Fifty Days to the Supreme Court

Artists will head to the Supreme Court in just 50 days to defend their right to minimum artist fees at the National Gallery of Canada. 

For the last 11 years, the organizations that represent visual artists, CARFAC and RAAV, have been trying to negotiate standards for the payment of artists at the National Gallery that would be binding – similar to a minimum wage.

In 2007, the gallery suddenly refused to negotiate these fees; they argue that artists have the right to be paid less if they choose.

CARFAC and RAAV are continuing the legal battle to show the gallery that artists will not allow for this kind of attitude any longer.

Here are some numbers that paint a quick picture of this ongoing fight:

  • $57 million: The gallery's 2012 operating budget
  • $370,000: The gallery director's travel and hospitality costs since 2009
  • $7,652: Exhibition fees paid to artists in 2009
  • 11: The number of years since negotiations began
  • $619,499: The gallery's legal costs fighting artists up to 2011
  • $8,000: The median yearly income for a visual artist

Your donation to CARFAC of $25, $50 or whatever you can afford will help to make it clear to the gallery that artists not only have legal rights, but are prepared to defend them. Donations of more than $10 will receive a tax receipt. Many have contributed to this campaign and CARFAC is now more than halfway to the $50,000 fundraising goal.

If you have not had a chance, please consider making a contribution. If you have already contributed, please share this story with your friends. 

For more information, visit

©2019 BC Alliance for Arts + Culture. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy