The mandate of CARFAC is to promote the visual arts in Canada, to promote a socio-economic climate that is conducive to the production of visual arts in Canada, and to conduct research and engage in public education for these purposes.
The organization’s active involvement in advocacy, lobbying, research and public education on behalf of artists in Canada has defined CARFAC as an integral representative body for artists across the country.
CARFAC was established by artists in 1968 and has been certified by the federal Status of the Artist legislation. CARFAC is guided by an active Board, elected by the membership.
In the early fall of 1967, the National Gallery of Canada wrote to many Canadian artists regarding the compilation of 2000 slides for a documentation library for the gallery using slides of the exhibit “300 Years of Canadian Art”. The letters requested the artist’s permission to reproduce their artwork in slide images; however, the letters also indicated that if the artist’s permission was not received in time, the project would continue with their assumed support.
The letters implied that it was unnecessary for the artists to ask for royalty fees for the reproduction of their work because the project was educational in nature. This was a common claim used by galleries throughout the country in order to reproduce artists’ works without having to pay to do so.