Artists overwhelmingly approve Canada’s first labour agreement with the National Gallery

Artists across Canada have voted in record numbers to ratify Canada’s first scale agreement for visual artists at the National Gallery of Canada.

Major gains have been advanced for artists through this agreement, which sets out mandatory minimum fees and working conditions offered to artists by the gallery. Artists remain free to negotiate above these minimums, but they can never be offered less.

The agreement includes significant increases in fees paid for temporary exhibitions (for example, $8,250 for a solo exhibition, and $16,500 to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale), and the gallery is now paying CARFAC’s recommended rates for image reproductions, with some exceptions. Additionally, artists will be compensated for professional services offered to the gallery, including preparation and installation of an exhibition, and providing lectures and public presentations.

“We would like to thank our members for voting and for the commitment you have shown to the importance of this agreement,” said CARFAC president, Grant McConnell.

“The results of this vote indicate artists’ confidence in CARFAC and RAAV as bargaining representatives, as well as the certainty that we have achieved a fair and reasonable agreement with the National Gallery of Canada,” said RAAV president, Manon Pelletier.

The agreement will be in place for 3 years, and includes a 1.5% annual increase. The entire agreement, including contracts and fee schedules, will be posted on CARFAC and RAAV’s websites: and

The vote on this agreement closed on February 23rd at 5pm EST. Ballots voted on by CARFAC members were delivered to external vote scrutinizers Welch LLP, who reported back to us on February 24th that our members were overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying the terms of settlement negotiated between CARFAC and the National Gallery of Canada. In Quebec, RAAV conducted an online vote, collected externally by Sémato. On February 23rd, Sémato informed RAAV that artists in Quebec unanimously approved the agreement.

CARFAC’s voting stats are as follows:

  • 1858 ballots were distributed to eligible artist voting members in good standing
  • 976 ballots were received. The return rate of 53% far surpasses our legal voting requirements.
  • 974 votes cast approving the terms of settlement, representing a 99.8% approval rate.
  • 2 votes cast opposed to the terms of settlement, representing 0.2% of the vote.