Rights and Responsibilities of Self-employed Artists

The Status of the Artist Act (Act) has a number of provisions for artists that include:

  • the right to freedom of association and expression (section 3);
  • the right to have access to advisory forums in which they may express their views on their status and on any other questions concerning them (section 3);
  • the right to join an artists' association and to participate in its formation, activities and administration (section 8);
  • the right, as regular members of a certified artists' association, to take part and vote in the meetings of the association and to participate in the ratification vote on any scale agreement that affects them (section 23);
  • the right, as members of a certified artists' association, of access to a copy of a financial statement of the affairs of the association to the end of the previous fiscal year, certified to be a true copy by the authorized officer of the association (section 23);
  • the right to be notified, through the Canada Gazette or other means that the Board considers appropriate, that an application for certification of a particular sector has been filed with the Board in order to have the opportunity to express their interests (section 25 of the Act and section 26 of the Procedural Regulations);
  • the right to negotiate a contract that is more favourable than what is provided for under the scale agreement negotiated by the artists' association representing the sector (section 33).


The Act also sets out certain procedural rights for artists that include:

Artists also have other important rights under the Act which include:

Responsibilities of self-employed artists

Examples of the obligations and prohibitions applicable to artists include:

  • the requirement not to participate in, authorize or apply pressure tactics against a producer until after the commencement of the legal period for such tactics (section 46);
  • the requirement not to use intimidation or coercion to try to force anyone to become or cease from being a member of an artists' association (section 52).
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