Clarifications and Webinars on Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

June 9, 2014 - According to new information provided by Industry Canada officials, the Anti-Spam Law could be much less prohibitive than we initially thought.

no-spamAs we reported in December, the final regulations under the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) exempt a commercial electronic message (CEM) "that is sent by or on behalf of a registered charity ... and the message has as its primary purpose raising funds for the charity."

We had initially interpreted this to include only those activities that fall under the Canada Revenue Agency definition of fundraising, and which registered charities use to calculate their fundraising ratio. However, according to information obtained via Imagine Canada's CASL working group, this exemption will also include a number of other activities, that lie beyond the CRA fundraising definition:

  • newsletters that promote upcoming fundraising events, even where mention is made of corporate sponsors of those events;
  • promoting charitable activities that may involve a cost-recovery element (charging participants for materials, for example); and,
  • the promotion of events and the sale of tickets by organizations such as those of performing arts or cultural institutions, where the proceeds flow directly to the charity.

This broad exemption will come as a relief to registered arts charities.

There are also good news for other organizations as well. Still according to information provided by Industry Canada, the consent requirements have some flexibility: the regulations grandfather express consent that you may have obtained using "pre-checked boxes" under the old rules. If you have been sending CEMs using pre-checked boxes, you likely have express consent for your existing email lists.

Imagine Canada prepared two FAQ documents that provide further details about these exemptions and other aspects of CASL. The first of these will be of particular interest to registered charities as it outlines the circumstances under which they are exempt from the regulations. The second document is intended for nonprofits and other organizations, as they are not exempt from the regulations, and for registered charities that may carry out activities that fall beyond the exemption.

Webinars for a stress-free transition to CASL

CAPACOA has been answering lots of individual questions from members about CASL. We would now like to share this knowledge more broadly with all of our members or members of our presenting networks during public questions and answers sessions.

Webinar and Q&A on CASL (French session)
Thursday, June 26, 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT)
Presenter: Frédéric Julien, Project Manager, CAPACOA

Webinar and Q&A on CASL (English session)
Monday, June 30, 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT)
Presenter: Frédéric Julien, Project Manager, CAPACOA
Register now

Webinar and Q&A on CASL (English session)
Monday, July 7, 2014, 1:00-2:00 pm (EDT)
Presenter: Frédéric Julien, Project Manager, CAPACOA
Register now

About the Presenter

Frédéric Julien has been active in the performing arts for several years as an artist, a cultural manager and a consultant. He holds a master degree in music, as well as a graduate diploma in project management. Frédéric has worked at the department of Canadian Heritage, at Réseau Ontario and at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, where he currently provides research, policy and arts promotion expertise. Frédéric has been delivering providing policy and legislation analysis for the sector, serving as chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s Research and policy committee and as a member of Imagine Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation working group.


Previous News about Canada's Anti-spam Legislation

Clarifications and Webinars on Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, June 9, 2014

Learning about the Anti-Spam Law, March 12, 2014

Final Anti-Spam Regulations: A Few Good News, but Many Hurdles Still in Sight, December 18, 2013

Learning about the Anti-Spam Law, October 29, 2013

Anti-Spam Law - What's next?, June 17, 2013