CARFAC Ontario
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Ontario Artists' Legal Access & Support Network


The Ontario Artists’ Legal Access & Support Network (OALASN) is a collaboration between CARFAC Ontario artists and ALAS (Artists’ Legal Advice Services) lawyers. 

Questions?

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us with further questions, concerns, or for general assistance outreach@carfacontario.ca

Our Support Network consists of:

  •  One-on-one meetings with volunteer lawyers coordinated by ALAS, to discuss issues such as copyright, contracts, or other legal issues related to an artist’s career. Lawyers provide a free, 30 minute session of summary legal advice and information to help artists better understand specific legal issues and challenges.
  • One-on-one support from a Ontario-based practicing artist to help and encourage artists by discussing and pointing you towards various resources and services available, and to further assist you in navigating any access barriers to information and support. 

  • Roundtable discussions and webinars on specific legal topics that affect a large population of our sector. If you would like to suggest legal topics or concerns impacting artists in your community, please get in touch!

  • Resource building to provide continuous support that helps artists inform and advocate for themselves and their peers, aimed towards building a sustainable, safe, and thriving sector.
  • Experimenting with new models to bring together artists and lawyers for meaningful exchanges and valuable knowledge-sharing so that artists are empowered to voice and act upon their rights.

This collaboration has been formed to provide and prioritize free legal advice and information, one-on-one artist support, and resources for artists who lack access to these kinds of supports due to overlapping systemic barriers such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, and/or misogyny. We also acknowledge that these barriers can be compounded by mental health issues, disabilities, poverty, legal/immigration status, access to education, experience in the justice system, among other ongoing barriers

Our intention is to support artists through a holistic lens of care. Programs are developed in response to issues artists have identified. We are here to connect with you individually so as to better understand the challenges you are facing, and how we may be able to provide support.

Access / Accommodation

Access and accommodation needs we are able to provide upon request*:

  • ASL interpreted meetings via ZOOM
  • Information documents for screen-readers and TTS software / devices
  • Phone call meeting for artists with sparse and/or no access to the internet** 
  • BIPOC lawyers**
  • Queer and/or Trans lawyers**
  • Artist's personal support workers (PSW) and/or peer-support to attend lawyer meeting(s)**

*Please keep in mind that we will require a minimum of 2 weeks to make the necessary accommodations and requests.

**We will do our best to accommodate, however we are not currently able to guarantee these arrangements and will assess case-by-case. PSW and/or peer-supports must be provided by the artist themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

ALAS Volunteer Lawyers:

DO:

  • Meet with you and discuss your legal matter on a confidential basis
  • Provide summary legal advice to you as a creator in the context of the  discipline in which you work
  • Provide legal information or recommend appropriate resources appropriate 


DO NOT:

  • Provide you with legal services after your meeting
  • Represent you—you will not form an ongoing lawyer-client relationship with the lawyer
  • Help artists with upcoming court dates
  • Provide legal information and/or advice in regards to family law, criminal law, tax law, real-estate law or most employment law (ie. unrelated to your artistic practice).

One-On-One Artist Support:

DO:

  • Listen to your issues and concerns
  • Discuss and suggest strategies to navigate difficult situations
  • Point you towards services and resources
  • Discuss strategies so that you can effectively advocate for yourself
  • Connect you to the broader arts community
  • Assist you with filling in the ALAS Legal Clinic intake form

DO NOT: 

  • Provide legal advice or legal information (see above, re. ALAS volunteer lawyers)
  • Summarize or help you interpret legal advice or information given to you by ALAS volunteer lawyers

CARFAC Ontario members, please note that you can continue to access pro-bono legal advice through our Visual Artists' Legal Clinic of Ontario (VALCO) program.  





Meet the Coordinators:

Flora Shum (Coordinator, CARFAC Ontario) is a Hong Kong born-Tkaronto/Toronto based artist, educator, and cultural worker. She co-runs Paperhouse Studio, where she carries forward the vision for paper as the medium, and leads community arts-based programming for underserved youth. She is also a member of duo collective—AURA. Her artistic practice is experimental and collaborative by nature, with roots in papermaking, printmaking, and book arts, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Flora’s arts professional practice explores community activation and mobilization through the arts, bridging community and contemporary arts. She has facilitation experience of over 10 years, notably with OCAD University, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Public Library, Peter Pitseolak School (Kinngait, NU.), Attagoyuk Ilisavik (Pangnirtung, NU.), and Mozilla Foundation.

outreach@carfacontario.ca / (647) 697-0033

Tyler Kowalchuk (Project Coordinator, ALAS) comes to ALAS with a broad background in the visual arts, arts administration, and education. Particularly interested in the intersection of art and politics, he remains keen to focus his efforts on issues related to affecting social impact and change through the arts. At ALAS, Tyler will be providing project support for the virtual legal clinic and strategic direction on related initiatives.

coordinator@alasontario.ca

The Ontario Artists' Legal Access & Support Network is supported by:




WHO WE ARE

CARFAC Ontario is the association of visual and media artists in Ontario. Our vision is for vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities in which we as artists are properly recognized for the role we play.

CONTACT US

(416) 340-8850
(877) 890-8850 Toll Free

ADDRESS

414 - 401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON    M5V 3A8

REMOTE OFFICE HOURS

Tues - Fri,  12 - 5PM
please call or email ahead

CARFAC Ontario is supported by our members and the following organizations:

          

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