The Ontario Artists’ Legal Access & Support Network is a collaboration between CARFAC Ontario artists and ALAS (Artists’ Legal Advice Services) lawyers.

Our Support Network consists of:  

  • Access to one-on-one meetings with volunteer lawyers coordinated by ALAS to discuss issues such as copyright, contracts, and entertainment law. Lawyers provide free initial summary legal advice and information (usually during a half hour appointment) to help artists begin to better understand specific legal issues and challenges.
  • Non-legal peer-support from a CARFAC Ontario practicing artist to help navigate access barriers throughout your engagement with the Access & Support Network. The peer-support also aims to encourage and help artists by pointing them towards various resources and services available to them.
  • Group workshops or drop-in sessions with volunteer lawyers, where artists can discuss a variety of general issues and receive basic legal information. Workshops and sessions aim to foster open discussion about common legal issues and challenges faced by many artists, generally within a group dynamic, without addressing any one artist’s specific legal concerns.
  • Online webinars on specified legal concerns affecting artists of all disciplines.

This collaboration has been formed to provide free legal advice and information, non-legal peer support, and resources for artists related to their practices, particularly including those artists who lack access to these kinds of support because of overlapping systemic barriers such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, and/or misogyny. We also acknowledge that these barriers can be compounded by mental health issues, disabilities, poverty, legal/immigration status, access to education, experience in the justice system, among other ongoing barriers. Our intention is to support artists through a holistic lens of support and care. Our programs will be developed on a needs-based basis, and we are available to connect with you individually so that we can understand the issues you’re facing, and how we may be able to provide support.  

Our programs will be developed on a needs-based basis, and we are available to connect with you individually so that we can understand the issues you’re facing, and how we may be able to provide support.  

To find out more or inquire about specific issues affecting yourself or your group, collective or community, please contact Camila at outreach@carfacontario.ca or (647) 697-0033.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between “Legal Advice” and “Legal Information”?

Legal Advice means interpreting and applying the law and legal principles to directly respond to your particular situation and suggesting or recommending steps you might take in response to an issue.

Legal Information means providing a legal explanation, summarizing and helping you to understand the law and outlining various options. This can also include pointing you towards other resources, for example, websites of other organizations.


What do ALAS volunteer lawyers do or not do?

ALAS volunteer lawyers do:
• meet with you and discuss your legal matter on a confidential basis
• usually provide summary legal advice to you as a creator in the context of the discipline in which you work
• provide legal information or recommend resources appropriate for your matter

ALAS volunteer lawyers don’t:
• provide you with legal services after your meeting, and you will not form an ongoing lawyer-client relationship with the lawyer
• help artists with upcoming court dates, provide legal information or advice in regards to family law, criminal law, tax law, real-estate law or most employment law (ie. unrelated to your artistic practice)

What does CARFAC Ontario’s non-legal peer-support artist do or not do?

CARFAC Ontario’s peer-support artist does:
• listen to your issues and concerns, and discuss and suggest strategies to navigate difficult situations
• point you towards services and resources which may help you resolve your issue, concern or question, and encourage or give you confidence to advocate for yourself

CARFAC Ontario’s peer-support artist doesn’t:
• provide summary legal advice or legal information
• summarize or help you interpret legal advice or information given to you by ALAS volunteer lawyers

 

Meet the Coordinators:

Camila Salcedo (Outreach Coordinator, CARFAC Ontario) is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, community organizer, and arts educator currently based in Toronto. She has worked with artists in various communities, including youth, immigrants and emerging artists, via programming associated with artist-run centres, galleries, festivals and other independent projects. At CARFAC Ontario, she will provide artists with non-legal peer-support from a place of care, and strive to implement outreach strategies that make legal information and services accessible to artists all over Ontario.

Tyler Kowalchuk (Project Coordinator, ALAS) comes to ALAS with a broad background in the visual arts, arts administration, and education. Particularly interested in the intersection of art and politics, he remains keen to focus his efforts on issues related to affecting social impact and change through the arts. At ALAS, Tyler will be providing project support for the virtual legal clinic and strategic direction on related initiatives. 

 

Our Supporters

This project is made possible through the generous support of our funders and partners: