Artists and Museums Reach Historic Agreement

Thanks to Julianna Yau, in Ottawa for the Visual Arts Summit (We met face-to-face yesterday), for sending this.

Ottawa, November 26, 2007 – A landmark agreement has been reached for the first time in over 40 years between the museum community and artists' organizations over fees for exhibition of artists' works. The agreement puts an end to a long-standing impasse and will lead to a new era of cooperation.

“We are very pleased with this agreement,” said Gerald Beaulieu, President of CARFAC, on behalf of all organizations. “It means that museums and artists' organizations will work closely together on many fronts, including the economic well-being of artists and for improved funding for Canada's museums and galleries.”

On November 19 and 20, 2007, representatives from CARFAC and RAAV met with CMA and CAMDO representatives to hammer out the new deal with a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario as mediator. Subsequently, the agreement has been formally approved by all organizations.

The new streamlined fee schedule goes into effect on January 1, 2008 for a 5-year term and soon will be posted on the partners' websites. It is simplified for ease of administration and provides useful definitions. It will be adjusted annually by a 3% increase.

Most importantly, the parties agreed to pursue the establishment of a new Exhibition Right Fund, similar to the highly successful Public Lending Right Fund, which provides compensation to authors of books used in public libraries. When the new Exhibition Right Fund is established the fee schedule will be renegotiated at that time.

The agreement establishes a joint committee that will advocate for the proposed Exhibition Right Fund, develop templates for standardized contracts for exhibition and acquisition, and address mutual interests which will move the visual arts forward.

The announcement was made at the opening of the Visual Arts Summit, the largest meeting in Canadian history of the visual arts community. Over 450 artists, dealers, collectors and museum officials have gathered in Ottawa to explore new ideas to strengthen the sector and to improve the public appreciation of the visual arts. A statement and action plan will be finalized at the conclusion of the Summit on Tuesday, November 28, 2007.

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For further information, contact:

John McAvity
Executive Director
Canadian Museums Association
613-567-0099 x226

Shawn Van Sluys
Executive Director
Canadian Art Museums Directors' Organization

April Britsky
Executive Director
Canadian Artists' Representation/le Front des artists canadiens (CARFAC)

Christian Bédard
Executive Director
Regroupement des artists en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV)