Remembering Kristen Fahrig

You will be dearly missed.

It is with great sadness that we share news of CARFAC Ontario Board Member Kristen Fahrig’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones. Former CARFAC Ontario Executive Director Kristian Clarke worked closely with Kristen over the years offers us the following remembrance:

The visual arts community in Ontario has lost a colourful champion in Kristen Fahrig. Her big smile, sparkling eyes and infectious laugh always filled the room with light.

My first meetings with Kristen centered around legal concerns that she had with a commissioned bronze piece that she was subcontracted to provide help on. Soon, our relationship evolved into regular chats in the hallways of the 401 Richmond building where we would discuss her travels, new pieces she was working on and the community garden project that she wanted to get off the ground – which she did with great aplomb. Kristen was never afraid to shoulder responsibility if she felt she could positively impact the community.

This commitment extended to her work for CARFAC Ontario. When I approached her to serve on the board of directors, she was more than ready to do her part. My most vivid memory of Kristen was attending the Supreme Court of Canada session in May of 2014 when CARFAC successfully made its case and forced the National Gallery of Canada to negotiate a first agreement. The picture of Kristen proudly wearing her “HAS THE ARTIST BEEN PAID” shirt in the middle of Spark Street in Ottawa as we celebrated our historic victory will be a moment in time that I will always cherish.

When I left CARFAC Ontario roughly 2.5 years ago, I was fortunate enough to receive three little framed designs for garden sculptures that she was working on. They will light up my living room for years to come much in the same way that she has brought light to the countless people that she touched.

Safe travels, Kristen

We also wanted to share the below note from Margie Ziedler, the force behind the 401 Richmond building where CARFAC Ontario has its office and where Kristen had a studio:

A year after we started 401, a very special person, Kristen Fahrig, set up her artistic practice in the building. For these last 22 years she has practiced her craft here and made us all the richer for it. Kirsten had a love of learning, observing and seeking out new ideas. A chat with her was always fascinating, finding out about what her latest projects and travels entailed. She worked in many different media over the course of her career but the common theme was the exploration of the world around her and creating community through her art. (Please read the obituary below – it will give you a sense of what this wonderful person was up to.)

She died a few weeks ago. We did not have that information when we went to press on our latest newsletter. Kristen had cancer and knew she was dying. She therefore ceased her practice in the fall, so the newsletter said that she had moved out. Her studio-mate will stay in studio 394. There will be an exhibition of her most recent work at Loop Gallery in February.

We will miss her beautiful smile, her warmth and positive spirit and the wonderful interactions we’ve had with her over the past two decades! I will personally miss her terribly, but I do believe her spirit will live on in this place. She, and some of the others who have formerly inhabited this old factory building are the reason people feel good as soon as they walk through the front door – I’m convinced of that.

I’m sure you will join me in extending condolences to Kristen’s family.

With great sadness,


Strengthening the Sector

Resources and Best Practices for the Visual, Media and Craft-Based Arts Sector

Strengthening the Sector: Resources and Best Practices for the Visual, Media and Craft-Based Arts Sector is a three-year project focused on researching and developing a range of resources and tools to support the visual, media and craft-based arts sectors. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish a set of best practices to advance industry standards through a consultative, consensus building process. The resulting ethical and practical professional standards and best practices developed will provide guidance in areas where regulation and agreements currently do not exist.

The first phase of the project focuses on building a solid base of information to inform subsequent phases of work. This knowledge base is being generated through focused research and an extensive community engagement process involving six regional forums and a province-wide survey.

CARFAC Ontario is leading the project supported by a Steering Committee comprised of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, Ontario Crafts Council, Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario, Media Arts Network of Ontario and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. CARFAC Ontario acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the project. The Steering Committee played an indispensable role in guiding the project, and demonstrated a strong interest in forging stronger partnerships and to build capacity across the sector.

The CARFAC Ontario Strengthening the Province Final Report 2013 can be found here.

To download previous published reports, please click on the links:
CARFAC Ontario Background Research
CARFAC Ontario Regional Forums Report