CARFAC Ontario

CARFAC Ontario

CARFAC Ontario is one of six regional affiliates under the umbrella of the CARFAC national and operating based on Ontario. With headquarters in Toronto, CARFAC Ontario is artist-run and serves as the representative of visual artists in the province, with a particular emphasis on their economic and legal rights. Membership is broadly based and includes artists working in all media. CARFAC Ontario is a robust, well-resourced professional association serving the needs of visual artists in Ontario. According to the website, the list below delivers core values of CARFAC Ontario.

  • Artist run: artists working for artists and their rights – economic, social, political, social, health and safety.
  • Voice for community of professional artists: speak on behalf of visual artists and their sector; and it speaks with legitimacy because it is the collective voice of artists.
  • Sustainability: develop strategies to stabilize its financial position.
  • Sectoral leadership: establish a pivotal leadership role for instigating change at the sectoral level.

CARFAC Ontario & CARFO History

Today, CARFAC and its provincial affiliates work on many of the same issues. Canadian Artists' Representation (CAR) was founded in London, Ontario in 1968 by artist Jack Chambers as a professional association of Canadian artists. The aim of the association was, and continues to be, to improve the financial and professional status of visual artists in Canada on local, provincial and national levels. In 1974, Canadian Artists' Representation Ontario (CARO), now known as CARFAC Ontario, was provincially incorporated as a non-profit organization and in 1978, the national organization was incorporated as CARFAC (Canadian Artists' Representation/le Front des artistes canadiens).

With headquarters in Toronto, CARFAC Ontario is artist-run and serves as the representative of visual artists in the province, with a particular emphasis on their economic and legal rights. The organization provides advice and support in artists' negotiations with individuals and institutions and provides educational services to the broader public through publications on creator's rights in arts production. Membership is broadly based and includes artists working in all media.

Canadian Arts Resources Foundation of Ontario (CARFO) was formed in 2003 in order to complement the work of its sister organization Canadian Artist Representation/ Le Front Des Artistes Canadiens (CARFAC Ontario). CARFO was formed with a three-pronged mandate:

  • provide emergency funds for artists facing economic uncertainty;
  • serve as an education outlet for the public, informing them about the visual arts. This might include workshops, seminars and conferences on the visual arts for which CARFO may provide bursaries to attend, as well as establish and maintain a library of resources on the visual arts;
  • produce a visual arts festival in order to educate and advance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts.

CARFO finds itself lacking in the area of sufficient capital and healthy financial systems and arrangements to fully carry out its mandate. It has only disbursed a limited amount of funds, on the order of $ 250 annually, to artists. As well, CARFO runs largely with the resources of CARFAC Ontario. Its primary staff member maintains the foundation while at the same time working as the Executive Director of CARFAC Ontario. The organization also uses CARFAC Ontario’s website and Toronto office to run its operations. While this is not uncommon for sister organizations, in both the not-for-profit and private sectors, CARFO lacks administrative and human resources to be seen as a legitimate entity unto itself. Similarly, CARFO lacks visibility in the artist community within Ontario. While CARFO has contributed $2,400 to CARFAC Ontario’s education programs, it lacks the formal structure needed to meet its educational mandate. The number of donations and recipients of its funds are due to CARFO’s limited public profile.

CARFO recently submitted an application to the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit’s Society (AFBS) Community Investment Fund for $7500 in order to contract a consultant over a period of 8 months. During this time the consultant will develop several tools that will be key to CARFO’s strategic planning, identity and operations.

Opportunity & Threats Analysis


  • Potential to develop stronger relationship with municipally-owned galleries, spaces and events (festivals) to educate about visual arts resources, standards and best practices, including CARFAC fee schedule
  • Membership revenue over the most recent seven years has increased steadily from $39,349 in 2005 to $53,296 in 2011 – an increase in earned revenue from this source of more than a third (35.4%);
  • Membership growth potential in two key geographic blocs: GTA and the rest of the province

Potential Threats

  • CARFAC Ontario currently operates in an economy that is not stable:
  • New communications technologies pose a threat to artists’ intellectual property rights;
  • Government support to their funding agencies at both the federal and provincial levels are curtailed for the near future as governments address current debt levels.
  • Current level and capacity of staffing is unable to support aggressive membership campaign;
  • High levels of non-renewing members (853 lapsed between 2006 – 2001: from July of 2006, through to March 2011, CARFAC Ontario has succeeded in attracting almost a thousand new members; however, over the same period of time, they had some 853 members fail to renew their membership – for a net gain of only 124 new members);
  • Inefficiencies of internal technology platform;

About “Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair”

8th artist project exhibition was open from February 19 to 22, 2015 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto. From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, visitors could can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. The show was a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists at Toronto’s favorite art fair. We got information that members of CARFAC Ontario have plan to participate the fair from website. We enjoyed two booths of artist named Marianne Gibson and Wayne Kodje.

Marianne Gibson (Encaustic Artist)

Gail Streeter, a resident of Southampton, has been involved with various forms of art most of her life. A good eye for composition, love of pattern and colour, thoughtful planning and meticulous hand are evident in her work. Gail especially enjoys the versatility of the encaustic medium.

Marianne Gibson received her B.A. Specializing in Fine Art from University of Guelph and has been creating in various mediums ever since. Her artwork displays a spontaneity and energy whether it’s sensual charcoal curves of a life drawing or the rich, textural brush stroke of encaustic painting. She has Inspired by the human figure and Ontario's natural beauty. she has been creating encaustic artwork for over six years. Some works include image transfers while others are the result of the spontaneous nature of painting with beeswax.

Wayne Kodje

Wayne Kodje's ancestral home is the Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay, Ontario; but he has called Toronto his home for the last fifteen years. The Ojibway culture and his northern Ontario roots have been the sources of his inspiration. Wayne Kodje began his preparation for the arts by attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, in Halifax, from 1974 to 1976. Then, in trying to find his way through life. He didn’t seriously engage in a career as an artist until after many years working in public education. However, with his retirement from education, he finally found the time to devote to my love of Ojibwe art.

Wayne Kodje enjoy displaying the stories, ancient beliefs and day-to-day events in collages that he have made in recent years. The artworks are made from fabrics because he find the colors and textures so attractive and they give him effects that he cannot achieve otherwise. In the sensuous artistry of cloth on canvas, Wayne Kodje feel that the life and spirit of his people are revealed. Each picture speaks about the ‘folklore of his people in fabric.