CAPIC is the collective voice and advocate for professional photographers, illustrators and digital artists in Canada. We work hard to maintain industry standards, create a community, fight for copyright protection, and much more. Our work helps all the professionals in our industry, but only members benefit fully. As a professional association, CAPIC’s mission is to promote quality and creativity as well as good business practices.

The major benefit of CAPIC membership is the ability to meet other professionals in your local area through Chapter events and educational programs. CAPIC is the acknowledged leader in business practices education for illustrators and photographers in Canada.

CAPIC members create photographs and illustrations which are reproduced in published materials of all types. This includes editorial, advertising, educational materials, books, brochures and periodicals.


CAPIC was founded in 1978 as a national, not-for-profit association dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the rights and interests of photographers, illustrators and recently, digital artists, working in the communications industry. Starting as a single group in Toronto, CAPIC has grown to six chapters, spanning the country from Halifax to Vancouver.

A principal requirement of membership is reproduction and distribution of members work. CAPIC members create visual content for the Canadian communications industry and play a key role in defining the Canadian identity and point of view.

CAPIC’s Goals

Our members are committed to a long-term improvement, by joining CAPIC you contribute to standing behind and supporting the concerns of creators across the nation. CAPIC works with the government to promote the rights of artists – according to the Law on the Status of the Artist, we constitute the sole interlocutor for negotiations photographers and illustrators

CAPIC has maintained close liaison with international associations with similar purposes and compositions including the American Society of Media Photographers and the Graphic Artists  Guild.

The industry which CAPIC members are part of has been on the “bleeding edge” of technological change. The past twenty years have seen the demise of the typesetting industry, the introduction, development and maturation of electronic photo retouching, creation of photo DVDs, videos, and the growth of computer based illustration.

In 1992-1993 CAPIC participated in the Department of Communications Consultative Committee advising the government with respect to revisions of the Copyright Act.

In early 1994, CAPIC created a Digital Technology Committee (DTC) to bring together leading stakeholders in the digital revolution. The members of the Committee included representatives from the major hardware, software and imaging technology companies in addition to the legal, publishing and design sectors. Finally, the committee included CAPIC members of national reputation in the development of visual communications.

In 1995, CAPIC formalized relations with the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). CAPIC developed “reciprocal membership” to encourage worldwide dialogue on the issues affecting visual communicators today.

In 1996, under the Status of the Artist Act, CAPIC was recognized as the sole bargaining representative for commercial photographers and commercial illustrators working with the federal government and all agencies and crown corporations.
Also in 1996, CAPIC worked with the Professional Photographers of Canada and other industry allies, under the banner of the Canadian Creators Coalition, to seek changes to the Canadian Copyright Act.

In April 1997, the amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act were passed into law by the Parliament of Canada, including two proposed by CAPIC – extending the term of copyright in photographs and blocking the transfer of rights to a photograph until the photographer has been paid in full for the work.

In the summer of 1997, CAPIC formally became involved in the creation of a new copyright collective that would license electronic rights for creators. This group was called The Electronic Rights Licensing Agency (TERLA). TERLA was absorbed by CANCOPY, now known as Access Copyright, in 1999.

In September 2001, CAPIC, along with the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC), formed the Canadian Photographers Coalition (CPC) to push the Government of Canada to a final resolution of the Copyright Act as it relates to photographers and commissioned work.

Currently, the Act states that “Where, in the case of an engraving, photograph or portrait, the plate or other original was ordered by some other person and was made for valuable consideration, and the consideration was paid, in pursuance of that order, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the person by whom the plate or other original was ordered shall be the first owner of the copyright.”

There are also two other issues that the CPC is driving to have changed:
Section 10(2) “The person who was the owner of the initial negative or other plate at the time when that negative or other plate was made, or was the owner of the initial photograph at the time when that photograph was made, where there was no negative or other plate, is deemed to be the author of the photograph…”

The term of copyright protection in photographic works needs to be changed to bring Canada’s Copyright Act into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s copyright guidelines.

In 2004, the Heritage Review Committee recommended to Canada’s Parliament that Canadian photographers be given the right to automatically own the copyright in commissioned works.

On the 20th of June, 2005, Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, had it’s first reading in the First Session of Canada’s 38th Parliament.
The Bill died on the Order Paper when Parliament was dissolved on November 29th, 2005.

Since November 7, 2012, the Canadian Act finally recognizes professional freelance photographers ownership of copyright works they produce as part of their work.

The law on copyright was amended in spring 2012, Bill C-11, correcting the injustice that prevailed hitherto, while the copyright of the photographs, the subject of a command, belonged default client.

Canadian photographers are now the first owners of the copyright of the images they produce rights, and by default, as are particular illustrators, musicians, painters and writers. This applies to both photographs commissioned by a client and paid by him as photographs taken outside of a commercial context.

Members benefits

National Newsletter – an electronic newsletter of the National Capic :
Released weekly by email to members as well as the site www.capic.org .

Free Portfolios :
As a member CAPIC , you have the privilege to promote your work by exposing your photographs on 3 important websites at no extra cost . In addition, each of these sites , a link to your website generate significant traffic.
www.photographersdirectory.adobe.com (7 photographs and a link to your site )
www.capic.org ( 8 photos and a link to your website)

Free subscription to Applied Arts Magazine

Evening Portfolios : During the evening, differents Capic chapters organizes a presentation of their members portfolios, tocreative design agencies and advertising.

Themed evenings on various topics of photography: From time to time , Capic organizes informal evenings so that members and other guests can share their passion for their profession.

Death or Dismemberment Insurance $ 10,000 ( for Automatically most categories of members. )

For Quebec members:

LUX competition :  Free registration for their first photo or artwork as well as free admission to the evening + Preferential rates for members who wish to participate in contests LUX

Capicmontreal website (6 photographs and a link to your website )

The biggest advantage :
You are legitimately part of a network and contribute to its expansion. CAPIC is THE reference in regard to professional photography in Canada and business practices that result. The advancement of the profession will not flourish if photographers do not cluster . Being CAPIC member , you contribute directly to improving the lot of photography in Canada. CAPIC has undertaken a colossal work to improve the situation and educate several market sectors. The problem of copyright in Canada is now known thanks to the involvement and constant vigilance of CAPIC . Fee schedules that we have designed are used by a growing number of followers . They became necessary references and contribute to respect the value of our work. CAPIC members know how to help : A CAPIC member will often be the answer to your questions and maybe a solution to your problems. If you do not know who to contact another member will know.

Code of ethics

To be of Good Character

  • Honesty – To deal fairly and honestly with clients and subjects.
  •  Common Good Whenever possible, to place the common health of the industry ahead of one’s own interests.
  • Defending Our Work To value and protect copyright and freedom on expression.
  • Originality To never knowingly copy another creator’s style, concept or composition.
  • Giving Credit To accurately credit the authorship of all works.
  • Giving Back To do one’s best to give back to the profession by volunteering time to protect and improve the industry and by advising new photographers or illustrators.

Our Commitment to Our Clients

  • Privacy To respect the privacy of our clients and subjects; to use images of individuals only with their permission.
  • Acting in the Client’s Interest To further the client’s best interests in a professional manner, to the limits of one’s professional responsibility.
  • Confidentiality To protect client confidentiality, including any portions of assignments provided by other individuals or businesses.
  • Release Disclosure To fully inform the client about the terms of model and property releases.
  • Fairness in Billing Never to invoice for work or supplies not previously discussed with the client. To invoice for lost or damaged photographs or artwork at fair market prices.
  • Secondary Usage Consideration To fairly consider the client’s interests when selling secondary use of the image. No secondary usage without a model release.

To Maintain Professional Business Practices

  • Documentation To use professional, industry-approved, written contracts and delivery memos for every assignment.
  • Accurate Records To keep accurate and complete business records.
  • Fair Contracts To only accept projects or contracts that are fair to both the creator and client.
  •  No Licensing Sellouts To avoid licensing agreements that devalue the industry standard balance between usage fees and rights granted.
  • No Collusion To not participate in illegal collusion, price fixing or other dishonest competitive strategies.
  • No Spec Work To avoid participating in a competitive bidding process that demands that members create work for which payment depends on winning the contract.
  • Fair Competitions To only enter commercial competitions in which any usage rights transferred are fairly compensated.

Our Commitment to Our Employees, Suppliers, Subcontractors, Subjects and Models

  • Fairness To honor our legal, fiscal, and moral obligations toward employees, suppliers, subcontractors, subjects and models.
  • No Abuse To treat all assistants, employees, subjects and models professionally and fairly at all times and never to take advantage of one’s position of authority.
  • Respect To protect the privacy and property of our subjects.
  • Release Honesty To be open and honest when requesting model or property releases.