Artists Resale Right: allowing Canadian artists to benefit from their work

Pierre Nantel, NDP Heritage Critic, Lise Létourneau, artist and past president of le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec, and Andrew Cash, deputy NDP Heritage Critic, announce motion M-445 for an Artists Resale Right, at the studios of Enriched Bread Artists in Ottawa (May 30, 2013).


This Thursday, 30 May, Pierre Nantel launched Motion M-445, to create an Artists Resale Right for Canadian artists.

“A resale right would allow artists to earn a living from their works and benefit from the increased value of their work over time,” said Nantel. “It’s a common-sense solution that must be studied with all culture stakeholders involved, and put in place as soon as possible.”

A resale right would grant visual artists the right to collect a small percentage of the value when one of their works are resold. Many other artists such as musicians and performers receive a royalty whenever their works are played, but currently visual artists only benefit financially from the initial sale.

Motion M-445, announced on May 30, has broad support, especially from the Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV). “Our goal is to start a national conversation on this project to create, like in 69 other countries, a resale right for artists,” added Nantel.  

“An artist’s first sales are often limited. Many artists live below the poverty line,young and senior artists alike,” added Heritage critic Andrew Cash. “We want to ensure that these artists benefit from at least a small percentage of the profits from the resale of their works.”
Right of resale has become an international norm, to the point where 69 countries have adopted it. The motion also calls for a framework allowing Canadian artists to benefit from the resale of their works internationally. 
“It’s only fair--especially when so many live in poverty-- that artists reap some of the benefits when their work is resold at an increased value” concluded Cash. 



What's in motion M-445

M-445 — May 9, 2013 — Mr. Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should implement an Artist Resale Right that:

(a) provides visual artists

with a right to a resale royalty for their artistic works;


(b) is developed in consultation with artists

and artists’ organizations including First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists and artists’ organizations, art galleries, museums, auction houses, art dealers, and other art market professionals;


(c) is fully consistent with the rights of Aboriginal Peoples

as recognized and affirmed in Canada and under International Law; and


(d) permits collection and remuneration

through collective societies which will also allow Canadian artists to benefit from reciprocal international arrangements with the 69 nations who have already implemented an Artist Resale Right.