Remuneration and Compensation When Hiring

Obviously, fees are among the many items that will need to be negotiated between the project initiator and the artist/s (prospective resource or partner) in order to reach a mutual agreement about the time, expenses and products that will be paid for.

Artists and arts organizations often work with very limited resources, yet somehow they manage, often under conditions of stress, insecurity and instability, to create and generate music, theatre, dance, film and video, new media and literary art works that enrich our lives. It would be ideal if artists were paid for all of their time (attending planning and project management meetings, as well as for their creative development, presentation or exhibition time) if it is not already paid for by an arts organization. Therefore you will want to include this as an item in your project or grant proposals.

The level or scale of pay will depend somewhat on where the artist falls on the continuum of artistic and professional development. Like any other professional vocation, there is a continuum of artistic “levels.” This continuum is based on characteristics that include training (formal and informal), skill, experience and peer recognition, and can range from the hobbyist/amateur, to the emerging professional, the established professional artist, and the senior artist. Professional artists need to be paid for their research, development and creation time. There are standards available that can provide a useful guideline in determining the rate of pay. For example, CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation), which has a presence in each province, outlines fees for visual artists depending on the role they are playing or the type of work they do.

It is important to have a sense of where the artist or arts group you are considering working with falls on that continuum. Depending on the funder you are seeking support from, you may be required to work with an established, professional artist. However, other funders may not require this and be more directed to community arts and/or arts education on a grassroots level.

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