Delegates to AFM Convention
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Message from the Executive Board
Surviving the Pandemic
This has been a challenging year for all, but especially so for those in the entertainment industry. We don’t know if we will ever be able to return to the old way of doing things, but we thought that it would be interesting to have a look at the way life has been for the Local 180 officers and board members since March 2020.
President Francine Schutzman:
When we started negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement between the musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in February 2020, we met in person (“we” being the five musicians of the orchestra committee, Robin, our lawyer Michael Wright, and me, meeting with a team composed of members of the NACO management and the NAC Human Resources office). Then the world closed down, so we figured that we would wait a few months until the pandemic blew over so that we could once again be together in the same room. We certainly did not want to negotiate via Zoom meetings. Well, ha! You all know how that turned out. We resumed negotiations in the Fall, got used to meeting over Zoom, and concluded the agreement in March 2021, more than a year after we had started.
We all agree that holding our Local’s general meetings over Zoom has worked very well. It started out as a matter of sheer necessity, but luckily it seems to have been a success. Attendance has been better than when we were able to get together in person. Our members don’t have to factor in travel time or find a place to park. Sure, we miss the pizza, but it looks as if we’ll continue holding the meetings this way. At this point, it remains to be seen what the executive board will do when life gets back to something resembling normality. Our Zoom meetings have been fine, but I miss seeing those guys in person!
The biggest change for the Local has been our move to Barrhaven. The loss of work for our musicians has resulted in a loss of membership numbers. The Local is far from unique in this respect, but we still have had to deal with the change in our circumstances. Robin found a one-room office that is a long way from the downtown location that we have enjoyed for many decades, but we’re saving a lot in rent, and the smaller space has been relatively easy to keep sanitized in conformity with Covid guidelines. We allow just one person at a time to be in the office. The move encouraged us to clean out quite a bit of paper that we didn’t need any more, and the remaining archival material is boxed up and waiting in a storage building. What will the future hold? We’re not sure yet, but what we do know is that we will continue to serve our members as best we can, no matter where our physical office is located.
Secretary-Treasurer Robin Moir:
In terms of the Local 180 Office, the pandemic absolutely changed everything …overnight. When I looked out of our office window the Metcalfe street was bare, and it was an eerie sight. I was unsure about the future, but I immediately began a deep dive into articles about the Spanish Flu pandemic, and from what I read I reckoned that we would have to endure similar circumstances and that we would be fighting this scourge for at least two years. I do remember my Scottish grandparents often talking about the Spanish Flu and its ravaging effects in Scotland and Europe in general.
By the middle of March 2020, I was looking for a much smaller office space so that we could save on rent.
We were ready to leave our office by the end of May and we hurriedly repositioned ourselves to Barrhaven. We left one computer and the credit card machine and some general files in the new office, and we moved our personal computers into our homes. Dan set us all up and we tried to continue as before, but we found it difficult at best.
I think that I can say that for almost 60 years and through the many previous administrations, the Local has operated with a staff of three, sometimes four, with all members in the office working together — in other words, working in a collegial setting.
Although each member has had their individual duties, everyone knows what has to be done concerning the responsibilities of other staff members, and so there always was a sharing of duties with central files in the office for each of the components of our work —for example: funds in transfer; contracts completed; contracts awaiting payments or signatures (pending); membership payments and receipts; work dues payments and receipts; pension contributions and receipts; monthly bill payments and receipts; MPTF coordination with musicians, New York, technicians; and those payments and receipts for the funds paid out to musicians.
When we moved into our homes we had to create a new system from the ground up, and the good news regarding this whole restructuring scenario is that we are now almost completely digital with paper backups for our bookkeeper when necessary.
We had to do all of this while continuing with our regular work load, which has actually been busier than before. The members who have remained active have sought creative ways to stay in business, and that has meant that the Local has worked with the CFM to see that these musicians have the appropriate contracts that will allow them to have pension contributions made on their work. So many more recording and streaming engagements have meant that leaders had to understand the different contracts, work dues and pension contributions.
In March of 2020 two matters of importance for the local were created: the Relief Fund and the MPTF streaming concerts. Both of these endeavours have taken a tremendous amount of time and manpower as we will be continuing these concerts until at least August. We have mounted over sixty-two one-hour concerts and paid out as of this writing over $35,000 to musicians. The Relief Fund has collected in the neighbourhood of $61,000, and we have distributed approximately $51,900 to members needing support.
We could not have accomplished any of this without our dedicated office staff of Dan Blackwell, Braiden Turner, Marlene Morton and our MPTF coordinator Glenn Robb, along with technicians Mike Mullin and Dave Poulin. A huge thank-you to the MPTF staff in New York who have made this happen for all North American Locals. And I am deeply grateful to all of the talented and generous Local 180 members who have done whatever they can to entertain friends, family and fans and to donate to the Relief Fund.
Vice-President Gary Morton:
Despite these challenging times a little glimmer of good times has crept into my life. Some colleagues from many years ago have started to reconnect with each other. With the advent of being able to connect with anyone anywhere via new technology and reduced prices we all seem to be taking the time to check in on our friends.
Small groups of people are making sure that our friends from long ago are still healthy and sane. Facebook, Facetime, and many other communication devices have made it easier and cheaper to connect. I’m sure many of us remember when we had to wait until Sunday night after six o’clock to make long distance calls, and we kept an eye on the clock to make sure those weren’t too long. Now some of these methods cost nothing. All these new methods have made it easier to spend time with loved ones and old friends. Personally, people I would talk to once or twice a year are now on my daily call list. The lockdowns that we have all experienced have increased the bond between friends. We talk daily about current events, our health, and the music business. I feel that I know these people better than at any time during our lives. When we add in the advent of video to the mix and we get to see each other, it’s not just a voice. The manufacturers of technology have had to step up as well. It became necessary for them to make better products to satisfy our desire for better devices. Sure, we have had to stay home for weeks and months for our own safety, but the human connection has been much better.
Board Member Mike Mullin:
Live Streaming and Us
It’s been almost a year and half since the bottom fell out of the live music business. If you’re like me, it’s been a scramble to make ends meet. Some of us have had no choice but go and do whatever it takes to pay the rent. Some of us were able to take their teaching studios online with relatively little heartache (not like teaching in person, but doable).
I, like so many of you, have taken on the challenge of presenting music via the internet, in real time, no editing or retakes — just like a live, “in the flesh”, show.
What a learning curve over and above the challenge of making music. Am I right? In the early days, a lot of heroic attempts were made and went down in flames. For a variety of reasons things have improved immensely and some of us have added a new way of offering musical services to the general public. Some musicians are even making money at it.
The AFM’s Music Performance Trust Fund has come through with a large fund of money paying thousands of musicians right across North America to present live free concerts on the Internet. Isle Of Skye Inc., Joe Turner, Glenn Robb, and Robin Moir are all to be thanked for making this happen in our Local.
Last, but not least, as a concert or as a lesson, it’s not going to go away. Whether it’s timing, bad weather, or just convenience, the music-buying public will want live streaming as an option.
Board Member Lance Elbeck:
I have taught violin in the Ottawa area for 6 years. It’s been a joyous retirement experience helping young players, and last year before Covid-19, I had attracted a class of more than 30 students.
When Covid first hit, many parents of my students became reluctant to have their child still study. I felt their perception was that distanced learning was going to fail them in some way because we were not all together face-to-face. A few kids had tried online learning before and had disappointing experiences, so try as I might, I was unsuccessful reversing some parents’ decisions. I now have less than half of my previous students still with me.
I’m not a tech-savvy guy, so the frustrations of the various different platforms were very real for me. Let’s see – we had the frozen screen with bad reception, then I would have to call them back. If I was on Zoom and they began to play, often I could not hear anything for a whole line! Bad equipment made their violin sound like a lawnmower!! I found myself talking too loud and too much.
A year later I have grown closer to the students that have “stuck it out”. Each of them have become more patient with me and I with them. All have improved.
I know better what to look for with them and when we go back to in-person lessons hopefully I’ll be a more perceptive teacher.
Also, I realize it’s a new world out there in communication. Opportunity is ripe now and if I can advertise myself properly with a new website, I can teach anyone from anywhere! So I guess this Covid year has brought growth instead of disappointment!
Board Member Sean Rice
(NAC Orchestra musician)
Like other artists and arts institutions around the world, the National Arts Centre Orchestra had to cease operations when the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. During that time, we all sought to find ways to continue making music and engage with our audiences. Members recorded videos from home that were later released online through various social media platforms. Other musicians engaged in numerous teaching initiatives and shared their expertise of music education throughout the country while navigating how to efficiently teach with online telecommunications. While we are currently locked down in the midst of a third wave of outbreaks in Ottawa, there was a brief period where our orchestra could safely meet to rehearse and perform. These performances were offered to the world via live stream. This was the NAC orchestra’s first foray into the world of live streaming.
To make this possible, the musicians and the NAC had to find ways to safely rehearse. We all had our temperatures checked and submitted health screening forms on days where we had to be in the NAC. When a musician entered the NAC, they had to be masked, hands were sanitized and temperatures were checked. So how does an orchestra with wind players rehearse while masking? This was one of the most important discussions before having the orchestra work together. Several members of the orchestra were part of a committee that worked with the NAC to research and develop solutions that mitigated risk and increased the safety for all involved. The wind players were separated by three meters with plexiglass dividers between them and the string section of the orchestra. Additionally, the wind players only removed the mask when playing and immediately had to re-mask after an entry was concluded. Our instrument bells were covered to reduce aerosols and some players even designed masks that allowed them to place their mouthpiece through an opening flap.
It has been a wild journey navigating how to safely gather and perform for our audiences. I know all artists have felt the loss of being able to perform and interact with others. Hopefully increasing vaccination rates will continue to limit the spread of this virus and allow our music venues to safely welcome audiences again.
Board Member Dave Renaud:
This last year has demanded new methods. It has invited me to embrace new technologies and to evolve new skill sets. Syncspace.live has not only allowed live ticketed performances with musicians from different studio locations, and even from different cities, but is allowing me to teach online and play live duets with students. I also registered with playwithapro.com and have been teaching the odd lesson to students in the USA and Britain, paid in US dollars. It has been necessary to learn video editing as well as to up my game on technological requirements for live music for broadcast. Performance work being limited to online has left more time for writing and recording, editing web page content, and preparing the groundwork for next steps when things open up again. Some of these new developments will be an asset moving forward as things open up again with live-performance venues. I’m very much looking forward to that.
Rapport de le conseil exécutif
Survivre à la pandémie
Nous avons tous vécu une année difficile, mais elle l’a été particulièrement pour ceux de l’industrie du divertissement. Nous ignorons s’il nous sera possible de revenir à l’ancienne manière de faire les choses, mais nous avons pensé qu’il serait intéressant d’examiner la vie des représentants et des membres du Conseil de la Section locale 180 depuis mars 2020.
La présidente, Francine Schutzman
Lorsque nous avons entamé les négociations relatives à une nouvelle convention collective entre les musiciens de l’Orchestre du Centre national des Arts en février 2020, nous nous sommes rencontrés en personne (« nous » étant les cinq musiciens du comité d’orchestre, Robin, notre avocat Michael Wright et moi-même, rencontrant une équipe composée de gestionnaires de l’OCNA et du bureau des Ressources humaines du CNA). Comme le monde s’est ensuite fermé, on s’est dit que nous allions attendre quelques mois jusqu’à ce que la pandémie soit passée et que nous puissions encore se rencontrer dans une même pièce. Nous ne voulions certainement pas négocier par voie de réunions en mode Zoom. Eh bien! Vous en connaissez tous la suite. Nous avons repris les négociations à l’automne, s’habituant aux rencontres en mode Zoom, et nous avons conclu l’entente en mars 2021, plus d’un an après avoir entamé les négociations.
Nous sommes tous d’accord que la tenue des assemblées générales de la Section locale en mode Zoom a très bien fonctionné. Bien que cela ait été par pure nécessité au début, l’expérience s’est avérée un succès. La participation a été meilleure que lors des assemblées en présentiel. Nos membres n’ont pas eu à tenir compte du temps de déplacement ou à chercher un stationnement. Nous manquons bien entendu la pizza, mais il semble que nous continuerons de tenir les réunions de cette façon. En ce moment, il reste à voir ce que le conseil exécutif décidera lorsque la vie reprendra un semblant de normalité. Bien que nos réunions en mode Zoom se soient bien déroulées, je manque de voir ces gens en personne!
Le plus important changement pour la Section locale a été le déménagement à Barrhaven. La perte d’emploi pour nos musiciens a entraîné une perte des adhésions. La Section locale est loin d’être unique à cet égard, mais nous avons toutefois eu à faire face à notre situation. Robin a trouvé un bureau d’une pièce très loin de l’emplacement du centre-ville dont nous avons joui pendant plusieurs décennies. En conséquence, nous économisons beaucoup en loyer, et l’espace restreint est relativement plus facile à désinfecter conformément aux directives de la COVID. De plus, une seule personne est admise au bureau à la fois. Le déménagement nous a permis d’éliminer beaucoup de paperasse qui ne servait plus, et le reste du matériel d’archive est rangé dans un entrepôt. Que nous réserve l’avenir? Nous ne le savons pas encore, mais nous savons que nous continuerons à servir nos membres du mieux que nous pouvons, peu importe l’emplacement physique de notre bureau.
La secrétaire trésorière, Robin Moir
Dans le cas du bureau de la Section locale 180, la pandémie a tout changé… du jour au lendemain. Lorsque j’ai regardé par la fenêtre de notre bureau, la rue Metcalfe était déserte, une scène très dérangeante. L’avenir me paraissait incertain, mais j’ai immédiatement examiné à fond des articles portant sur la pandémie de grippe espagnole, lesquels m’ont porté à croire que nous allions devoir vivre des circonstances semblables et que nous allions lutter contre ce fléau pendant au moins deux ans. Je me souviens que mes grands-parents écossais parlaient souvent de la grippe espagnole et de ses ravages en Écosse et en Europe en général.
À la mi-mars 2020, je recherchais un plus petit espace de bureau afin d’économiser sur le loyer.
Nous étions prêts à quitter le bureau dès la fin de mai, et nous nous sommes rapidement repositionnés à Barrhaven. Nous avons laissé un ordinateur et l’automate à cartes de crédit ainsi que certains dossiers dans le nouveau bureau, et nous avons déménagé nos ordinateurs personnels dans nos demeures. Dan a tout mis en place pour nous et nous avons tenté de poursuivre comme par le passé, chose qui s’est avérée tout de même difficile.
Je peux dire que pendant près de 60 ans et plusieurs administrations antérieures, la Section locale a opéré avec un personnel de trois, parfois quatre personnes, travaillant tous ensemble au bureau – autrement dit, dans un contexte de collégialité.
Bien que chaque membre ait ses tâches individuelles, tous connaissent les responsabilités des autres membres du personnel, ce qui a toujours donné lieu au partage des tâches liées aux dossiers centraux appropriés à chaque composante de notre travail – par exemple : les virements de fonds, l’achèvement des contrats, les contrats en attente d’un paiement ou de signatures (en suspens), les paiements et les reçus d’adhésions, les paiements et les reçus appropriés aux cotisations syndicales, les contributions et les reçus appropriés au régime de retraite et les paiements de factures mensuelles, la coordination entre le MPTF et les musiciens, New York, les techniciens, ainsi que les paiements et les reçus appropriés aux fonds payés aux musiciens.
Le déménagement dans nos propres demeures a exigé la création d’un nouveau système à partir de zéro, et la bonne nouvelle quant à ce scénario de restructuration est que notre système est maintenant presque entièrement numérique, avec des documents papier en sauvegarde pour le comptable, le cas échéant.
Tout cela a été effectué parallèlement à la réalisation de notre volume de travail habituel, lequel s’est avéré plus chargé que par le passé. Les membres qui sont demeurés actifs ont trouvé des moyens créatifs de poursuivre leurs activités, de sorte que la Section locale a collaboré avec la FCM pour veiller à ce que ces musiciens aient les contrats appropriés leur permettant de contribuer à la caisse de retraite dans le contexte de leur travail. En raison du plus grand nombre d’enregistrements et de diffusions, les chefs devaient comprendre les divers contrats, les cotisations syndicales et les cotisations de retraite.
En mars 2020, deux enjeux d’importance pour la Section locale ont été créés : le Fonds de soutien et les concerts en continu du MPTF. Chacune de ces initiatives a exigé énormément de temps et de main-d’œuvre alors que nous prévoyons offrir ces concerts au moins jusqu’en août. Nous avons monté plus de 62 concerts d’une heure et, à ce jour, nous avons payé plus de 35 000 $ aux musiciens. Le Fonds de soutien a recueilli environ 61 000 $, et nous avons distribué 51 900 $ aux membres nécessitant un soutien.
Cette réalisation n’aurait pas été possible sans notre vigilant personnel de bureau, notamment Dan Blackwell, Braiden Turner, Marlene Morton et Glenn Robb, notre coordonnateur du MPTF, ainsi que les techniciens Mike Mullin et Dave Poulin. Nous remercions sincèrement le personnel du MPTF à New York qui a permis de réaliser ce projet à l’intention de toutes les sections locales en Amérique du Nord. De plus, je suis profondément reconnaissante envers les talentueux et généreux membres de la Section locale 180 qui ont fait leur possible pour divertir leurs amis, leurs proches et les amateurs de musique et pour contribuer au Fonds de soutien.
Le vice-président, Gary Morton
Malgré cette période difficile, une lueur des bons moments s’est immiscée dans ma vie. Des collègues de longue date ont renoué leurs amitiés. Avec l’avènement des nouvelles technologies nous permettant de communiquer à prix réduit avec n’importe qui, n’importe où, nous prenons le temps de retrouver nos amis.
Des petits groupes de personnes s’assurent que nos amis d’antan sont toujours en santé et sains d’esprit. Facebook, Facetime, et plusieurs autres mécanismes de communication ont facilité et réduit le coût des retrouvailles. Plusieurs se souviendront certainement du temps où il fallait attendre le dimanche soir après 18 h pour les interurbains, tout en surveillant l’horloge pour éviter de parler trop longtemps. Aujourd’hui, certaines de ces méthodes ne coûtent rien. Toutes ces nouvelles méthodes ont facilité la possibilité de passer du temps avec nos proches et nos amis de longue date. Personnellement, les personnes à qui je parlais une ou deux fois par année sont maintenant sur ma liste d’appels quotidiens. Le confinement que nous avons tous connu a renforcé les liens entre amis. Nous échangeons quotidiennement sur l’actualité, notre santé et l’industrie de la musique. J’ai le sentiment de mieux connaître ces personnes qu’à tout autre moment de nos vies. Ajoutons à cela l’élément vidéo et nous avons aussi une image plutôt que juste une voix. Les fabricants de la technologie ont aussi accéléré leurs efforts. Ils devaient nécessairement créer des meilleurs produits pour satisfaire notre désir de meilleurs appareils. Bien sûr, nous sommes restés à la maison pendant des semaines et des mois pour notre propre sécurité, mais le contact humain a été grandement amélioré.
Le membre du Conseil, Mike Mullin
La diffusion en direct et nous
Le monde de la musique en direct s’est effondré il y a déjà un an et demi. Si vous êtes comme moi, c’est difficile de joindre les deux bouts. Certains n’ont pas eu d’autre choix que de faire le nécessaire pour payer le loyer. Certains ont réussi à présenter leurs studios d’enseignement en ligne sans trop de peine (c’est différent de l’enseignement en personne, mais c’est réalisable).
Comme plusieurs d’entre vous, j’ai relevé le défi de présenter la musique sur Internet, en temps réel, sans édition ou reprise – tout comme un spectacle en direct, « en chair et en os ». Quelle courbe d’apprentissage au-delà du défi de faire de la musique. Ai-je raison? Au début, plusieurs tentatives héroïques ont été mises à l’essai et sont parties en fumée. Pour diverses raisons, tout s’est grandement amélioré et quelques-uns ont ajouté une nouvelle façon d’offrir des services musicaux au grand public. Certains musiciens réussissent même à en tirer profit.
Le Music Performance Trust Fund de l’AFM a recueilli une importante somme d’argent, rémunérant des milliers de musiciens partout en Amérique du Nord afin de présenter des concerts gratuits sur Internet. Nous remercions la société Isle Of Skye Inc., les membres Joe Turner, Glenn Robb et Robin Moir d’avoir rendu cette initiative possible dans notre Section locale.
Dernier point, mais non le moindre, en concert ou en leçon, ce n’est pas près de disparaître. Que ce soit attribuable au moment opportun, au mauvais temps, ou simplement à la commodité, les acheteurs de musique réclameront la diffusion en direct comme option.
Le membre du Conseil, Lance Elbeck
J’enseigne le violon à Ottawa depuis six ans. C’est une expérience agréable d’aider les jeunes artistes, et l’an passé, avant la COVID-19, j’enseignais à une classe de plus de 30 étudiants.
Dès la première vague de la COVID, plusieurs parents de mes élèves étaient réticents à ce que leur enfant poursuive ses études. À mon avis, ils percevaient l’apprentissage à distance quelque peu voué à l’échec puisque nous n’étions pas tous ensemble en présentiel. Quelques jeunes ayant tenté l’apprentissage en ligne auparavant ont été déçus de leur expérience, et j’ai eu beau essayer, je n’ai pas réussi à renverser la décision des parents. À ce jour, moins de la moitié de mes anciens étudiants sont encore avec moi.
Comme je ne suis pas adepte des nouveautés technologiques, les frustrations liées aux diverses plateformes ont été pour moi très réelles. Par exemple, nous avons connu un gel de l’écran et une piètre réception, m’obligeant à les rappeler. Si j’étais en mode Zoom et qu’ils s’exécutaient, il m’arrivait souvent de ne rien entendre pour toute une ligne! L’équipement de moindre qualité faisait en sorte que leur violon sonnait comme une tondeuse! En conséquence, j’ai parlé trop fort et beaucoup trop.
Un an plus tard, je me suis rapproché davantage de mes étudiants qui ont
« persisté ». Chacun d’eux est plus patient avec moi et moi avec eux. Tous se sont améliorés. Je sais mieux ce qu’il faut identifier auprès de chacun d’eux et lorsque nous reprendrons les leçons en présentiel, j’espère être davantage perspicace en tant qu’enseignant.
Je réalise également à quel point la communication est devenue un monde nouveau. L’occasion est maintenant propice, et si j’arrive à me promouvoir moi-même avec un nouveau site Web, je pourrai enseigner à quiconque, n’importe où! Enfin, il me semble que cette année COVID ait apporté davantage de croissance que de déception!
Le membre du Conseil, Sean Rice (musicien de l’Orchestre du CNA)
Comme d’autres artistes et institutions artistiques partout au monde, l’Orchestre du Centre national des Arts a dû cesser ses activités à l’arrivée de la pandémie COVID-19 l’an passé. Durant cette période, nous avons tous cherché des moyens de continuer à faire de la musique et d’interagir avec nos auditoires. Les membres ont enregistré des vidéos à partir de la maison, lesquelles ont été diffusées par la suite sur diverses plateformes des médias sociaux. D’autres musiciens ont créé de nombreuses initiatives d’enseignement et ont partagé leur expertise d’éducation musicale partout au pays tout en apprenant à enseigner de façon efficace au moyen de télécommunications en ligne. Bien que nous soyons présentement confinés dans le tourbillon d’une troisième vague à Ottawa, nous avons joui d’une brève période où notre orchestre a pu se rencontrer pour répéter et s’exécuter en toute sécurité. Ces spectacles ont été offerts au monde par l’entremise de diffusions en direct. Ce fut la première incursion de l’Orchestre du CNA dans le monde de la diffusion en direct.
Pour ce faire, les musiciens et le CNA devaient trouver des façons de répéter en toute sécurité. Nous avons tous fait vérifier notre température et avons présenté des formulaires de dépistage de la santé chaque fois que nous devions être au CNA. À l’entrée du CNA, un musicien devait porter le masque, se laver les mains à l’aide d’un désinfectant et faire vérifier sa température. Mais comment un orchestre muni d’instrumentistes à vent peut-il répéter tout en portant le masque? Cette discussion a été parmi les plus importantes avant de permettre à l’orchestre de travailler ensemble. Plusieurs membres de l’orchestre faisaient partie d’un comité travaillant en collaboration avec le CNA pour trouver et développer des solutions visant à atténuer les risques et à augmenter la sécurité de toutes les parties. Les instrumentistes à vent ont été installés à trois mètres de chacun avec un séparateur de plexiglass entre eux et la section des cordes de l’orchestre. De plus, les instrumentistes à vent retiraient le masque uniquement lorsqu’ils s’exécutaient et le remettaient immédiatement une fois l’entrée musicale terminée. Les instruments à cloches ont été recouverts de façon à réduire les aérosols et certains musiciens ont même conçu des masques leur permettant de placer le bec de l’instrument au moyen d’une languette d’ouverture.
Le défi de pouvoir se réunir et de s’exécuter au profit de nos auditoires s’est avéré une course folle. Je sais que tous les artistes ont souffert de ne pas être en mesure de s’exécuter et d’interagir avec autrui. Avec un peu de chance, l’augmentation du taux de vaccination continuera de limiter la propagation de ce virus et permettra à nos salles de spectacles d’accueillir encore une fois nos auditoires de façon sécuritaire.
Le membre du Conseil, Dave Renaud
La dernière année a exigé des méthodes nouvelles. Elle m’a incité à épouser de nouvelles technologies et à développer de nouvelles compétences. La société Syncspace.live a non seulement permis la tenue de représentations en direct avec billets offertes par des musiciens venant de divers studios, et même de diverses villes, mais elle m’a également permis d’enseigner en ligne et d’offrir des duos en direct avec mes étudiants. Je me suis aussi inscrit sur playwithapro.com et j’ai offert quelques leçons à des étudiants aux États-Unis et en Angleterre, tout en étant rémunéré en dollars américains. J’ai dû apprendre à maîtriser le montage vidéo et à perfectionner ma connaissance des exigences technologiques liées à la diffusion musicale en direct. L’exécution étant limitée aux prestations en ligne m’a laissé le temps d’écrire et d’enregistrer, de réviser le contenu des pages Web et de préparer le terrain pour les prochaines étapes à suivre une fois le déconfinement résolu. Certains de ces nouveaux développements seront un atout alors que nous avancerons vers le déconfinement et les salles de spectacles en direct. Il me tarde beaucoup de vivre cette prochaine étape.
The Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community – designed to provide discreet relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis.
Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. We are here to help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties.
At the upcoming General Meeting on June 14th, special guest Anna Reddick will be telling us about the Unison Fund — Canada’s music industry charity.
Sarah Williams Interviewed
In this issue, we are featuring an interview with violinist Sarah Williams, who has been a member of Local 180 since 2008:
Are you an Ottawa native? Yes! I was born and raised in Ottawa.
Where did you go to school? I went to Canterbury High school, then University of Ottawa for a degree in music performance.
Main teachers? I started the Suzuki method on violin at four years old with Elaine Klimasko, founding member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Artistic Director of Ottawa Suzuki Strings. I studied with her for 14 years. She has been a major influence in my life throughout my development as a violinist and musician, and still is to this day. My other main violin teachers were Jonathan Crow, David Stewart, Yehonatan Berick and Yosuke Kawasaki. I also took theory, up to grade 3 harmony with my father, Frank Williams, who is now a theory teacher with Ottawa Suzuki Strings.
Do you come from a musical family? Yes. My mother was a choir director and played piano, and my father was a cellist and obtained a degree in Theory and Composition. Music was always a part of our family life, including attending concerts regularly in the Ottawa region.
Early musical influences? My earliest musical influence was my sister. She is 2 years older than me, and when she started playing, I instantly wanted to join her in music making. Other early musical influences were my parents. They were both educated in music, and had a love and passion for Classical music.
Did you take part in the Kiwanis festival, youth orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, or any such thing? Growing up, I took part in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy (OYOA), starting in the junior and culminating in the most advanced ensemble, the Ottawa Youth Orchestra (OYO) under conductor John Gomez. One of my first enjoyable memories performing was playing the Vivaldi Four Seasons Concerto for Four Violins, as a soloist along with the OYO. I also participated in the National Youth Orchestra for three years (Concertmaster at age 16), and performed in Kiwanis yearly from roughly age 8 to age 15. My favourite classes were quick study and sight reading: I loved the challenge of learning a piece I didn’t know as fast as possible!
What’s the bulk of how you make your living as a musician? My steady income is derived from teaching violin to young students who are registered with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings music school (ottawasuzukistrings.ca). I also work as a freelance musician, playing at weddings and performing at social events. I am currently principle second violin with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (OSO), and play as a substitute violinist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) when they require extra musicians for concerts.
How long have you been teaching for Ottawa Suzuki Strings? I have been teaching with Ottawa Suzuki Strings now for 9 years. Aside from teaching private violin lessons, to students enrolled in OSS, I am also responsible for teaching group classes, with groups up to 10 students.
How many students are in OSS? There are roughly 85 students right now in the school, which can fluctuate from year to year. We anticipate that there will be more when we can get back to in-person learning. The size of our school allows us to have smaller group classes and an opportunity to get to know each other on a personal basis. This is done through yearly participation in the Kiwanis Music Festival, community concerts, and mini-concerts for parents and families of the musicians.
What age is the youngest OSS student? The youngest student I know of is three years old; however, I did teach a two-and-a-half-year-old one year! It was fun but challenging, and we concentrated on music fundamentals, such as clapping rhythms and singing and position setup. More advanced students are taught by our accomplished faculty, some of whom are renowned musicians in their own right.
What group classes do you teach? I teach the beginner pre-twinkle class, and the second most advanced performance group, called Fine Tuners.
What training did you have before teaching at the school? I completed my Suzuki teacher training up to book 6 and Every Child Can with Karen Kimmett and Elayne Ras. I previously taught at the Nepean School of Music, Kanata School of Music, La Petite Fanfare Music summer camp, and the Campbell Douglas Music Education Centre.
What special challenges have you faced this year? All private weekly lessons at OSS were online for the 2020-2021 year. The challenge with virtual lessons is with the beginner student. For a beginner student, it is so important for the teacher to aid the child, physically with their posture, such as a proper bow hold, and position of the hands and fingers. It is very challenging to do this online, being limited by audible instructions and visual demonstration. The challenge for the more advanced student lies mostly in the quality of sound, where the sound coming through a technological device does not compare to a live sound coming through an instrument; thus, it is harder to assess such important factors in performance such as dynamics and intonation.
The group classes were taught in person, from September- December 2020. After more restrictions were put in place in January this year I switched to online group classes, until June of this year. The Pre-twinkle students developed friendships easily amongst each other, and even when transitioning to virtual classes, continued to develop relationships through playing the violin. They showed consistent dedication, perseverance, and tenacity and I am so proud of them. They were exemplary in showing their eagerness and efforts with superb attendance.
The Fine Tuners students were able to play exciting chamber repertoire from Brahms to Mozart to Tangos. After some years of playing in this group, they are discovering how to achieve a cohesive sound, by listening and adapting as a unit, while integrating their own personal styles. This has been achieved by playing with the same ensemble players through many rehearsals, concerts, and private practice. The transition to virtual classes posed challenges: it is impossible to play in “real time” virtually, with a music group. We made it work, however, by persevering in the face of these obstacles, learning through observing, and being rewarded by fine music making. These young violinists have a love for music which is inspiring, creating hope for the near future where we can resume our in-person classes again.
Nominations in September!
The September General Meeting, which will be held on TUESDAY, September 14th, at 12:30, will be our nominations meeting. The following positions will be open for election:
President and AFM Delegate
*Secretary-Treasurer (as AFM delegate only)
Four Executive Board members
Alternate Delegate to the AFM Convention
Here is the pertinent information from our Local’s Bylaws:
Section 18 – Delegates
a) The President and Secretary shall be Delegates, by right of office, to the Convention of the
American Federation of Musicians and to the Canadian Conference.
b) Alternate Delegates to attend the aforementioned Convention and/or Conference, and delegates to other organizations to which the Local is affiliated, shall be appointed by the President, or elected if so required by AFM/CFM Bylaws.
Article 3 – Eligibility of Members for Office
a) Any member who has completed not less than twenty-one (21) months’ service on the
Executive Board of Local 180 shall be eligible for election or appointment to the office of
President, Vice-President or Secretary-Treasurer. The Executive reserves the right to vote on
the eligibility of a candidate who has served on the Board of another AFM Local.
b) Any member who has completed not less than twelve (12) consecutive months’ membership in Local 180 at date of nomination, and who is in good standing, shall be eligible for election to
the Executive Board.
Article 4 – Nominations and Election of Officers
Section 1 – Nomination
Nomination of Officers shall be held at the third General Meeting every second year.
Only members in good standing of the Local may nominate another member for office.
Absent members who have expressed in writing their willingness to accept nomination may be nominated. Absent members who wish to nominate another member must do so in writing, stating the position and the name of the nominee. Any such communication from absent members must be able to be authenticated by the Local.
No member may be nominated for election for more than one office, with the exception of the Delegates and Alternate Delegates discussed in Article 2, Section 18.
*Please note that, except for a first term, the Secretary-Treasurer is elected every four years. Robin Moir is in the middle of her present term. We would like to reconfirm her election as Delegate to the AFM Convention that will be taking place in June 2022.
**As per Article 1, section 1 of our bylaws, Trustees shall have been members in good standing for ten (10) years immediately preceding their nominations, and shall remain so throughout the term.
Former Executive Board member Steve Boudreau has agreed to serve as the chair of the election committee.
Bill C-10: A Call to Action
You may be aware of the controversy that is surrounding the proposed Bill C-10. The CFM has joined with other performing arts organizations in urging passage of the Bill. To that end, you are all being asked to contact your MP’s with the following message:
“The Canadian Federation of Musicians strongly urges the adoption of Bill C10. The adoption will not infringe on the fundamental freedoms of the every-day Canadian Citizen, nor is censorship of the internet a threat. Regulating the professional-level broadcasting activities of new and existing digital media platforms will ensure fairness between traditional and digital media broadcasters, and will facilitate the promotion and protection of Canadian Content. Digital platforms also play a very important role in the discoverability of creative content, and creators and performers must be better valued. The CFM urges everyone to not be misled by opposing rhetoric that is purely politically based, and not in the best interests of all Canadians.”
On the subject of Bill C-10, well-known Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt has graciously allowed us to to reprint an opinion piece that appeared in the Toronto Star on May 7th. Here are her words:
Streaming services aren’t equitably sharing profits with music artists. Bill C-10 could help change this.
As a musical artist, I was delighted to learn of Bill C-10, a proposed amendment to the Broadcast Act. It has been over 30 long years since the internet and all that came with it began to dismantle what was once a $20-billion music industry in 1999 — reducing it to a $7.5-billion industry by 2014, primarily as a result of unfettered and unregulated technology.
Although no bill will completely satisfy everyone, for those in the music industry equitable compensation cannot come soon enough. Further, the accusation that this bill would compromise people’s freedom of speech is somewhat suspect. The government has made it clear the bill will only go after tech giants and “professional” online audio or video, such as television, movies, music or podcasts. It will not apply to individual Canadians’ social media posts.
This accusation leads me to wonder if these giant tech companies lured some political opposition to magnify this misplaced fear. Or perhaps lobbyists have been busily working behind the scenes?
I began my career in 1985 by busking on the streets, and since then I’ve owned and operated my own independent record label, employing many people along the way. I’ve been fortunate enough to have sold over 15 million records worldwide. I built my business and lived most of my career in this upended era. However, if I were to start out today in this highly unregulated technological environment, I can hardly imagine how I would succeed.
In 1998, we were all promised that a Golden Age would come with the internet. What we got instead was nearly a decade of music being offered for free through such sites as Napster and BitTorrent.
In 2010, as a prominent independent artist, I was invited to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa, which was then examining the woeful lag of our copyright law following a decade of “free” music. In my presentation, I spoke of the ecosystem I was a part of since the inception of my career — an ecosystem that had been impacted, harmed or had simply disappeared in just over a decade. It was a robust system of businesses, services and people, many of whom knew each other. It included everything from recording studios and their administrative staff and suppliers, to engineers and graphic artists, photographers and makeup artists, mastering companies, retailers large and small, printers, publicists, travel agents and many, many others.
That ecosystem has all but been decimated.
Artists who were once paid 25 cents per song on vinyl or CD are now paid less than 10 cents per thousand plays on such streaming sites as YouTube Music and Spotify — sites many consumers currently enjoy. As a result, many artists are struggling to rise above the poverty line, much less sustain a career or a family.
So much for the Golden Age.
What was once a people business has become a purely transactional one based on anonymous connections with tech companies who don’t know me or my customers. Companies who now reap the rewards of what took the local industry decades to establish, supplanting it and then removing that revenue out of the community and then out of the country.
A rebalancing of these interests continues to be urgently needed. Currently, online video and music streaming services delivering audio and audio-visual content over the internet are exempt from licensing and most other regulatory requirements in Canada. That means that unlike commercial radio stations, for example, digital platforms are not required to make financial contributions towards Canadian Content Development or to promote it.
Bill C-10 would change that by paving the way for streaming services to make those contributions. Google-owned YouTube, which is Canada’s number-one music streaming service, would be required to comply with the same rules as other online music services, putting all of them on a level playing field.
As long as these tech companies are allowed special concessions by our respective governments, we will continue to see a direct assault on our creative industries and our Canadian identity. Other governments around the world are making bold moves to protect their cultural industries from the perils of unfettered big tech — it is time for the Canadian government to step up.
ZOOM to the LOCAL 180 GENERAL MEETING
Monday, June 14th @ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org so he can send out the past meeting’s minutes for your review.
Supply your own lunch.
. . . . . from our homes to yours:
JUNE GENERAL MEETING VIA ZOOM!!
JUNE GENERAL MEETING VIA ZOOM!!
HAVE YOU LOST INCOME BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC?
COULD YOU USE SOME ASSISTANCE WITH PAYING YOUR BASIC LIVING EXPENSES?
If you normally (that is, in the Before Times) make at least 55% of your income through music
and have done so for at least two years,
you will want to attend the Local’s General Meeting on June 14th
Special guest Anna Reddick will be telling us about the Unison Fund — Canada’s music industry charity.
Monday, June 14th, 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 email@example.com so he can send out the past meeting’s minutes for your review.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
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/
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA’S COVID-19 ECONOMIC REPSONSE PLAN
Support for 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.
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).
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: $82.50 per hour Musician: $55.00 per hour.
Delage, Michel – Drums 04-06-2021
Habib, Christ – Classical Guitar 04-30-2021
Lafrance, Shaquille – Music Producer 04-30-2021
Paul, Shemar – Vocalist 04-30-2021
Doggett, Murray K.
Our new mailing address is:
Box 47 Manotick
AFM ID Numbers
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, 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
Closed – Thursday December 23 at noon
Open – December 27
Closed – December 30 at noon until Monday, January 3, 2021
Due to popular demand members may now pay membership dues using E-Mail Transfer using the email address
Once we process the transfer, we will send you an electronic receipt.
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
YEARLY DUES – $110.00
HALF-YEAR DUES – $60.00
Next Deadline for Membership Dues JUNE 30, 2021
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.
· 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| email@example.com | 519-325-1785 | TF: 800-463-4700
CFM / AFM members