Are you an artist or musician? Maybe you’re a writer looking to land your first book deal or a filmmaker looking for a distributor. Do you know what to look for in a contract? How to promote your work online? What about dealing with record labels?

ALIS Presents Mixed Media Monthly: A Speaker Series About Art and the Business of Art

Artists face many legal challenges in their business. The Artists’ Legal Information Society (ALIS) is a not-for-profit organization which provides free legal information to artists in Atlantic Canada. ALIS is run by a Board of Directors of lawyers and law students. They support artists in their roles as entrepreneurs by providing legal education on how to both protect and promote their creative works. Each year ALIS hosts On the Edge of Now conference where artists, industry professionals and lawyers learn about emerging trends in entertainment and IP law and artists learn the legal essentials to better run their businesses.

This year ALIS is teaming up with various organizations in Nova Scotia for Mixed Media Monthly: A Speaker Series About Art and the Business of Art. The series focuses on the major legal issues facing artists. The event is geared towards the artistic community and the general public looking for helpful legal information and a chance to network with other artists.

ALIS, in partnership with the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) and Visual Arts’ Nova Scotia, will present the first talk in the series, Death and Other Serious Side Effects, on September 18, 2014 from 6-8 pm. The talk will cover what visual artists need to know before creating their wills. Alanna Mayne from Wickwire Holm LLP will discuss what artists should do in managing their estates.

Here’s a quick look at the other topics in the speaker series.

  • October 16 - Back to the Basics: Business Essentials for Film/Television Industry Professionals. Speaker - Christene Hirschfeld, Boyne Clarke, LLP
  • November 20 - Beyond Boilerplate and Bombproof: Error-Proofing your Contracts, Copyright and Publishing (in partnership with Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia). Speakers -  Pamela Callow, author and Julie Sobowale, legal writer/journalist.
  • January 15 - Art and Social Media. Speaker – David Fraser, McInnes Cooper
  • February 27-28 - On the Edge of Now II: Emerging Trends in Entertainment, Digital and IP Law Conference
  • March 19 - Making Money from Your Music (in partnership with Music NS)
  • April 16 - “So…I have this genius idea for a gadget…” Copyright, Trademarks and Patents for Businesses and Innovative Ideas. Speakers Heather Oke, Department of Justice and Jon Penney, professor at Dalhousie Schulich School of Law
  • May 21 - You and the Courts: A short intro to Self-Advocacy (in partnership with LISNS). Speaker Julien Matte, Federal Court

The speaker series will be held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on every third Thursday each month. Visitors are able to explore the gallery for free before the talk. After each session, visitors will gather at the Old Triangle Restaurant (5136 Prince Street) for networking and socializing.

Tickets are $10 and $55 for the entire series, excluding the conference. For more information about the series and the ALIS conference, visit

by Julie Sobowale, ALIS

 August 2014