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

Questions?

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us with further questions, concerns, or for general assistance outreach@carfacontario.ca

Our Support Network consists of:

  • One-on-one meetings with volunteer lawyers coordinated by ALAS, to discuss issues such as copyright, contracts, or other legal issues related to an artist’s career. Lawyers provide free, 30-minute session of summary legal advice and information (usually during a half hour appointment) to help artists better understand specific legal issues and challenges.
  • One-on-One peer-support from an Ontario-based practicing artist to help encourage artists by discussing and pointing you towards various resources and services available, and to further assist you in navigating any access barriers to information and support.
  • Roundtable discussions and webinars on specific legal topics that affect a large population of our sector. If you would like to suggest legal topics or concerns impacting artists in your community, please get in touch!
  • Resource building to provide continuous support that helps artists inform and advocate for themselves and their peers, aimed towards building a sustainable, safe, and thriving sector.
  • Experimenting with new models to bring together artists and lawyers for meaningful exchanges and valuable knowledge-sharing so that artists are empowered to voice and act upon their rights.

This collaboration has been formed to provide and prioritize free legal advice and information, one-on-one artist support, and resources for artists who lack access to these kinds of supports due to 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 care. Programs are developed in response to issues artists have identified. We are here to connect with you individually so as to better understand the challenges you are facing, and how we may be able to provide support.

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 write to  outreach@carfacontario.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

ALAS Volunteer Lawyers:

DO:

  • Meet with you and discuss your legal matter on a confidential basis
  • Provide summary legal advice to you as a creator in the context of the  discipline in which you work
  • Provide legal information or recommend appropriate resources appropriate 


DO NOT:

  • Provide you with legal services after your meeting
  • Represent you—you will not form an ongoing lawyer-client relationship with the lawyer
  • Help artists with upcoming court dates
  • Provide legal information and/or advice in regards to family law, criminal law, tax law, real-estate law or most employment law (ie. unrelated to your artistic practice).

One-On-One Artist Support:

DO:

  • Listen to your issues and concerns
  • Discuss and suggest strategies to navigate difficult situations
  • Point you towards services and resources
  • Discuss strategies so that you can effectively advocate for yourself
  • Connect you to the broader arts community
  • Assist you with filling in the ALAS Legal Clinic intake form

DO NOT: 

  • Provide legal advice or legal information (see above, re. ALAS volunteer lawyers)
  • Summarize or help you interpret legal advice or information given to you by ALAS volunteer lawyers

CARFAC Ontario members, please note that you can continue to access pro-bono legal advice through our Visual Artists’ Legal Clinic of Ontario (VALCO) program.  

 

Meet the Coordinators:

Flora Shum (Coordinator, CARFAC Ontario) is a Hong Kong born-Tkaronto/Toronto based artist, educator, and cultural worker. She co-runs Paperhouse Studio, where she carries forward the vision for paper as the medium, and leads community arts-based programming for underserved youth. She is also a member of duo collective—AURA. Her artistic practice is experimental and collaborative by nature, with roots in papermaking, printmaking, and book arts, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Flora’s arts professional practice explores community activation and mobilization through the arts, bridging community and contemporary arts. She has facilitation experience of over 10 years, notably with OCAD University, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Public Library, Peter Pitseolak School (Kinngait, NU.), Attagoyuk Ilisavik (Pangnirtung, NU.), and Mozilla Foundation.

outreach@carfacontario.ca

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. 

tyler@alasontario.ca

 

Our Supporters

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