FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BACKGROUND

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Q: What is the National Network? Where did it originate?

A: The National Network of Legal Clinics for the Arts is a bold new initiative that aims to establish seven regional, independently-run legal clinics to provide legal information, education and/or advice to artists and arts organizations across Canada. 

These clinics will work to address existing gaps in the delivery of legal information, education, and advice.  It is a project of three collaborating organizations: Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO), Artist Legal Advice Services (ALAS) and Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa (ALSO).  

In 2020, PLEO launched a needs assessment survey as phase 1 of the project. The needs assessment revealed that 94% of artists feel strongly they have unique legal needs and lack information and training on legal issues. 

In addition, the survey revealed that the six legal clinics that currently exist in Canada primarily operate in urban centres, making their services essentially inaccessible to a significant proportion of the artistic population.

To respond to this need, the National Network is envisioned to become a unified and collaborative system of regional hubs providing increased access to justice for artists and arts organizations.

Q: What is the desired outcome for the National Network

A: This project is intended to provide Canadian artists and arts organizations with legal information, education, and advice that is relevant to their work while also aligning with the laws specific to that region.

The desired outcome is that all artists and arts organizations have access to justice in their area via a legal hub that connects them to legal information, education, and advice.

The National Network will be a collaborative series of hubs that will empower artists and arts organizations to make informed decisions about their work.

We aim to contribute to resiliency and success across all disciplines as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: What is the structure of the National Network?

A: Legal hubs will exist in

  • BC and Yukon
  • Alberta and Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland.

There will also be an Indigneous Legal Advisory that will address issues related to Indigenous artists and arts organizations. This advisory will determine their community needs and their relationship to the other hubs over time.

Each regional legal hub will be governed by a regional committee composed of artists and arts organizations who will work with lawyers and law students that possess expertise in areas of law that specifically affects artists and arts organizations ie copyright, contract law, the Societies Act, etc.

Each regional legal hub will be independently directed, funded, and managed according to the needs and resources available to the committee in that area.

COMMITTEES

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Q: What is a regional committee? Who is on it?

A: The regional committee is a group made up of 3-7 members, all representing a different artistic discipline (dance, music, theatre, visual arts, disability arts, film, etc.) Each regional hub will be  managed by this committee.  Every regional committee also includes members of the local legal community who want to help support the development of legal services for the arts in your region.  

Regional committee members also support the National Network by spreading the word about the project, and making advocacy efforts with local funders.   They can also participate in national Art Law Talks and other educational workshops offered by partners across the Country.  

If you’d like to support or serve on a regional committee please reach out to nationalnetwork@paciiclegaloutreach.com, and we will get you connected.

Q: What does the time commitment look like for the regional committee members for the first year?

A: The time commitment is to attend 4-6 meetings across the year to advise on the formation of the legal hubs with our partnering lawyers. But, these committees are flexible as we know that everyone is operating at or near their capacity.

If you’re interested in participating, we can find a model that works for you.

Q: What is the National Advisory? Who is on it?

A: The National Advisory is a group of leaders drawn from national arts and culture  organizations, guilds and unions who support the National Network with advocacy, consulting, and connection to regional arts organizations.

Currently, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, Mass Culture, Writers’ Trust, serve on this committee. 

If you’d like to support or more information about the National Advisory please reach out to nationalnetwork@paciiclegaloutreach.com, and we will get you connected.

THE LEGAL HUBS

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Q: What are some of the forms the legal hubs can take?

A: The legal hubs could take many forms, depending on the needs of the community. These hubs are a central place for legal resources for artists, which could include a webinar series podcasts, as well as summary advice, legal information clinics with students or staffed with a lawyer.  There is no “one-size fits all” model for the legal hubs. They are self determined, and self directed to respond to the unique needs artists have in each region. 

Q: Will there be a national model?

A: In a word no. The project will not result in a single national legal organization for artists and arts organizations. 

Q: Where will the Pilot Clinics be located, what will they look like?

The pilot clinics will be located in BC and the Yukon (PLEO) and Ontario. The PLEO clinic is scheduled to open in September 2021.