Best Practices are industry standards. The Australian National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) developed a comprehensive “Codes of Best Practices” ten years ago. According to NAVA: “Best Practice: The most ethical, equitable and reasonable form of any specific business arrangement between an art/craft professional and his or her employer, commissioner, gallery, agent, sponsor or other party.”
For the visual arts sector, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain are leaders in the development and implementation of Best Practices standards.
Working for CARFAC Saskatchewan, Patrick Close adapted and interpreted NAVA Best Practices for the Saskatchewan and Canadian visual arts sector. According to Patrick Close, best practices can: define expectations for behaviour and interaction; strengthen community; create a pathway for growth and development; can provide a “how-to-do-it-right” guide; provide a context for voluntary sector bargaining; and lead the way to regulation and enforcement. Best Practices: cannot enforce standards; cannot provide collective bargaining and are voluntary, not mandatory.
In Canada, Best Practices policies have been developed by CARFAC National, RAAV, CARFAC Saskatchewan, CARFAC Maritimes and CARFAC Ontario. Examples of Best Practices at work include the CARFAC – RAAV Minimum Copyright and Professional Fee Schedule and the advisory notes that are developed by CARFAC National and Affiliates.
Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC will be initiating some Best Practice Standards for the Alberta Visual Arts and Craft Sector within the next few years. Until industry standards are developed for Alberta’s visual artists, check out the Best Practices for Saskatchewan Visual Arts and Craft Sector from the CARFAC Saskatchewan website.