Support builds in Ottawa for the Artist’s Resale Right

Ottawa, Thursday, May 30, 2013 – Support across parties is building in Ottawa for the Artist’s Resale Right. NDP MP Pierre Nantel recently put a motion on the Order Paper of the House of Commons supporting the Artist’s Resale Right and Liberal MP Scott Simms introduced a private member’s bill yesterday. Some Conservative Members of Parliament have expressed their support to CARFAC for visual artists and the concept of the Artist’s Resale Right. These include Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margaret’s. 

The Artist Resale Right will give artists 5% from the resale of their work through auction houses and commercial galleries. It is common for visual art to appreciate in value over time, as the reputation of the artist grows. For example, acclaimed Montreal artist Marcel Barbeau gave a painting to a friend in the 1950s which resold in 2008 for $75,000. Barbeau didn’t receive a penny from this sale.

“There’s support from all over Canada, from North to South, to make sure Canadian artists can benefit from the resale of their works here and abroad,” said Nantel. “Now we also have the support from MPs from across the political spectrum. Artist Resale Right exists in dozens of countries like France, the UK and Australia: now’s the time to make it a reality in Canada.”
“At least 69 nations now provide compensation to artists as their works are sold,” said Mr. Simms. “Sadly, Canada has no regime in place to provide fair compensation for Canadian artists and it is now time that we take our place. Like most other occupations, it is time for our artists to receive recognition for their vision, hard work, and dedication to their craft.
At the same time, support has been building among art market professionals. Earlier this month, Ritchies auction house announced that they would voluntarily pay the Artist’s Resale Right starting with the inaugural Project Contemporalis in May.

“Auction houses have been profiting from the works of great Canadian artists without giving anything back for far too long,” said Gordon Gothreau, head of Ritchies contemporary art department. “Canada must do more to protect its artists – granting artists resale rights is the first step on a long road.”
For more information, visit the CARFAC National website.

Help Bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada:  In the last couple months, more than 680 artists have emailed their MPs encouraging them to bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada. Please take a moment to send an email to your MP through our web form.