The Canadian Arts Coalition wants you to consider writing or signing a letter of support for CARFAC’s proposal to bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada.
Some interest has been expressed by the government on the issue and CARFAC hopes that a strong show of support from individuals throughout the Arts + Culture sector will give them enough additional leverage for things to move forward.
To sign on to the letter, you can get in touch with CARFAC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about the Artist’s Resale Right can be found on CARFAC’s website. A sample letter follows…
As members of the arts sector from across Canada and spanning artistic disciplines, we would like to add our support to CARFAC and RAAV’s proposal to bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada.
Already law in at least 69 countries, the Artist Resale Right would give artists 5% when their work is resold. The full value of an artwork often isn’t realized on the initial sale – it is common for visual art to appreciate in value over time, as the reputation of the artist grows. For example, Inuit artist, Kenojuak Ashevak, sold her piece Enchanted Owl in 1960 for $24. It was later resold for $58,650. Ashevak got nothing from the resale.
Artists are the heart of the creative economy – there would be no galleries or art festivals without them. As you know, the arts sector is a huge economic driver, contributing almost $50 billion to Canada’s economy and creating 630,000 jobs. The visual arts play an important role in these numbers. For example, in 2013, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche was attended by more than one million people including 190,000 out-of-town visitors. An Ipsos Reid survey found that the economic impact for Toronto generated by the event was $39.5 million.
And yet half of visual artists in Canada earn less than $8000 per year. Even Governor General Award winning artists are forced to work second jobs to support their art practice. The Artist’s Resale Right is a way to support these artists so they can focus on what they do best – creating the artwork that is the driving force behind the creative economy and generates important economic returns for this country. Best of all, it will not cost the government a dime.
Action from the government to bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada would be widely embraced by the arts sector.