Officers

President: Francine Schutzman
Vice President: Gary Morton
Secretary-Treasurer: Robin Moir

Executive Board

Lance Elbeck
Mike Mullin
David Renaud
Sean Rice

Delegates to AFM Convention

Francine Schutzman
Robin Moir

President Emeritus

Glenn Robb

 

Office Staff

Administrative Officers:

Dan Blackwell
Braiden Turner

Office Assistant: Marlene Morton

MPTF Coordinator: Glenn Robb

Website: Dave Poulin

DISCLAIMER

Your officers and editorial staff conscientiously screen all advertising submitted to the eNewsHarp. However, we cannot assume responsibility for product quality or advertising content, nor can your officers be held accountable for misrepresentations between side persons and leader/contractors.

Local 180 publishes the eNewsHarp on-line four times a year. In an election year, we also publish an election issue for members.

President’s Message

Francine Schutzman

What have our Local’s orchestras been doing during the pandemic?

by Francine Schutzman, with a little help from our friends

The Sudbury Symphony is a community orchestra with three core members who lead the violin and cello sections (there is currently no violist under contract, but there is one in Sudbury who is able to join the core members to play quartets).  Last fall, the musicians and Local agreed to a one-year extension of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA), with small gains in pension. The musicians have been unable to gather in person during the Ontario lockdowns, but they teach at the Sudbury Conservatory as part of their contracted duties with the orchestra.  As with most music teachers these days, those lessons have sometimes been held remotely, and in person when possible.  In addition, the core members have managed to play four quartet concerts, two last October and two in December.  They have also had opportunities to do fifteen trio outreach concerts using coffee shops and office space. Now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted, the group is allowed to resume in-person rehearsals and teaching.  The string quartet has two live family concerts scheduled for March 21st.  Thanks to this update on their activities by Beth Schneider-Gould and Dobrochna Zubek.

Per Jo Ann Simpson: The activities of the Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau have been hampered by the Quebec lockdown and curfew and the fact that some members live in Montreal and are not supposed to travel outside their “red” zone. Several concerts were scheduled but then had to be postponed or cancelled, and some archived concerts have been posted online.  The upcoming concert scheduled for April 10th was supposed to have been the last of the season; it may well be the first.

From Cresta deGraaff and Sarah Devlin: The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra has maintained a strong online presence since the start of the pandemic. Their RE-JOYce web series includes archived concerts dating back as far as 1996, with at least 21 episodes to date that can be viewed on a computer, tablet or phone. In addition, eight mini chamber concerts were recorded in the fall for the orchestra’s Eine kleine Distanced Musik series, which has been available for viewing on Rogers TV throughout the fall and winter. The orchestra hosted an online FUNraiser in August which featured several of their musicians, and there is a donation link on all their videos as well as their website for those who “tune in” (pun intended).  In addition to all this, several musicians from the orchestra have been featured in online interviews. 

The Ottawa Symphony has a mandate to provide pre-professional training opportunities to aspiring musicians, and has a longstanding partnership with the University of Ottawa. They are also now developing a pilot program with Carleton University which will launch in fall 2021, through which an OSO Ensemble-In-Residence will coach and mentor select Carleton music students. In January 2019, the OSO moved to the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (previously Dominion-Chalmers Church) as their main performance venue.

Perhaps the biggest news about the OSO this season is the re-development of their operational model. The standard Ottawa Symphony season of five large-scale concerts per year is no longer financially viable, and there is also a desire to move towards programming that better caters to and represents the community. There will certainly be more “big sound” concerts in the future, although fewer in number, but smaller groups will now be featured as well. The orchestra has a new General Manager, Sarah Devlin, and as of this writing they are also searching for a new concertmaster who will take a leadership role in the rejuvenated organization and chair the new Artistic Planning Committee. The orchestra is specifically seeking an individual who resides in Ottawa, with an emphasis on qualities of leadership and artistic vision as well as strong musicianship.

And then we come to the National Arts Centre Orchestra (reported by yours truly):  The musicians have been standing by to perform since the pandemic was announced last March.  They have played individual Lunch Breaks in their own homes, employing very creative means to connect with their audience members. The stay-at-home orders for Ontario have impacted on the orchestra’s ability to play together, but when they have been able to gather in person, they have recorded concerts onstage.  All of these are available for viewing on the Centre’s website (nac-cna.ca).  If you have seen any of the orchestra concerts, you will notice that the string players and percussionists are always masked.  The winds pull their masks down only to play, and there are fitted cloths over the bells in order to cut down on the dissemination of droplets through the air.  The NAC has gone to great lengths to protect the well-being of everyone who works there.  Two orchestra members are on a committee that deals with the safe re-opening of the NAC according to the guidelines of the moment.

That is the more positive news. The not-so-good story is that we have been trying to negotiate a successor CBA for NACO for more than a year.  We had a couple of meetings in person last February and then took a break over the summer, hoping that we would be able to meet together in the fall.  We started up again in September, meeting via Zoom.  As of January 28th, we have corresponded only through a federally-appointed mediator.  This was at the insistence of the team from the NAC.  We have found this process to be a great deal less than helpful, as the process has been very slow. It has felt as if we took one step forward and two steps back.  This has been the most frustrating round of negotiations in which I have participated since NACO’s seven-week strike of 1989. The sticking point is media.  There is a wide gap between what the NAC would like to do and what we are allowed to do according to AFM bylaws and existing media agreements.

Update: today is March 4th, and the translator for the Harp has been waiting patiently to see if there were to be any changes to my article.  Today was the first (and only) time we were able to meet with the mediator (via Zoom, of course) and with the management team from the NAC. I am very happy to report that, as of a few hours ago, we have a tentative deal.  I say “tentative” because it still needs to be ratified by the NAC’s Board of Directors and by the musicians of NACO.  However, both sides of the bargaining table feel confident in recommending ratification to our constituents. We feel that we gave a whole lot to accommodate the NAC’s needs during a time when they have been unable to generate any meaningful revenue, and it will be an interesting few years ahead  as we see how those accommodations play out.

Robin and I were both enormously impressed with the hard-working members of the NACO players’ committee, which doubled as the negotiation team.  Steve van Gulik had to step off the team during the summer and was most ably replaced by Larry Vine.  Both Larry and David Goldblatt had years of negotiating experience under their belts.  It was the first time around for Emily Westell and Frederic Moisan.  They learned and they contributed to the effort.  Special kudos to the committee chair, Jeremy Mastrangelo, for staying even-tempered, doing tons of research, always being prepared, and explaining the needs of the musicians in a clear, concise manner.  Our lawyer, Michael Wright, served as the voice of reason, keeping us focused and educating us as to what goes on other unions.  We couldn’t have gotten through this without him. Thanks to all of you.

Francine

Rapport de la président

À quoi se sont affairés les orchestres de notre Section locale pendant la pandémie?

(signé Francine Schutzman, avec un peu d’aide de nos amis)

L’Orchestre symphonique de Sudbury, un orchestre communautaire, compte trois membres clés à la tête des sections des violons et des violoncelles (malgré qu’aucun altiste ne soit présentement sous contrat, un altiste de Sudbury est en mesure de se joindre aux membres clés afin de jouer en quatuor). L’automne dernier, les musiciens et la Section locale ont accepté de prolonger d’une année leur convention collective, avec quelques gains au chapitre du régime de retraite. Bien que les musiciens aient été incapables de se réunir en personne pendant le confinement ontarien, ils enseignent au conservatoire de Sudbury dans le contexte de leurs fonctions au sein de l’orchestre. Comme il en est le cas pour la plupart des professeurs de musique actuellement, ces leçons ont été parfois offertes à distance, et en personne, le cas échéant. De plus, les membres clés ont réussi à offrir quatre concerts en quatuor, notamment deux en octobre dernier et deux en décembre. Ils ont aussi eu l’occasion de présenter 15 concerts sociaux offerts en trio, lesquels ont été tenus dans des cafés et des espaces à bureaux. L’ordre de rester à la maison ayant été levé, le groupe peut reprendre ses répétitions et ses leçons en personne. Le quatuor à cordes prévoit également offrir deux concerts familiaux le 21 mars. Nous remercions Beth Schneider-Gould et Dobrochna Zubek pour cette mise à jour de leurs activités.

Selon Jo Ann Simpson : les activités de l’Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau ont été entravées en raison du confinement et du couvre-feu au Québec ainsi que du fait que certains membres vivant à Montréal ne sont pas censés voyager à l’extérieur de leur zone « rouge ». Plusieurs concerts à l’horaire ont dû être reportés ou annulés, et certains concerts archivés ont été diffusés en ligne. Le prochain concert, prévu le 10 avril, devait être le dernier de la saison, mais il sera peut-être bien le premier.

Selon Cresta deGraaff et Sarah Devlin : l’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa a maintenu une solide présence en ligne depuis le début de la pandémie. Sa série d’émissions RE-JOYce sur le Web comprend des concerts archivés remontant aussi loin qu’en 1996, avec à ce jour au moins 21 épisodes que l’on peut visionner sur un ordinateur, une tablette ou un téléphone. De plus, huit miniconcerts de chambre ont été enregistrés à l’automne au profit de la série d’émissions Eine Kleine Distanced Musik, laquelle était disponible sur la chaîne de télévision câblée de Rogers tout au long de l’automne et de l’hiver. En août, l’orchestre a tenu une campagne de plaisir et de financement « FUNraiser », mettant en vedette plusieurs de ses musiciens. Un lien pour les dons est affiché sur toutes ses vidéos et sur son site Web à l’intention des personnes qui se sont « branchées ». De plus, plusieurs musiciens de l’orchestre ont été mis en lumière dans des entrevues en ligne. 

L’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa a comme mandat d’offrir des possibilités de formation préprofessionnelle aux musiciens en herbe, et jouit d’un partenariat de longue date avec l’Université d’Ottawa. Il élabore présentement un programme pilote en collaboration avec l’Université Carleton, lequel sera lancé à l’automne 2021. Par l’entremise de ce programme, l’ensemble en résidence de l’OSO fournira l’entraînement et le mentorat aux étudiants de musique choisis. En janvier 2019, l’OSO est déménagé au Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (anciennement le Dominion-Chalmers Church) lequel lui servira de principale salle de spectacles.

La plus importante nouvelle de la saison concernant l’OSO est possiblement la restructuration de son modèle opérationnel. Les cinq concerts d’envergure annuels qu’offrait l’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa pendant la saison régulière ne sont plus viables sur le plan financier, et l’orchestre souhaite aussi se diriger vers une programmation répondant et représentant davantage la communauté. Des concerts au « son puissant » seront certainement prévus à l’avenir, bien qu’en moins grand nombre, et des plus petits groupes seront aussi mis en lumière. L’orchestre a une nouvelle directrice générale, Sarah Devlin, et au moment de la présente rédaction, il recherche aussi un nouveau premier violon pour jouer un rôle prédominant au sein de l’organisme rajeuni, et présider le nouveau comité de planification artistique. L’orchestre recherche particulièrement une personne vivant à Ottawa, avec un accent sur des qualités de leadership et de vision artistique ainsi qu’une solide musicalité.

Parlons maintenant de l’Orchestre du Centre national des Arts (mise à jour de votre toute dévouée) : les musiciens attendent de s’exécuter depuis l’annonce de la pandémie en mars dernier. Ils ont offert des pauses du midi dans leurs propres foyers, utilisant des moyens créatifs de joindre leurs auditoires. Les ordres de rester à la maison de l’Ontario ont eu une incidence sur la capacité des membres de l’orchestre de s’exécuter ensemble, mais lorsqu’ils ont pu se réunir en personne, ils ont enregistré des concerts sur scène. Vous pouvez visionner tous ces concerts sur le site Web du Centre (nac-cna.ca). Si vous avez eu l’occasion de visionner l’un ou l’autre de ces concerts, vous aurez remarqué que les instrumentistes à cordes et les percussionnistes portent toujours le masque. Les instrumentistes à vent retirent leur masque uniquement pour s’exécuter, et les clochettes sont recouvertes de chiffons ajustés afin de réduire la propagation des gouttelettes dans l’air. Le CNA s’est donné beaucoup de mal pour protéger le bien-être de tous les employés. Deux membres de l’orchestre font partie d’un comité veillant à la réouverture du CNA en toute sécurité, tout en respectant les lignes directrices actuelles.

Voilà des nouvelles plus positives. L’histoire moins intéressante relève du fait que nous tentons de négocier une nouvelle convention collective pour l’OCNA depuis plus d’un an. Nous avons eu quelques rencontres présentielles en février dernier, prenant ensuite une pause pendant l’été dans l’espoir de pouvoir se réunir à l’automne. Nous avons redémarré en septembre, tenant des réunions en Zoom. À compter du 28 janvier, nous avons uniquement correspondu par l’entremise d’un médiateur nommé par le gouvernement fédéral, comme l’avait réclamé avec insistance l’équipe du CNA. Ce processus n’a pas été d’un grand secours alors qu’il s’est avéré fort lent. À vrai dire, nous semblons faire un pas en avant et deux pas en arrière. C’est la ronde de négociations la plus exaspérante que j’aie connue depuis la grève de sept semaines de l’OCNA en 1989. Les médias s’avèrent le point de désaccord. Un écart considérable existe entre ce que le CNA aimerait faire et ce qu’il lui est permis de faire en fonction des règlements administratifs de l’AFM et des ententes existantes avec les médias.

Mise à jour : aujourd’hui, le 4 mars, la traductrice attend patiemment les modifications probables à mon article. En effet, ce fut aujourd’hui la première (et la seule) occasion pour nous de rencontrer le médiateur (en Zoom bien entendu) et l’équipe de gestion du CNA. Je suis très heureuse de vous dire qu’il y a quelques heures à peine, nous avons conclu une entente de principe. Je dis bien « de principe » puisque le Conseil d’administration du CNA et les musiciens de l’OCNA doivent la ratifier. Toutefois, les deux parties à la table de négociation recommandent en toute confiance aux personnes visées de procéder à la ratification. À notre avis, nous avons beaucoup donné pour répondre aux besoins du CNA alors qu’il n’est pas en mesure de générer des recettes significatives, et il sera intéressant de voir comment ces accommodements s’appliqueront dans les prochaines années à venir.

Robin et moi avons été fort impressionnées par le travail consciencieux des membres du comité des artistes exécutants de l’OCNA, lequel a aussi servi d’équipe de négociation. Steve van Gulik, qui a dû se désister pendant l’été, a été remplacé avec beaucoup de compétence par Larry Vine. Tant Larry que David Goldblatt sont très expérimentés en matière de négociation. C’était cependant une première pour Emily Westell et Frederic Moisan qui ont appris et contribué à l’effort. Nous félicitons particulièrement le président du comité, Jeremy Mastrangelo, d’avoir eu aussi bon caractère, d’avoir effectué énormément de recherches, de toujours avoir été bien préparé et d’avoir expliqué clairement et précisément les besoins des musiciens. Notre avocat, Michael Wright, a été la voix de la raison, nous aidant à rester concentrés et nous éclairant sur les déroulements dans d’autres syndicats. Sans lui, nous n’aurions pas réussi à traverser cette période difficile. Merci à vous tous.

Francine

Secretary Treasurer’s Message

Robin Moir

Dear Members

 Television, radio and the Internet have kept us all well-informed as to how we are coping, or not, as individuals and as a community with the onset of the coronavirus. We have all experienced unexpected challenges and grinding stress as we struggle emotionally, financially and socially; as we try our best to remain positive and “cope” with life as it has evolved during the pandemic.

As it turns out, coping depends upon what we are like as individuals, and how much we can learn from others who are trying to manage their lives as well. We know that health, exercise, nutrition and a positive attitude are good in the “good times”, and as it turns out they are even more crucial in the difficult times. When the going gets tough it is hard get going when you’re sick or financially spent or desperately afraid.

The remarkable quality that I have always admired in musicians is their resilience. I see it so often in my friends and colleagues, and I read about it in the biographies of famous musicians and entertainers. I know that each one of us has experienced crushing set-backs, excruciating auditions and humiliating reviews but, wonder of wonders, we have bounced back, a little wiser and a lot feistier.

But how does this innate characteristic work? Why are we resilient?

As musicians we have learned to adapt to stress in many forms over a long period of time. We have learned through experience how to deal with the anxieties associated with things such as (but not limited to): dealing with sickness during a performance; unscrupulous business partners; limited rehearsal time; negative feedback from colleagues; stage fright; the endless can you please donate your services enquiries — the list is endless. In order to continue in the profession it is imperative to overcome these issues and move on.

Many musicians understand that their career in music is a calling. They connect with their work on a personal and emotional level. They are enthusiastic about their work and aim to keep improving daily; they have a sense of purpose regarding practice and creativity, and yearn to make a contribution to the world. These positive qualities imbue musicians with a resilience that is enviable. In other words, their work isn’t work at all. In overcoming each stumbling block while doing what they love most they reinforce their gifts and confidence. That means that on the whole musicians are driven with the need to create and perform music, in spite of whatever the world throws at them. Quite simply, music is fun.

As musicians most of us accept that our musical pals are really our family. They are the people who truly understand us, who know us… and like us anyway. They are our deepest connection to what drives us to create and perform. That is the connection we share, and that shared connection increases our resilience exponentially.

What I saw from the first hours of COVID-19 was musicians taking to the airwaves to entertain and bring music and joy to others….and as they raised the spirits of their audience they healed themselves.

Musicians have recorded, streamed, played live and zoomed to audiences around the world. They have written songs and created music just because they can; the bonus is the technology that grants them access to the planet.

Over the past year, whenever a television or radio program presents a “feel-good” story about COVID, nine times out of ten it’s been about how musicians or choirs or music teachers are using music to bring happiness to everyone watching and listening.

As musicians we understand how great are the gifts we’ve been given; our greatest coping mechanism is knowing that that when these gifts are shared with others, what we all experience is priceless.

Robin

Rapport de la secrétaire trésorière

À tous les membres

Les reportages à la télévision, à la radio et sur Internet nous ont bien renseignés sur notre aptitude à gérer, ou non, l’apparition du coronavirus en tant qu’individus et que communauté. Nous avons tous relevé des défis imprévus, et connu un stress extrême alors que nous menons une lutte sur le plan affectif, financier et social. Ainsi, nous veillons attentivement à demeurer positifs et à « s’adapter » à la vie au fur et à mesure de son évolution pendant la pandémie.

Mais il s’avère que l’adaptation dépend de qui nous sommes en tant qu’individus, et combien nous réussissons à apprendre des autres qui tentent aussi de gérer leur vie. Chose certaine, la santé, l’exercice, la nutrition et un attitude positive sont à recommander quand la « conjoncture est bonne », mais elles sont recommandées davantage dans les moments difficiles. Lorsque les difficultés surviennent, il est difficile de persévérer en cas de maladie, d’ennuis financiers ou d’une peur désespérée.

La résilience est l’une des qualités remarquables que j’ai toujours admirée chez les musiciens. Mes amis et mes collègues me le confirment souvent, et je le découvre aussi en lisant les biographies de musiciens et d’artistes renommés. Je sais que nous avons tous connu des revers dévastateurs, des auditions atroces et des revues humiliantes mais, merveille des merveilles, nous avons rebondi, un peu plus sages et beaucoup plus dynamiques.

Mais comment fonctionne cette caractéristique innée? Pourquoi sommes-nous résilients?

En tant que musicien, l’on a appris à s’adapter au stress sous plusieurs aspects au fil des années. L’expérience nous a appris à gérer les anxiétés telles que (sans en exclure d’autres) : la maladie pendant une représentation, des partenaires professionnels sans scrupules, des répétitions limitées, la rétroaction négative de collègues, le trac, les demandes sans fin de faire don de nos services – la liste est infinie. Pour persévérer dans notre profession, il importe de surmonter ces enjeux et d’aller de l’avant.

Bon nombre de musiciens comprennent que leur carrière en musique est une vocation. Ils épousent leur travail sur le plan personnel et émotionnel. Ils sont passionnés par leur travail et visent à s’améliorer quotidiennement. Ils ont un sens du devoir eu égard aux répétitions et à la créativité, et ils aspirent à contribuer à l’échelle mondiale. Ces qualités positives imprègnent les musiciens d’une résilience enviable. En d’autres mots, leur travail n’est réellement pas du travail. En surmontant chaque obstacle de taille alors qu’ils font ce qu’ils aiment le plus, ils renforcent leurs talents et leur confiance. En outre, dans l’ensemble, les musiciens sont animés par le besoin de créer et de produire de la musique, peu importe ce que leur réserve le monde. La musique c’est du plaisir, tout simplement.

Pour la plupart, en tant que musiciens, nous accueillons nos camarades musiciens comme des membres de notre famille. Ces gens nous comprennent, nous connaissent réellement… et ils nous aiment malgré tout. Ils sont notre plus profond lien vers ce qui nous motive à créer et à s’exécuter. Voilà le lien que nous partageons, un lien partagé qui augmente notre résilience de façon exponentielle.

Dès les premières heures de la COVID-19, j’ai vu des musiciens prendre l’antenne pour divertir et apporter musique et joie aux autres… c’est en remontant le moral de leur auditoire qu’ils se sont sauvés eux-mêmes.

Les musiciens ont enregistré, diffusé et offert des concerts en direct et en zoom à des auditoires partout au monde. Ils ont écrit des chansons et créé de la musique simplement parce que c’est possible pour eux de le faire. La technologie s’avère la prime qui leur donne accès à la planète.
Au cours de la dernière année, lorsqu’une émission de télévision ou de radio présente une histoire « réconfortante » au sujet de la COVID, neuf fois sur dix elle parle des musiciens ou des chorales ou des professeurs de musique qui se servent de la musique pour faire le bonheur de tous les spectateurs et auditoires.

En tant que musiciens, nous comprenons l’envergure du talent qui nous a été donné. Pour nous, le plus important mécanisme d’adaptation c’est de savoir que lorsque ce talent est partagé, l’expérience est inestimable pour nous tous.  

Robin

LIVESTREAMS CONTINUE

 

The Local is continuing to offer MPTF livestreaming opportunities to Local 180 members.

If you and/or group would like to perform a concert please contact:

Glenn Robbgrobb1@sympatico.ca
Dan Blackwelldan@ma180.org
Robin Moirrobinmoir@ma180.org

Please note that the MPTF needs promotional photos and bios so please send them to Glenn, Dan or Robin.

Also – Livestream Producers, Dave Poulin and Mike Mullin will have the contracts available for leaders to sign.

The MPTF NOW HAS THREE (3) SEPARATE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR ACCESS:

1. Regular Funding: these applications are made through the S.T. and are deducted from the Local’s allocation.
a. You can apply for events such as Communities, Education, and Medical Facilities.
b. All of these are at 50% co-sponsorship.

2. MusicianFest: This program is for single musicians who perform in Seniors’ facilities. These applications are made through the S.T. and are fully funded by MPTF. MPTF also requests a letter or email from the facility authorizing the performance and how the seniors would view the performance. https://musicpf.org/musicianfest/

3. Educational Initiative Program: You must submit a proposal first before being approved. Send proposals to the S.T. for processing. https://musicpf.org/music-in-schools/ Please note that this MPTF fully funded program has limited resources and your proposal should include the following:

• approximate number of people who will experience the music
• goal is what you expect to accomplish from this performance
• number of musicians
• type of music
• cost details (musicians, cartage, etc)
• mission
• number of concerts
• age group target
• activities for students

“If you have to ask what it is, you don’t get it. “

Most musicians know that was the response given by Louis Armstrong when asked to explain the meaning of Jazz. Moreover, if I ask the very same question in the context of the musicians’ union, one might propose a similar response although it’s probably not that simple an answer.

I was asked by our president to provide and share a few thoughts and commentary about why our musicians’ association is more relevant now than ever during the pandemic that we have been experiencing for almost a year. The last members’ general meeting was virtual; for those who tuned in, it was nice to hear from other musicians relating some of their experiences since the onset of Covid-19.

The musicians’ union has been there to support our members by providing services and funds for those in need during these challenging times, and not unlike what history has shown, unions have been there for their members when they are needed the most. It is not a surprise to know that our numbers have declined in recent years, given the economic downturns and gradual decline of performance opportunities for working musicians. Although these are challenging times, it has been comforting to know that, through the support of this Local and others throughout Canada and the U.S A., my affiliation and membership grants me the privilege and access to resources provided to me by membership in a professional and chartered organization.

I use those terms because most freelance musicians who are non-members don’t get that notion or idea. How does one define professional? One would be hard-pressed to find an individual who considers him/herself a professional who does not hold membership in a collective association or otherwise.

I am a Life Member, and along with the generation before me and members of my immediate family, the value of brotherhood is both understood and a given. No need to explain the meaning or purpose of “the union”.

So the next time you ask yourself why you should join or why I am a member of Local 180 – just remember the simple explanation given by Louis Armstrong or the one that I have provided.

Cheers,
Victor Nesrallah

Thoughts on the Arts During the Pandemic

by Dave Renaud

Speaking generally first, Covid has been a disaster for the arts in general, and musicians specifically. Any business model that requires a full hall is dead in the water. Many theaters require 80% or so attendance to break even, so even when allowed half a hall, that will not help them. Government programs that subsidize part or even most of the salaries, rent, and expenses don’t help if there are zero ticket sales to support any expenses whatsoever. In Canada, orchestras with significant government funding such as NAC, Montreal, and Vancouver continue operating, but all others are shut down in part or altogether indefinitely. Musicians as independent contractors have no benefits, no severance, no compensation of any type. Collective bargaining agreements can be dismissed as “Acts of God” carrying no liability. Epidemics are specified as one such condition. This is not a simple slow-down, not a recession for the arts, but for some a total shutdown, and for some potentially a career-ender.

So we see orchestras shuttered, theater programs closed, Cirque du Soleil declaring bankruptcy (that alone means thousands of arts jobs gone), commercial conventions are likely history, for nobody thinking clearly will book a big convention involving flying in people nationally or internationally and hiring musicians for receptions or dinners. Large weddings are not an option, special events and large festivals are on hold, not for months, but very likely for a couple of years.

So is all doom and gloom; is the end at hand?  No, some are finding new ways to engage. Musicians are writing, recording, and streaming. Private teaching is going online. New developments are beginning to enable live streaming concerts performed from multiple locations in real-time.

Speaking personally, times are changing, and although things may never be quite what they use to be, things are looking up. A year ago I could look at my book and tell you 10 months ahead many show runs I would be performing and many of the concert piano tunings I would be taking care of. Now, for the first time in a few decades, I am looking week by week at what is next, not sure. It requires a little more living by faith; this is not a bad thing.

Looking ahead, despair is slowly being replaced by hope. The vacuum is being pushed aside by new opportunities and new methods to embrace. I may not be quite as busy, continuously running from gig to gig and from tuning to tuning, but the new projects carry with them value and vision artistically. There is a saying that in the end, “all things work together for good”;  time will tell, but the vision is being restored.

We need the arts. So much of what we do is functional; providing for the things we need and consume, fulfilling the demands of the path we have created, creating an easier path with technology. For what, to survive?  The thing that makes us human, that is our essence, that is our inheritance — hope, love, creativity, imagination, faith, invention, creating an invisible spiritual connection, all rooted in intangibles that defy measurement and defy quantization. The arts are an outward expression of such things that at their deepest level are unknowable, but touchable in part through this window into the soul that arts provide. The human race needs the arts to keep on keeping on for the health and sanity of individuals, and of society. The arts must continue to seek, to search, to provide a vehicle for the human soul to express pain, joy, love, even anger, to provide encouragement for the soul, and to ask the hard questions.

SYNCSPACE.LIVE

explained by Dave Renaud

A new service developed by local AFM member Adrian Cho is allowing musicians to perform live in sync from multiple locations.  This is a game-changer in this era of shutdowns and curfews — one that will help our Local members have the ability to work again, with the added benefits of filing contracts and receiving pension benefits.

For months some of us tested everything available. Playing on Zoom together is hopeless.  We upgraded our internet to fiber Gygabite service and experimented with the parameters of programs like Jacktrip and Jamulus.  Despite our best efforts, delay times remained about 50-60ms, making it possible to play together online but still very awkward.  Apparently, among other problems, all Ottawa internet traffic is routed through Toronto, making bad worse for latency.

Adrian stepped up to the plate as a software developer, creating a new platform to solve this problem. He has customized servers and placed them strategically in Ottawa and other cities that make it not only possible to play together in these cities but to play together between cities. In some cases, we can now experience roundtrip network ping times as low as 2-3ms and overall delay times of 13-14ms for the two-way trip. Sound travels at about 1 foot per ms, so this is literally like standing 7 or 8 feet apart in the same room. Adrian has also incorporated other elements such as video. When playing together, musicians can see each other to exchange visual cues. The best part is that all of this can be broadcast to a live audience as high-quality video with in-sync audio and the musicians have the support of a broadcaster who adjusts the audio levels and switches camera angles.

The premier online performance was New Year’s Eve, a paid gig with ticket sales. Five musicians performed together from five locations, mixed from a sixth location.  Syncspace is now hosting concerts with ticket sales every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon for the next few months. There have been successful tests with musicians playing together both from different cities and internationally.  Some concerts are coming up that incorporate guests from out of town virtually.  Check out the goings-on at  Syncspace.live.com ; you may find it a great asset moving forward for your own use.

 

Several of us are now using this platform for online teaching, and once again we can play duets with our students in real time.  We are performing for audiences tuning in from other cities and even internationally, expanding our reach and mailing lists.  When halls finally do open up it likely will be with very limited seating, and we will continue to broadcast live concerts as a hybrid, both with in-person seating and with ticket sales virtually, in this manner continuing to expand the audience, the reach, and the income base to sustain concerts.

I feel this is a very big deal for our industry at this time. We are playing paid concerts once again for audiences in the neighborhood of 100 people and growing.

Playing live is so critically important. As a jazz performer, the conversation is part of the discipline.  Producing with tracks for a year is nice, but devoid of this dimension. Getting a reaction to an energy, a motif, a musical gesture or attitude allows a group to evolve and transform performance in an organic way that has been absent. Connecting again in real-time with real musicians is so uplifting and encouraging.  I am so excited to be participating in the negotiation with my peers once again. Also excited about the potential of Adrian’s new platform for a wide audience inter-city and international. The presence of a host mixing video and audio is great.  In many respects, this platform is a game-changer.  It is more than a platform; it is a gift to the musical community in these times. Loud cheers for Adrian.

Check out Syncspace.live. You will be glad you did. http://syncspace.live

STAY TUNED for the April International Musician, which features a profile of our member JW Jones.

ZOOM to the LOCAL 180 GENERAL MEETING

Monday, March 15 @ 12:30 p.m. from your place 

PLEASE SIGN IN AT 12 NOON SO WE’RE READY TO BEGIN ON TIME

If you know ahead of time that you’re attending, please notify dan@ma180.org so he can send out the past meeting’s  minutes for your review.

Supply your own lunch.

 . . . . . from our homes to yours:

MARCH GENERAL MEETING VIA ZOOM!!

MARCH GENERAL MEETING VIA ZOOM!!

This is a golden opportunity to attend a Local 180 General Meeting if you
haven’t been able to do so in the past because of distance or work.

When

Monday, March 15, 12:30 PM

PLEASE SIGN IN AT 12 NOON SO WE’LL BE READY TO BEGIN ON TIME

If you know ahead of time that you’re attending,
please notify dan@ma180.org so he can send out the past meeting’s  minutes for your review.

How

1. Download the Zoom app if you don’t already have it.
2. Send Robin or Dan an email to confirm your attendance.
3. Wait breathlessly to receive an email with the meeting ID number and password.
4. When the meeting time arrives, simply click on the link in the email.
Special instructions: Bring your own pizza.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU (VIRTUALLY) THERE.

robinmoir@ma180.org
dan@ma180.org

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR ASSISTANCE

LOCAL 180 RELIEF FUND

With the support of the friends, family and fans of the membership of the Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau, the Local established this fund to assist the music community impacted so deeply by the pandemic. It is a fund created by musicians for musicians. For more information email: robinmoir@ma180.org

UNISON BENEVOLENT FUND

The Unison Benevolent Fund’s mission is to help professional music-makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Unison provides a vital lifeline for members of the Canadian music community; and due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Unison’s counselling and emergency relief services has never been greater.

Unison Benevolent Fund CLICK HERE

SOCAN RELIEF FUND

SOCAN Foundation announces the launch of the SOCAN Foundation Relief Fund for SOCAN members during the COVID-19 pandemic. “While SOCAN members are quarantining, the SOCAN Foundation offers this program to provide some financial support to music creators and publishers to get through these unprecedented times. This new fund is open to all SOCAN members who have earned more than $500 in royalties in the four most recent SOCAN distributions. www.socanfoundation.ca

ACTORS’ FUND OF CANADA

Over the years many of our members have turned to the Actors’ Fund of Canada, which has been in existence since 1958 and disburses over $500,000 annually to cover necessities for members of all the many and various trades and professions that make up the entertainment industry, including musicians. Common requests include: Rent or mortgage, Grocery costs, Medical costs, Emergency dental costs, Utility bills Dues (maximum of one year’s worth of dues; no initiation fees)

Childcare expenses https://afchelps.ca/get-help/

https://afchelps.ca/covid-19-guide/

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA’S COVID-19 ECONOMIC REPSONSE PLAN
Support for individuals

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals

Support for Independent production companies

We are creating the Short-Term Compensation Fund initiative to compensate independent production companies for the lack of insurance coverage for COVID-19–related filming interruptions and production shutdowns in the sector.The fund will make as much as $50 million available for the industry.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#industry

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html

Employer Payroll Service:

When the services of an Employer Payroll Service are required, that fee will be calculated at 25% of each contract total.

Clause 9A Limited Pressing recordings (3000 copies or fewer)
Mandatory 12 % pension and 5% work dues
Leader: $87.50 per hour Musician: $55.00 per hour

 

These two amendments reflect what is happening on a national level.

New Members

2021-01-01 – 2021-03-2021

Guptill, Christine – Oboe
Bigelow, Patrick – Double Bass

 

Resignations

2021-01-01 – 2021-03-02

Gordon, Valerie –  Violin
Legault, Paul – Piano
Maddix, Dylan – Trumpet, Conductor
Oxorn, Karen – Vocalist
Pagliarello, Larry –  Accordion,Piano
Paquette, Pete – Vocalist, Guitarist
Woods, Cheryl – Keyboard, Piano

Our new mailing address is:

Box 47 Manotick 

Manotick ON

K4M 1A2

AFM ID Numbers

Dear Members,

For the purposes of filing contracts, the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada has done a great deal of work to protect the privacy of members in terms of SIN numbers. Canadian Locals are now permitted to use an AFM ID number in lieu of a SIN number on all contracts.

When sending funds from the Local 180 office, we will require you to know your AFM ID number.

Beginning in January this year, the office has included your AFM ID number on your membership dues receipt, which you received in the mail.

You may also go to cfmusicians.org and register there to obtain your AFM ID number and update any information. The good thing about registering on the site is that when you update your personal information, it is also received in the office so that we are current. 

Upcoming Local 180 General Meetings in 2021

Monday, March 15, 2021 – ON-Line VIA ZOOM

Monday, June 14, 2021 – ON-Line VIA ZOOM

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 ON-Line VIA ZOOM

Monday, December 13, 2021 – ON-Line VIA ZOOM

LOCAL OFFICE HOURS

Monday to Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Here are the closure dates from now until the end of 2021

Good Friday, April 2

Easter Monday, April 5

Victoria Day, Monday, May 24

Canada Day, Thursday, July 1

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 2

Labour Day, Monday, September 6

Thanksgiving, Monday, October 11

Remembrance Day, Thursday, November 11

Holiday Closing:

Closed – Thursday December 23 at noon

Open – December 27

Closed – December 30 at noon until Monday, January 3, 2021

Attention Members!!!

Due to popular demand members may now pay membership dues using E-Mail Transfer using the email address

dues@ma180.org

Once we process the transfer, we will send you an electronic receipt.

Thank you!

YOU’VE GOT MAIL & MONEY TO DEPOSIT!!!

Do we have your current email address?

The Local 180 Office sends out important advisories to members by email and we want to make sure that you’re reachable. This year the Local will also be paying most musicians using E-Transfer and Direct Deposit, so we MUST have your correct e-mail address.

Please notify the office of any changes to your contact information. Include your phone number, home address and email address.

Call (613)700-9260 to make sure that we have your correct contact information.

A REMINDER ABOUT EXPELLED MEMBERS

A person who has been expelled from our Association is no longer a member of the Association or the AFM. Members and leaders are reminded:

Do not play engagements with non-members. Persons are generally expelled for serious violations of our Constitution and Bylaws. Expulsion is not a life sentence; the individual has the right to settle these matters with the Board and regain member status. But until that step has been taken, we urge leaders and members not to give non-member rights and privileges which belong only to members.

MEMBERSHIP DUES 2021

YEARLY DUES – $212.00

HALF-YEAR DUES – $110.00

LIFETIME MEMBERS

YEARLY DUES – $110.00

HALF-YEAR DUES – $60.00

Next Deadline for Membership Dues JUNE 30, 2021

PENALTIES

TO REINSTATE FROM RESIGNING IN GOOD STANDING – $10.00

TO REINSTATE FROM SUSPENSION – $35.00

TO REINSTATE FROM EXPULSION – $45.00

Your business is music to our ears.

You spend hours perfecting your talent and invest in equipment which allows you to express it.

HUB International is in-tune with your needs and has you covered.

PROGRAM FEATURES
· All-risks’ coverage on your instruments and equipment
· Worldwide coverage
· Rental Reimbursement — up to $10,000 in coverage, if you need to rent instruments or equipment in the event of a loss
· $100 deductible per occurrence on instruments and equipment
· Commercial General Liability including bodily injury, property damage, medical payments tenants legal liability and non-owned automobile
· Up to $2,500 coverage on promotion material, T-shirts, CD’s, posters, etc.
· Loss of earnings up to $5,000 due to loss or damage to venue
· Loss of earning up to $5,000 due to loss or damage to equipment
· Rented, Leased or Borrowed Equipment, $10,000 limit up to 14 consecutive days

RATES AND PREMIUMS
· $2 rate per $100 sum insured for Instruments and Equipment
· Liability rates ($500 deductible):
o $1,000,000 limit – $60 per member
o $2,000,000 – $115 per member
o Higher limits available upon request

APPLY FOR COVERAGE
Cristina Omar| cristina.omar@hubinternational.com | 519-325-1785 | TF: 800-463-4700
Musicians’ Instrument
Equipment Liability
Insurance
Specifically for
CFM / AFM members