Whether you are an artist or a presenter, successful negotiations are key to ensuring your needs are met. Typically, the negotiation process begins with the presenter contacting the artist (or representative) to make an offer. It is during this initial stage when details such as dates and artist fees are agreed upon.
Visiting non-metropolitan regions can very rewarding for artists; however, it is important to recall that presenters in these communities may not be able to afford standard artist fees. To help cover your costs, you may wish to request a percentage of the profits, take part in value-adding actvities, or present your show in several neighbouring communities while you are in the region.
Following negotiations, the presenter will produce a contract that includes all the previously agreed upon terms, in addition to any other pertinent details. After it is presented to the artist, they have until the stipulated expiration date to accept, decline, or amend the offer.
A basic contract should include:
- The names and addresses of the parties involved.
- What you want the artist to do.
- Where the event will be held.
- When (date and time) the presentation will take place.
- The length of the performance and intermission periods.
- How much the artist will be paid and any expenses that will be covered.
- When the payment will be processed (as many artists require a portion in advance).
- What type promotion you plan to do.
- Whether the artist will be required to do interviews.
- The type of promotional materials required from the artist (headshot, bio, etc.).
- Pertinent venue details (are there dressing rooms? private washrooms?).
- What technical equipment you can provide.
- An act of God clause
- A language clause
- Any other important details
Please check out our sample contract.
For more information on contracts, please refer to the Canada Council’s Touring Handbook.
Touring can be expensive and visiting small communities may be seen as less-than lucrative engagement. However, this does not have to be the case! There are many value-adding activities that you can engage in independently, or in partnership with the presenter to help boost earnings and minimize expenses.
Adding value is the act of taking part in a variety of different activities while you are presenting your work in a community. Visiting a school (see culture in schools), hosting a workshops or teaching a master classes are common value-adding activities, but these are not exclusive. Value-adding activities need only be limited by your imagination.
Speak to the presenter about the possibility of arranging this type of value-adding activity. If they are unable, ask if they could recommend any local organizations that may be interested. This will allow you to earn extra income while you are visiting, and the partnering organization may agree to cover some of your presenter’s costs – making it a worthwhile arrangement for everyone!