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Status of the Artist Act (S.C. 1992, c. 33)

Act current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2023-04-27. Previous Versions

Status of the Artist Act

S.C. 1992, c. 33

Assented to 1992-06-23

An Act respecting the status of the artist and professional relations between artists and producers in Canada

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Status of the Artist Act.

PART IGeneral Principles

Proclamation and Policy concerning the Status of the Artist

Marginal note:Proclamation

 The Government of Canada hereby recognizes

  • (a) the importance of the contribution of artists to the cultural, social, economic and political enrichment of Canada;

  • (b) the importance to Canadian society of conferring on artists a status that reflects their primary role in developing and enhancing Canada’s artistic and cultural life, and in sustaining Canada’s quality of life;

  • (c) the role of the artist, in particular to express the diverse nature of the Canadian way of life and the individual and collective aspirations of Canadians;

  • (d) that artistic creativity is the engine for the growth and prosperity of dynamic cultural industries in Canada; and

  • (e) the importance to artists that they be compensated for the use of their works, including the public lending of them.

Marginal note:Policy statement

 Canada’s policy on the professional status of the artist, as implemented by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, is based on the following rights:

  • (a) the right of artists and producers to freedom of association and expression;

  • (b) the right of associations representing artists to be recognized in law and to promote the professional and socio-economic interests of their members; and

  • (c) the right of artists to have access to advisory forums in which they may express their views on their status and on any other questions concerning them.

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 3
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 192

 [Repealed, 2010, c. 12, s. 1774]

PART IIProfessional Relations


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Part,


artist means an independent contractor described in paragraph 6(2)(b); (artiste)

artists’ association

artists’ association means any organization, or a branch or local thereof, that has among its objectives the management or promotion of the professional and socio-economic interests of artists who are members of the organization, and includes a federation of artists’ associations; (association d’artistes)


Board means the Canada Industrial Relations Board established by section 9 of the Canada Labour Code. (Conseil)


Minister means the Minister of Labour; (ministre)


party means

  • (a) in respect of the entering into, renewal or revision of a scale agreement or in respect of a difference in relation to the interpretation, application, administration or alleged breach thereof, the producer or the artists’ association, and

  • (b) in respect of a complaint made to the Board, the complainant or the person or organization that is the object of the complaint; (partie)

pressure tactic

pressure tactic includes

  • (a) a cessation of work or a refusal to work or to continue to work by artists or artists’ associations in combination, in concert or in accordance with a common understanding, and a slowdown of work or other concerted activity by artists or artists’ associations respecting the provision of their services, done to compel a producer to agree to terms or conditions of engagement, or

  • (b) the closing of a place of work, a suspension of production or a refusal to continue the engagement of one or more artists by a producer, done to compel artists, or to assist another producer to compel artists, to agree to terms or conditions of engagement; (moyen de pression)


producer means a government institution or broadcasting undertaking described in paragraph 6(2)(a), and includes an association of producers; (producteur)

scale agreement

scale agreement means an agreement in writing between a producer and an artists’ association respecting minimum terms and conditions for the provision of artists’ services and other related matters; (accord-cadre)


Tribunal[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 532]

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 5
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 532


Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

  •  (1) This Part is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2) This Part applies

    • (a) to the following organizations that engage one or more artists to provide an artistic production, namely,

      • (i) government institutions listed in Schedule I to the Access to Information Act or the schedule to the Privacy Act, or prescribed by regulation, and

      • (ii) broadcasting undertakings, regulated under the Broadcasting Act, that are federal works, undertakings or businesses, as defined in section 2 of the Canada Labour Code, or that are corporations established to perform any function or duty on behalf of the Government of Canada;

    • (b) to independent contractors determined to be professionals according to the criteria set out in paragraph 18(b), and who

      • (i) are authors of artistic, dramatic, literary or musical works within the meaning of the Copyright Act, or directors responsible for the overall direction of audiovisual works,

      • (ii) perform, sing, recite, direct or act, in any manner, in a musical, literary or dramatic work, or in a circus, variety, mime or puppet show, or

      • (iii) contribute to the creation of any production in the performing arts, music, dance and variety entertainment, film, radio and television, video, sound-recording, dubbing or the recording of commercials, arts and crafts, or visual arts, and fall within a professional category prescribed by regulation.


Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Part is to establish a framework to govern professional relations between artists and producers that guarantees their freedom of association, recognizes the importance of their respective contributions to the cultural life of Canada and ensures the protection of their rights.

Freedom of Association

Marginal note:Freedom

 An artist is free to join an artists’ association and to participate in its formation, activities and administration.

Exclusions and Presumptions

Marginal note:Artist contracting through an organization

  •  (1) An artist is not excluded from the application of this Part simply by contracting through an organization.

  • Marginal note:Presumption for purposes of Competition Act

    (2) For the purposes of subsection 4(1) of the Competition Act,

    • (a) artists’ associations certified under this Part that were formed for the purpose of providing appropriate protection for the professional interests of the artists they represent are deemed to be combinations of employees, in relation to those activities of the association that are directed to achieving that purpose; and

    • (b) contracts, agreements or arrangements between or among two or more producers, whether made directly between or among them or through a corporation or an association of producers, pertaining to bargaining in respect of remuneration and the terms and conditions of engagement of artists, are deemed to be contracts, agreements or arrangements.

  • Marginal note:Employees excluded

    (3) This Part does not apply, in respect of work undertaken in the course of employment, to

    • (a) employees, within the meaning of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, including those determined to be employees by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, and members of a bargaining unit that is certified by that Board; or

    • (b) employees, within the meaning of Part I of the Canada Labour Code, including those determined to be employees by the Board, and members of a bargaining unit that is certified by the Board.

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 9
  • 1998, c. 26, s. 83
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 220(E)
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 533
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 466
  • 2017, c. 9, s. 47

Canada Industrial Relations Board

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 534]


Marginal note:Regulations

 The Board may make any regulations that it considers conducive to the performance of its duties under this Part, and in particular regulations providing for

  • (a) the practice and procedure before the Board, including the assessment and awarding of costs;

  • (b) the certification of artists’ associations;

  • (c) the conduct of representation votes;

  • (d) the period for submission by an artists’ association of a new application for certification, if the Board previously refused to certify the association in respect of the same or substantially the same sector;

  • (e) the period for submission of an application for revocation of the certification of an artists’ association, if the Board previously refused an application for revocation in respect of the same sector;

  • (f) the forms to be used in any proceeding that may come before the Board;

  • (g) the periods in which and the circumstances under which the Board may exercise its powers under section 20;

  • (h) the period and form in which evidence and information may be presented to the Board in connection with any proceeding before it;

  • (i) the period for sending notices and other documents, the persons and associations to which they shall be sent, and the circumstances in which they are deemed to have been sent or received;

  • (j) the criteria for deciding whether an artist is represented by an artists’ association;

  • (k) the circumstances in which the Board may receive evidence in order to establish whether any artists wish to be represented by a particular artists’ association, and the circumstances in which that evidence may not be made public; and

  • (l) the delegation to any person of the Board’s powers and duties, other than the power to delegate or to make regulations, and that person’s obligations with respect to those powers and duties.

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 16
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 535

Marginal note:Board’s powers

 The Board may, in relation to any proceeding before it under this Part,

  • (a) on application or of its own motion, summon and enforce the attendance of any person whose testimony is necessary, in the Board’s opinion, and compel the person to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce any documents or things that the Board considers necessary for the full investigation and consideration of any matter within its jurisdiction;

  • (b) administer oaths and solemn affirmations;

  • (c) accept any evidence and information that it sees fit, on oath, by affidavit or otherwise, whether or not the evidence is admissible in a court of law;

  • (d) examine any evidence that is submitted to the Board respecting the membership of any artist in an artists’ association that is seeking certification;

  • (e) examine documents pertaining to the constitution, articles of association or by-laws of an artists’ association;

  • (f) make any examination of records and any inquiries that it considers necessary;

  • (g) require a producer or an artists’ association to post in appropriate places and keep posted a notice concerning any matter relating to the proceeding that the Board considers necessary to bring to the attention of artists;

  • (h) order, at any time before the conclusion of the proceeding, that

    • (i) a representation vote or an additional representation vote be taken among artists affected by the proceeding, whether or not a representation vote is provided for elsewhere in this Part, if the Board considers that the vote would assist it to decide any question that has arisen or is likely to arise in the proceeding, and

    • (ii) the ballots cast in that representation vote be sealed in ballot boxes and counted only as directed by the Board;

  • (i) authorize any person to do anything that the Board may do under paragraphs (a) to (h), and to report to the Board on it;

  • (j) adjourn or postpone the proceeding;

  • (k) abridge or extend the time for instituting the proceeding or for doing any act, filing any document or presenting any evidence;

  • (l) amend or permit the amendment of any document filed;

  • (m) add any person to the proceeding at any stage thereof;

  • (n) set requirements for public notice in respect of any application made under this Part;

  • (o) award costs; and

  • (p) decide any question that arises in the proceeding, including whether

    • (i) a person is a producer or an artist,

    • (ii) an artist is a member of, or is represented by, an artists’ association,

    • (iii) an organization constitutes an association of producers, an artists’ association, or a federation of artists’ associations,

    • (iv) a group of artists constitutes a sector suitable for bargaining,

    • (v) a scale agreement has been entered into or is in force, and the dates that it comes into force and expires, and

    • (vi) any person or organization is a party to or is bound by a scale agreement.

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 17
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 536

Criteria for Application

Marginal note:Criteria for application by Board

 The Board shall take into account

  • (a) in deciding any question under this Part, the applicable principles of labour law; and

  • (b) in determining whether an independent contractor is a professional for the purposes of paragraph 6(2)(b), whether the independent contractor

    • (i) is paid for the display or presentation of that independent contractor’s work before an audience, and is recognized to be an artist by other artists,

    • (ii) is in the process of becoming an artist according to the practice of the artistic community, or

    • (iii) is a member of an artists’ association.

  • 1992, c. 33, s. 18
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 537

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