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Presentation of the Contractual Guide

© Alexander Suhorucov – Pexels

The Regroupement québécois de la danse’s (RQD) Contractual Guide is designed to facilitate and enrich the relationship between producers and dancers during contract negotiations. Developed in collaboration with several experts to improve the working conditions of dance professionals, it includes a practical guide to initiate dialogue, a contract template, a glossary and several useful references.

>Why use it?
> Origins and update of this guide
> Who is this guide for?
> A note about fees
> Credits

Why Use It?

The need for written agreements to clarify the expectations and obligations of parties entering into a contractual relationship cannot be overstated. Although verbal agreements can be used as a contract, written agreements are preferable. However, it is important that the written agreement be clear and cover as many situations as possible. This guide has been designed with this in mind, both as a guide and as a practical document for use by all parties.

There are many advantages to using it!

  • It suggests good practices in different contexts.
  • It allows you to better navigate through issues that seem delicate or with which you may be unfamiliar.
  • It facilitates the understanding of certain sections with explanatory markers and examples for some of the more technical clauses.
  • It encourages dialogue in a spirit of transparency before reaching a negotiated agreement.
  • It offers the possibility of using a contract template as a starting point that can be customized to the project and the people involved.

Origins and Updates of this Guide

This contractual toolkit was initially developed as part of the Chantier des relations professionnelles, an initiative of the Regroupement québécois de la danse stemming from the 2011-2021 Master Plan for Professional Dance in Quebec.

In 2014 and 2015, the RQD conducted consultations with the dance community to identify the main concerns of dance professionals. Following several workshops that simultaneously brought together dancers, choreographers, administrators, and individual consultations, the idea of a toolkit to facilitate dialogue and the development of contracts was born. It is easy to understand why: the contractual document is what crystallizes the working relationship and, as such, the toolkit represents an ideal lever to support the parties in their search for a mutually beneficial agreement.

After five years of use by its members, the RQD felt that it was already time to proceed with a first update of this kit. At the beginning of 2021, several professionals were again consulted to arrive at this new version, which aims to continue to reflect professional practice and to take into greater consideration certain issues that have become more important in recent years. Here are some examples:

  • Harassment, incivility or violence in the workplace
  • Recognition of diversity and inclusion
  • Crisis or force majeure situations
  • Atypical work contexts
  • Eco-responsibility

Who Is This Guide For?

This guide is intended specifically for the relationship between a producer and a dancer. However, the contract template provided as a working tool will not address all situations and is in no way a substitute for the much more detailed collective agreements that are in place between Quebec dance companies and the Union des Artistes (UDA). Under certain conditions, any dance producer can take advantage of one of these agreements by contacting the UDA.

The template and suggested clauses attempt to reflect current dance practice and conditions in the healthiest and most respectful ways possible. An imposed contract is rarely an ideal agreement, and it must be emphasized that no document should be proposed or signed without a minimum of dialogue between the parties. This dialogue serves to establish the climate of a relationship and allows each party to share its expectations. The agreement that will eventually be put in writing must reflect this initial exchange.

A Note About Fees

To compensate for the lack of strict fee guidelines in this toolkit, users are encouraged to consult existing resources such as the UDA website, where all dance collective agreements, and their fees, are available for review. Another useful resource is the Professional Standards for Dance, produced by the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Alliance for Dance Artists (CADA). The fees in the CADA document, however, reflect a consensus specific to the Ontario dance community, although it is a reference in other parts of the country as well. The “Resources/Useful References” section provides links to these sites, as well as a few other resources to assist in establishing fee schedules.

A few words about the disparity in rates found in the collective agreements currently in place. The RQD is not a union that represents or defends one trade against another, but an industry association that looks out for the health of the entire dance ecosystem. As such, it can propose best practices, but does not have the power to impose them. The RQD cannot therefore rule on minimum fees, especially since the fees detailed in collective agreements are usually the result of discussions that reflect the artistic or production contexts of each company.

More broadly, it should be noted that certain types of projects, particularly those related to internet broadcasting, are still not well addressed in these agreements. The issue of copyright and residual rights is also not yet very present.

It is by consulting the various resources mentioned above, by discussing with colleagues and, above all, by talking directly with the other party involved that the users will be able to agree on the appropriate remuneration, depending on the profile of the parties, the production context or any other factor that may influence the monetary aspects.


Design, research and writing
> George Krump


> Sandrine Pantalacci
> Coralie Muroni

Advisory Committee

> Priscilla Guy
> Valérie Lessard
> Philippe Meunier
> Ismaël Mouaraki
> Nicolas Patry
> Marie-Laurence Rock


> Ariane Boulet

Monitoring Committee

> Daniel Bastien
> Virginie Desloges
> Coralie Muroni

Special Thanks

> To all the people who participated in the workcamps on professional relations in 2014 and 2015.
> To Lorraine Hébert, who was the director of the RQD when the first version of this kit was developed.