Artist Fees

CARFAC / RAAV Minimum Fee Schedules  

Since 1968, CARCC and CARFAC have issued schedules of royalties or fees for the use of the copyrights of visual/media artists.

The schedules were initially developed by Jack Chambers and Tony Urquhart in 1968 and have been updated by CARCC over the years based on rates negotiated, the cost of living, and harmonization with RAAV (our sister organization in Quebec).

All fees are considered minimum payments for the use of the copyrights and/or the professional services of visual/media artists.

Canadian Artists' Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuals (RAAV) have held meetings with the Canadian Art Museum Directors' Organization (CAMDO) and the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) to discuss a fair level of payment for exhibition fees. The meetings began in 2004, when CARFAC released its new formula for the CARFAC Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule. The fees primarily refer to royalties that are paid by museums to publicly present an artist's work, and are paid in recognition of the artist's copyright ownership of their works.

On November 19 and 20, 2007, representatives from CARFAC and RAAV met with CMA and CAMDO to negotiate a new agreement with a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario as mediator. Subsequently, the agreement was formally approved by the national boards of all organizations involved. The announcement of this agreement was made at the opening of the Visual Arts Summit, where over 450 artists, dealers, collectors and museum officials were present on November 25th, 2007.

The new streamlined fee schedule goes into effect on January 1, 2008 for a 5-year term, and will be adjusted annually by a 3% increase. Fees are determined by the institution's budget size accordingly: operational budgets under $500,000, operational budgets over $500,000, International I, and International II.

The fees indicated in the agreement are recommended minimums, and as such, artists are free to negotiate up from these minimums. 

Due to our current negotiations with the National Gallery of Canada under Status of the Artist law, fees for this institution are being negotiated outside this agreement.


"In 1968, a number of artists from across Canada recognized the need for collective representation of common professional concerns. Together they founded CARFAC... At the first National Conference in 1971, CARFAC members endorsed the principle of fair compensation through payment of fees to artists when their work is shown in public galleries. Today the CARFAC Minimum Exhibition Fee Schedule is established in principle and in practice. "
(CARFAC membership brochure 1994)

By convention, the Schedule, now known as the CARFAC/RAAV Minimum Copyright Fee Schedule, is usually seen as a standard.

The Exhibition Right

On June 8, 1988, the Copyright Act was amended to provide an Exhibition Right:  "to present at a public exhibition, for a purpose other than sale or hire, an artistic work created after coming into force of this paragraph, other than a map, chart or plan or cinematographic production that is protected as a photograph"...

...With the passage of Bill C-60, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act, the law now recognizes the unique nature of artistic works. Under certain conditions, each time an artistic work is exhibited, its creator is entitled to a royalty. Thus, the exhibition right is now an integral part of copyright that can be exercised like any of the other economic rights set out in the Copyright Act.

Although relatively new to the Canadian Copyright Act, the issue, concept and practice of the exhibition right are not new to Canada. Before Bill C-60 was passed, most major public art galleires and museums voluntarily followed an exhibition fee schedule established by CARFAC. The schedule applied to artistic works loaned by an artist to an exhibitor, but did not apply to artistic works owned by an exhibitor or other owners. Bill C-60 now provides for the application of exhibition rights to all artistic works, regardless of who owns them. 

(excerpted from THE RIGHT OF PUBLIC PRESENTATION - A Guide to the Exhibition Right, written by Wanda Noel and published by The Canadian Conference of the Arts in 1990)

NOTE - the addresses listed in the following scanned documents are out of date and many are no longer correct - please check with the agencies for their new contact info!

The Exhibition Right applies to all artistic works created after June 8 1988; and artistic works include painting, sculptures, drawings, photographs and engravings.

One of CARFAC's first principles is the fair payment to artists for use of their work. Among these payments are exhibition fees. Exhibition fees are paid when an artist's work is used by a public exhibition space. Artists should recognize that with the 1988 addition of the Exhibition Right to Canadian copyright law, the payment of exhibition fees is legally required. The CARFAC Minimum Copyright Fee Schedule provides a rate scale for payment. No public exhibition space can operate without artists' work, yet fees remain low.

Public attitudes: In 1988 the Exhibition Right was added to Canadian Copyright law. With this change, Canadian legislators recognized the artist's right to be paid for the use of his or her work. Many public exhibition spaces now realize that payments to artists are a priority. However, many still think that budget items such as staff salaries, promotional materials, and improvements to physical plants take precedence over payments to the artists who provide galleries with art to exhibit. Because copyright legislation allows the artist to waive exhibition rights, some galleries have put pressure on artists to do so as a condition of exhibition.

Costs to galleries: In 1987 Peter Oliphant and RC White made a report to CARFAC on Exhibition Rights. The report pointed out that if all 33 larger public galleries had paid the applicable CARFAC minimum rate exhibition fees for all their exhibitions of work by living artists in the year 1986, they would have paid only $550,000 in total. These larger public galleries had a combined total budget of $54.5 million. Exhibition fees would have been about one per cent of the galleries' total budget. In fact, these larger galleries actually paid approximately only $16,700 (or one three-thousandth of a percent) in fees in 1986. This leads to the inescapable conclusion that not all artists were getting paid.

Costs to Artists: In their 1987 report, Oliphant and White further asserted that "a major public gallery can put on a month's program for its patrons in the form of a Regional Show for only $700 in exhibition fees. Assuming that the preparation of paintings for the show took the artist 400 hours, the fee represents payment for the artist's work at the rate of $1.75 an hour." By 2002-2003, the exhibition fee for a temporary exhibition had increased to $1.224; assuming the same rate of preparation, the artist's hourly rate would be $3.06.

Economic benefit to artists: Exhibition fees can improve artists' economic situations. As an artist, you can:

  • understand that the Minimum Copyright Fee Schedule is a minimum, not a maximum.
  • refuse to waive the exhibition right.
  • choose to exhibit in public exhibition spaces which pay fees.
  • join a copyright collective. The power of association can help ensure that you are paid the fees which the law entitles you to receive.

In Saskatchewan: Public galleries in Saskatchewan have been surveyed regarding payment of exhibition fees. For results, see The Saskatchewan Gallery Survey, available from CARFAC SASK's offices in Saskatoon and Regina.

Artists carry out many tasks in the course of their professional careers that merit fair remuneration. The following are recommended fees for several common tasks. This list is not considered exhaustive – remuneration for any other activities requiring such should be negotiated. These fees are not associated with copyright use, which would be charged separately. They do not include equipment rental costs, travel costs, publication costs, insurance or shipping, or any other cost associated with exhibition production – they are compensation for an artist’s time and labour only.


Presentation - Presentation would include speaking or teaching about an artist’s own work or any area of expertise associated with the work or one’s life as an artist, leading workshops or tours, speaking to school groups, and so on.

Consultation - Consultation means the giving of advice, input or opinions that might be associated with project development, exhibitions, or commissions concerning the artist’s own production, or participation in a consultative process concerned with, for example, policy development in the cultural arena, or participation in a jury or other selection process.

Installation - Installation means overseeing or participation in the installation or de-installation of works for an exhibition on the exhibitor’s premises. Activities associated with installation may include unpacking or packing of works, placing works in an exhibition space, ordering, hanging, adjustment of equipment, and so on.

Preparation - Preparation is the work associated with producing an exhibition that is done outside the exhibitor’s premises. Preparation might include correspondence, telephone calls, preparing plans or reproductions, writing statements, proof-reading, overseeing packing and shipping arrangements, and soon.

Presentation or Consultation

  • $257 - Per half day, under 4 hours
  • $453 - Per day, over 4 hours


  • $229 - Per half day, under 4 hours
  • $383 - Per day, over 4 hours


  • $203 - Per half day, under 4 hours
  • $350 - Per day, over 4 hours

ARTISTS RESALE RIGHT (also known as the droite de suite) requires the payment of a resale royalty to the artist each time their work is resold by a gallery, agent, auction house or dealer. The right generally applies to only to works over a certain value.

The Artists Resale Right is law in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Canadian artists whose work is bought and sold in countries which have the Resale Right should inquire with a rights management agency such as DACS to ascertain if they are eligible to receive payments, or to register if they have negotiated the payment of resale royalties in sales contracts.

Canadian visual artists making sales in Canada, the US and other countries currently without Artists Resale Right Legislation are encouraged to include resale rights agreements in all of their sales contracts (contract templates are available from CARFAC).



  • DACS - Design & Artists Copyright Society - UK
  • CAL - Copyright Agency Limited - AUSTRALIA