are able to benefit from a full range of artistic expression!

Here is a link to a newly revised brochure reflecting that arts grants are no longer counted as income/assets by when calculating payment amounts/eligibility for social assistance from for ODSP and Ontario Works! 

Please share widely!

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