Contracts & Lawyers

Protecting Yourself and Your Work

As of June 1, 2010, The Arts Professions Act requires written contracts to be used between professional artists of all types, including performers and anyone wanting to hire, engage or contract them for their work or performance. The Act also recognizes the artist as a professional and, as a professional, emphasizes the importance of fair compensation.

Written contracts help protect artists and engagers by spelling out what is to be done, agreed upon fees, deadlines, termination clauses, transfer of rights, etc. This ensures a clear understanding of the transaction with the aim of preventing contract disputes down the road.

Written contracts are an effective business practice as they help solidify the business relationship by providing a clear understanding of the transaction. They also provide an extra measure of protection to both parties compared to a verbal or literal handshake. 

There are many contract resources and tools available. If you want more information or you are new to contracting and are looking for tools to help you start using written contracts, please visit The Arts Professions Act

Tools and resources

  • Contract Workshop: Industry associations are always hosting workshops on various business practices, including contracting. Visit for a complete list of industry associations. 
  • Contract Checklist: Always ensure you have a signed contract between you and your publisher before beginning any editorial revisions or production work. The Writers' Union of Canada has great information about contracts on their website and also offer a Contracts Self-Help Package
  • Professional Artist Checklist: Developed in consultation with the art community in Saskatchewan, this checklist (that is prescribed in The Arts Professions Act) outlines criteria for a professional artist.
  • Free Contract Templates: If you are new to contracting there are many templates online tailored to specific industry needs that can help you get started. Please note that contract templates are only model agreements and should not replace professional legal advice. 


For questions regarding contracting and copyright, or for general legal inquiries the SWG recommends contacting:

McKercher LLP Regina Office
500-2220 12th Avenue
Regina, SK S4P 0M8

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