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

Marlene Morton

MPTF Coordinator: Glenn Robb

Website: Dave Poulin


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

The Local Then and Now

This issue of the Harp will focus on the Local — our physical space and the people who help keep the Local going: two Dave’s and a Dan (see other articles). We’re shining a light on the non-musical talents of a few of our members, and how the Local benefits from those talents.

First of all, our new digs: as many of you know, we moved back downtown after the holidays. It has taken some time to fix up our new space, but we think you’ll all be impressed. We’re next door to our old office, which had already been leased by the time we felt that we were ready to move from Barrhaven, where we had occupied one small room for the past two years, with most of our documents either at Robin’s or Dan’s homes or in a storage unit. Our new office is smaller than the old one in terms of square feet, but the layout makes it appear as if we have more space. Our landlord, Khalil, changed our old office number to 300 so that we were able to keep our address of #301, thus saving us some money on stationery. Our rent is lower for the next few years. And the entire floor has been repainted and given new flooring, so it looks clean and bright.

As we started settling back into our new office/old address over the Colonnade Restaurant (good news for those who enjoy our pizza offerings at general meetings), we noticed how shabby our beat-up old furniture looked. Enter member Dave Arthur, who repaired and painted nearly everything in the office. There didn’t seem to be room for the old counter where so many of you have signed documents, but after past President Glenn Robb told us that it had been made by Bob Langley’s brother Andy, also a musician, it was unthinkable to discard it. I suspect that you won’t recognize it with its new coat of paint and spiffy new top.

One reason that the office space appears larger is that we have been able to get rid of many old documents. Aside from whatever was at Robin’s and Dan’s houses, there were many boxes of old contracts, letters, claims, notes from contract negotiations and board meetings, bank statements, and membership and P2 applications. We thought that we had discarded a lot before the move to Barrhaven, but there was still quite a bit to go through.

This is where I came in. I combed through the contents of some 66 boxes (not that anyone is counting), each one with many dozens of documents. We were able to discard older, completed gig contracts that didn’t have pension contributions, but they needed to be examined carefully to make sure that there were no pages with SINs (those were shredded). I was saddened to see how very many gigs had no pension. There were only a couple of our members who made sure always to include those as part of their fees, even 20 or 30 years before we had mandatory pension. We all know how the gig landscape has changed with the loss of our closed-shop agreements. Just think of how much more comfortable you older members would be now if you had included pension contributions. And for all of our members, let this serve as a reminder that if you file contracts, it follows that you will have a pension contribution. Don’t forget: if you are asked to play a gig, make sure that a contract will be filed. In addition to pension, contracts provide fair wages, job security, recording payments and streaming payments.

I was surprised to see that the first NACO collective agreement called for nine-service weeks and a six-day workweek (the current agreement, which is industry standard, is for eight services over five days, always of course with the understanding that one spends at least that much time at home preparing for those services). Also, it looks as if jobs were sometimes filled rather informally, with just one person auditioning.

I was disappointed to see how very many claims there were — how many times our members were not paid properly for a gig and how often we had to fight for payment. Sometimes the engager simply disappeared and we had to give up. There were also many complaints of member against member, although thankfully there were fewer of those than against engagers.

It appears that the way the AFM does business has changed as well. I found so many letters from various Secretary-Treasurers of the AFM telling this person or that that they owed something like $2.10 in traveling work dues and that if they didn’t pay by a certain date, they would be expelled. Those matters are generally handled locally these days.

Certain attitudes have changed as well — or at least I hope they have. There was a report by a recording representative of the AFM who came to the Local office in 1980 to see how we were handling various matters related to media. This person was concerned because, in his words, we were having “major difficulties with the language problems having to serve both French and English musicians.” To solve this problem, he suggested that we hire “a young, attractive French secretary.”

I feel that we have become more member-friendly and perhaps more welcoming than we were in the distant past when there were many more members and many more opportunities for work. It has sometimes been hard to persuade people of the benefits of belonging to a union, especially with the current social landscape, where anyone can set themself up as an entrepreneur, and where unions in general don’t appear to be as necessary to people as they once were. However, I am heartened by recent news that union elections have been won in Starbucks and Amazon workplaces. You can help this resurgence of a protected work environment by patronizing those places that have unionized employees. Solidarity Forever!

We look forward to welcoming you to our shiny new space.


Rapport de la président

La Section locale d’hier et d’aujourd’hui

Le présent numéro du Harp sera axé sur la section locale – notre espace physique et les personnes qui font avancer la Section locale : deux Dave et un Dan (voir d’autres articles). Nous mettons en lumière les talents non musicaux de quelques-uns de nos membres, et la façon dont en tire profit la Section locale.

Premièrement, nos nouveaux locaux : comme plusieurs le savent, nous sommes revenus au centre-ville après les Fêtes. Le réaménagement a été long, mais nous croyons que vous en serez tous impressionnés. Nous sommes voisins de notre ancien bureau, lequel avait déjà été loué au moment où nous voulions déménager de Barrhaven, l’endroit où nous avons occupé une petite pièce au cours des deux dernières années, alors que la plupart de nos documents se trouvaient soit chez Robin ou Dan, ou encore dans un module de rangement. Notre nouveau bureau compte moins de pieds carrés que l’ancien, mais la disposition du lieu nous donne l’impression d’avoir davantage d’espace. Le propriétaire, Khalil, a changé le numéro de notre ancien bureau pour 300, nous permettant alors de conserver le numéro 301 dans notre adresse et épargner sur la papeterie. Notre loyer est d’ailleurs inférieur pour les prochaines années, et l’étage au complet a été repeint et muni d’un nouveau plancher, le rendant clair et propre.

Au moment d’installer notre nouveau bureau à l’ancienne adresse au-dessus du restaurant Colonnade (une bonne nouvelle pour les amateurs de pizza qui en jouissent pendant les réunions générales), nous avons remarqué le piètre état de nos vieux meubles. Et arrive Dave Arthur, qui a réparé et peinturé presque tout dans le bureau. Il ne semblait pas avoir d’espace pour le vieux comptoir où un grand nombre ont signé des documents, mais lorsque le président sortant, Glenn Robb, nous a appris que le frère de Bob Langley, aussi musicien, avait fabriqué ce comptoir, c’était impensable de le jeter. J’imagine que vous ne le reconnaîtrez pas avec sa nouvelle couche de peinture et son dessus original.

Puisque nous avons réussi à éliminer plusieurs vieux documents, notre bureau paraît plus grand. À part tout ce qui était rangé chez Robin et Dan, il y avait plusieurs boîtes de vieux contrats, lettres, réclamations, notes provenant de négociations de contrats et des réunions du CA, relevés bancaires ainsi que des demandes d’adhésion et de visas P2. Nous pensions en avoir éliminé beaucoup avant de déménager à Barrhaven, mais il en restait encore un bon nombre à trier.

C’est à ce moment que je suis intervenue. J’ai passé au peigne fin environ
66 boîtes (loin de moi l’idée que quiconque ait compté), dans lesquelles se trouvaient plusieurs douzaines de documents. Nous avons réussi à jeter des anciens contrats complétés n’ayant aucune contribution de retraite, mais nous devions les examiner attentivement afin de veiller à ce qu’aucune page n’affiche un NAS (ces documents ont été déchiquetés). J’étais désolée de voir le nombre de prestations sans contribution de retraite. Seulement quelques-uns de nos membres ont toujours veillé à intégrer ces contributions à leurs honoraires, même 20 ou 30 ans avant que le régime de retraite soit obligatoire. Nous savons tous combien la scène des prestations a changé avec la perte de nos accords de monopole syndical. Pensez à quel point vous, les anciens membres, seriez plus à l’aise si vous aviez intégré les contributions de retraite. Puisse cela rappeler à tous nos membres qu’en enregistrant un contrat, il s’en suit que vous aurez une contribution de retraite. N’oubliez pas : si l’on vous demande de participer à une prestation, veillez à ce qu’un contrat soit enregistré. En plus de la retraite, les contrats assurent des salaires équitables, une sécurité d’emploi, le paiement des enregistrements et le paiement des diffusions.

J’ai été surprise de voir que la première convention collective de l’OCNA prévoyait des semaines de neuf services et une semaine de travail de six jours (la convention actuelle, laquelle est la norme de l’industrie, prévoit huit services sur cinq jours, étant entendu que l’on passe au moins autant de temps à la maison pour préparer ces services). De plus, les emplois semblent avoir été comblés de façon plutôt informelle, avec une seule personne à l’audition.

J’ai été déçue de voir un si grand nombre de réclamations – combien de fois les membres ont été injustement rémunérés pour une prestation et combien de fois nous avons dû nous battre pour être payés. Parfois, l’employeur disparaissait tout simplement et nous devions abandonner. Il y avait aussi plusieurs plaintes de membres contre membres, bien que par chance, elles étaient moins fréquentes que les plaintes contre les employeurs.

L’AFM semble aussi avoir changé sa façon de faire des affaires. J’ai retrouvé tellement de lettres provenant de divers secrétaires trésoriers de l’AFM avisant une personne quelconque qu’elle devait 2,10 $ en cotisation pour déplacements et que si ce n’était pas payé avant une telle date, elle serait expulsée. De nos jours, ce genre d’enjeu est généralement réglé à l’échelle locale.

Certaines attitudes ont également changé – ou du moins, je l’espère. En 1980, un représentant de l’AFM s’est présenté au bureau de la Section locale pour vérifier notre façon de traiter divers enjeux liés aux médias. Cette personne était inquiète parce que, selon elle, nous éprouvions de sérieux problèmes de langue alors que nous devions servir des musiciens francophones et anglophones à la fois. Pour régler la problématique, cette personne nous a suggéré d’embaucher une « jeune et jolie secrétaire francophone ».

J’ai l’impression que notre relation avec les membres est davantage conviviale et que nous sommes peut-être plus accueillants que dans un passé lointain où les membres étaient plus nombreux, tout comme les opportunités d’emploi. Il a parfois été difficile de convaincre les gens des avantages de faire partie d’un syndicat, surtout à la lumière de la scène sociale actuelle, où n’importe qui peut se dire entrepreneur, et où les syndicats, dans leur ensemble, ne semblent pas aussi nécessaires qu’ils ne l’étaient auparavant. Toutefois, je suis réconfortée par les récentes nouvelles que des élections syndicales ont été remportées dans les milieux de travail des sociétés Starbucks et Amazon. Vous pouvez aider à la reprise d’un environnement de travail protégé en parrainant les endroits où les employés sont syndiqués. La solidarité pour toujours!

Il nous tarde de vous accueillir dans notre fabuleux nouveau bureau.


Secretary Treasurer’s Message

Robin Moir


The Local is about to celebrate the marriage of Dan Blackwell to his fiancé Venus Cheslock. Originally, the wedding was planned for the summer of 2020 with the first verse of their song written when, well, you all know what happened. The loving duo rescheduled tentatively for summer 2021 – the second verse written — but COVID had other plans and that celebration was canceled as well.

Venus was determined to have the wedding she had dreamed of … with summer sun and a picnic outdoors with friends and family …. and at last, it looks like her wishes have been granted. We are now preparing to rejoice with Dan and Venus this summer as they finally begin the chorus of their song!

The new/old office is open for business and Dan is here full-time. I am working on a hybrid model, but I will be in the office while Dan is on his honeymoon and throughout the summer. It is still quiet downtown, but we see more activity everyday. I am looking forward to the time when musicians can drop by for a coffee and a chat.

The boxes have been emptied and filed, with thanks to Francine. We have set aside a special corner in the office for copies of music and charts of deceased members Dave Hildinger and Vern Issacs. If there are members who would like to use any of these charts, please drop by to take a look at them. Dave’s charts have also been digitized, and you can get those copies from Executive Board member Mike Mullin.

Dave Hildinger

Vern Issacs

The Vern Issacs songbook holds the standards and originals that he and his band played over many decades. Those charts had been saved by former member Carmelo Scaffidi, who played in Vern’s big band. Carmelo’s wife Jo-Anne donated the charts, cases, and Vern Issacs memorabilia to the Local upon Carmelo’s death.

When new member Hannah Judge, from the band Fan Club Wallet, came into the office to join the Local, pay dues and get her P2 rolling, she lamented that she did not have a proper carrying case for her music — a case that could take the rigours of travel in the US. Dan showed her Vern’s old suitcase, and she was enraptured by its history and “look.” So of course, Dan gave it to her. I know that Carmelo and Vern would be happy to know that a relic of Vern’s has found a new life and is traveling back and forth between Canada and the US with a young Local 180 musician. You can visit Hannah’s site at:

I want to thank Local members for paying their membership dues in January so that they were able to receive the ten-dollar discount. It is a great benefit to the Local, and it helps with our financial planning for the projected yearly budget. You will find the 2021 financial summary in this issue.

As you will see in the minutes prepared for the upcoming general meeting, the Local has been working with two committees:


The Price List committee, chaired by Kevin James, has worked diligently during this particularly tough economic climate to propose a Price List for 2023. You will see the projected Price List in this edition of the News Harp. The Price List Committee included Brian Asselin, Mark Ferguson, Joe Turner and President Emeritus Glenn Robb.

Ed Lister

The Community Engagement committee, chaired by Ed Lister, is a new committee formed to increase the Local’s profile in the community and to engage with the community, beginning with a social media campaign. To that end, and with a great deal of input by Ed, the Local has hired Mackenzie Di Millo to spearhead this avenue of our action plan. The Community Engagement Committee, which is a standing committee, includes Dave Poulin, Sean Rice, David Renaud, Carissa Klopoushak, Kevin James, Francine Schutzman and Robin Moir.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those busy members who give their time to serve on committees for the benefit of the Local — with a particular thank-you to the chairs of these committees, Kevin and Ed. They set up meetings, write minutes and keep the Local and the committee members informed.

I know that the membership joins with me when I tell you that it is very much appreciated.


Rapport de la secrétaire trésorière


La Section locale s’apprête à célébrer le mariage de Dan Blackwell et de sa fiancée Venus Cheslock. Initialement, le mariage était prévu à l’été 2020, le premier couplet de leur chanson ayant été rédigé, alors que, et vous en connaissez tous la suite. Les deux tourtereaux ont reporté provisoirement la célébration à l’été 2021 – le deuxième couplet maintenant rédigé – mais la COVID avait d’autres vues, et la célébration a encore été annulée.

Venus était déterminée à avoir le mariage de ses rêves… sous un soleil d’été en pique-nique à l’extérieur avec des amis et la famille… et enfin, ses vœux semblent être exhaussés. Il nous tarde maintenant de célébrer avec Dan et Venus cet été alors qu’ils arrivent enfin au refrain de leur chanson!

Le nouveau / ancien bureau est ouvert et Dan y est à temps plein. Je travaille en fonction d’un modèle hybride, mais je serai au bureau lorsque Dan sera en lune de miel, ainsi que tout au long de l’été. Bien que le centre-ville soit encore calme, l’activité augmente à tous les jours. J’ai hâte de voir le jour où les musiciens pourront passer pour prendre un café et bavarder avec nous.

Nous remercions Francine d’avoir vidé les boîtes et classé le contenu. Nous avons réservé un coin spécial du bureau pour des exemplaires du palmarès musical des membres décédés, David Hildinger et Vern Issacs. Les membres intéressés à utiliser ces succès musicaux sont invités à passer au bureau afin de les examiner. Les succès de Dave ont aussi été numérisés, et vous pouvez en obtenir des copies auprès de Mike Mullin, membre du Conseil exécutif.

Le recueil de chants de Vern Issacs comprend les succès standards et originaux offerts par son groupe pendant de nombreuses décennies. L’ancien membre, Carmelo Scaffidi, aussi membre du grand orchestre de Vern, a sauvegardé ces succès. Lors du décès de Carmelo, son épouse, Jo-Anne, a offert à la Section locale des succès, des valises et des souvenirs de Vern Issacs.

Carmelo Scaffidi

Hannah Judge

Lorsque la nouvelle membre, Hannah Judge, du groupe Fan Club Wallet, est venue au bureau pour devenir membre de la Section locale, payer son adhésion et faire avancer son visa P2, elle se plaignait de ne pas avoir la bonne valise pour transporter sa musique – une valise pouvant supporter les rigueurs des déplacements aux États-Unis. Dan lui a alors montré la vieille valise de Vern, et Hannah a été extasiée par son histoire et son « style ». Évidemment, Dan lui en a fait don. Je sais que Carmelo et Vern seraient fort heureux de savoir qu’une relique de Vern a trouvé une nouvelle vie et se promène entre le Canada et les États-Unis avec une jeune musicienne de la Section locale 180. Vous pouvez visiter le site de Hannah à

Je remercie les membres de la Section locale d’avoir payé leur adhésion en janvier afin de profiter du rabais de 10 $. C’est un grand avantage pour la Section locale, tout en aidant à notre planification financière dans le contexte du budget annuel projeté. Vous trouverez le résumé financier 2021 dans le présent numéro.

Comme vous pourrez lire dans le procès-verbal préparé pour la prochaine assemblée générale, la Section locale travaille en collaboration avec deux comités :

Kevin James

Dans un contexte économique fort exigeant, le comité de la liste de prix, présidé par Kevin James, a travaillé ardemment à proposer une liste de prix pour 2023. Vous trouverez la liste de prix proposée dans la présente édition du News Harp. Somme toute, Brian Asselin, Mark Ferguson, Joe Turner et le président émérite, Glenn Robb, composaient le comité de la liste de prix.

Le comité de mobilisation communautaire, présidé par Ed Lister, est un nouveau comité créé dans le but d’accroître le profil de la Section locale au sein de la communauté et d’engager un dialogue avec cette dernière, commençant par une campagne de médias sociaux. À cette fin, et grâce à l’apport considérable de Ed, la Section locale a embauché Mackenzie Di Millo pour mener ce volet de notre plan d’action. Dave Poulin, Sean Rice, David Renaud, Carissa Klopoushak, Kevin James, Francine Schutzman et Robin Moir sont membres du comité de mobilisation communautaire, lequel s’avère un comité permanent.

J’en profite pour remercier les membres très affairés qui donnent de leur temps pour faire partie de comités au profit de la Section locale – et je remercie particulièrement les présidents de ces comités, Kevin et Ed. ils organisent les réunions, rédigent les procès-verbaux et tiennent la Section locale ainsi que les membres du comité au courant.

Je sais que tous les membres se joignent à moi lorsque je vous dis combien c’est apprécié!



It all started with a query to the Local office. Dan sent this message to the executive board members:

“Hi, everyone —
Does anyone here remember a person named Marcus Acred? He was a member in Ottawa back in the 80’s. He was also a member of the Montreal Local before that. He played trumpet and was also a vocalist. His children do not even have a picture of him and are looking to find out more about him. He died in1987 on a Greyhound bus of a heart attack. I talked to Glenn Robb, and he doesn’t remember him.”

I think that you all know Dan. He is in the Local office full time. He does just about everything there, from helping musicians join the Local to moving heavy furniture to doing his best to answer any question put to him. So he was exactly the right person to field this inquiry.

Unfortunately, none of the board members could help, so Dan did some digging in the box of former members’ file cards. He found Marcus’ old address and phone number, so he sent what information he had to the woman who had sent the query. When she saw his last name, she wrote, “Just noticed your last name is Blackwell. Crazy thing is my grandfather Marcus Acred’s biological mother’s name is Geneva Blackwell. How crazy is that!  Lol. Anything you find out will be greatly appreciated.”

So Dan talked to the family historian and found that all of the Blackwells in North America appear to be related to one another, tracing their roots to the same small town in England. When they came to North America (both Canada and the US), they became active abolitionists. There are some illustrious forefathers (and foremothers!) in the family: Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. Her sister Emily was also one of the first female physicians in the US. Another relative, a feminist suffragette, kept her maiden name when she married, while her husband took hers. Dan’s aunt, also a Blackwell, was the head nurse at the Royal Ottawa. One of Elvis Presley’s song writers was a Blackwell. And you can buy Blackwell meat if you travel to western Canada.

Getting back to the inquiry about Marcus Acred, Dan still can’t find anybody in Ottawa who knew him. He was here for a few years, so if you can add anything to this story, all of the Blackwells, especially Marcus’ family, would appreciate it.


How many of you read this in
Robin’s column in the March eHarp?

I am announcing a Local 180 Free Video Day initiative, building upon our very successful Photo Day. We know that most bands and performers need content for their website, and the Local is no exception. We invite you to get your video of one song, or a short compilation of songs (we are contemplating a maximum of ten minutes), shot free of charge at Studionine with Dave Poulin. Many of you will have shot your MPTF livestream with Dave. This is open to all members of the Local. We plan to exhibit your talents on our own website as well. The MPTF live-streams were wonderful, and the Local would like to offer musicians the opportunity once again. Leaders and band members will be asked to sign on to the Joint Venture Agreement, which protects groups from illegal use of the final product.
The process will be the same as with Photo Day. Leaders should contact Dave Poulin, Dan Blackwell, or me.

We asked Dave Poulin how many groups had taken advantage of this offer so far.  His answer?  None!

But let’s back up.  

Who is Dave, and how did we get here?

Local 180 is lucky to have Dave Poulin serving as our webmaster, newsletter editor, recording engineer, photographer and videographer.

Dave was a singer first.  He says that his love of music came from the radio, and he loved harmonizing with the hits of the 50s and 60s. His parents were quite supportive of his musical interests, signing the nine-year-old up for guitar lessons with Hank Sims and helping him buy his first musical instruments — guitars and organs. Dave’s mother, who played the piano, was his biggest fan always, and his father was a wonderful singer.

As with many musicians, non-musical jobs were a big part of Dave’s life. He had his share of day jobs, some in suits, some in jeans. His favourite one of all was as Production Manager for CKO Radio in Ottawa, Canada’s first all-news/talk national radio network. Dave wrote, voiced, recorded and edited commercials and promos at the studios on Sparks Street. In his words, “Working there was like working at WKRP. My girlfriend was the bookkeeper, there was a hot receptionist, and the on-air staff and sales team were all good friends. It was a great time!”

Following the demise of CKO, Dave became a house engineer at MARC Productions in Ottawa. While there he recorded every military band in Canada and every orchestra in the region. Rock, folk, jazz and country were always being produced at MARC, in addition to “waaaayy too much spoken word recording” for various Canadian government departments. Dave learned how to do video editing at MARC Productions, and he produced a number of music videos there — including at least one featuring our own Robin Moir.

Dave also met his partner, Lucie Lavallée, at MARC. Together they formed one of Ottawa’s first CD manufacturing businesses, called AudioGraphix. Soon after MARC Productions closed down, Dave, Lucie and Charles Fairfield (another MARC house engineer) joined together to build a recording studio in the Canotek business park. The studio is called nCode. After a few successful years Dave and Lucie sold their shares to Charles and bought a house in Orleans, where Dave built his current business, studioNINE. Ten years later, Lucie, Dave and studioNINE moved to Navan.

Today, studioNINE is a recording studio, a 4-camera video internet broadcast studio, and a photography studio. Lucie and Dave also provide professional web design and graphic design services.

These days, what Dave does for the union is the culmination of his experiences, and we benefit from all of them.  He doesn’t do gigs any more. His last band, called the Yohawks, was a nine-piece outfit that played “original Ottawa Valley R&B”. They recorded two CD’s, played Bluesfest twice and wrapped up in 2016 with a final gig at Irene’s.

So why not take advantage of the Local’s offer to get your group recorded by this multi-talented man?

If you want to do some promo, gather up a few fellow union members and come to studioNINE for a two-hour session to record a 10-minute audio and video demo. A “LIVE” recording using 4 cameras, professional lighting and audio delivered to you as an MP4 file to use as you wish — on YouTube, FaceBook, your own website, etc. This is truly an offer you shouldn’t refuse.


We were curious about how trombonist Dave Arthur (known to one and perhaps all as Darthur) acquired the skills that he used to make our old office furniture look new again. Here, in his own words, is his story:


Painting history

At 15 years old, I was asked by my grandparents to paint their garage. I hadn’t a clue about painting anything. Their neighbours (the Smiths) would drop by and give me very much appreciated prep, clean-up and painting tips. Turns out that they owned and operated Ottawa’s Randalls Paints. So they knew and I listened. A good leg-up from the get-go.

Soon I started seeking out paint jobs in my neighbourhood…all outside jobs. I sucked at first but got better at it. The ladder work was dangerous (although I was never afraid of heights), it was always weather-dependent, there were often hornet nests in roof-eves (I was allergic) and I almost got electrocuted one day…so I decided to go interior only. Did that for quite a while.

In time I did inside and outside painting jobs for myself, friends, parents, other family, strangers, farmers, colleagues, neighbours, Local 180 and more. In an odd twist to wall work, I did children’s room cartoon artwork where the wall was my canvas.

At the same time I got into restoring antique furniture and artifacts. I didn’t see why a crappy-looking wooden, bakelite or metal piece (with its former glory being still obvious) had to be discarded instead of fixed up. As it turns out, a tremendous effort was required for all projects, but the anticipation of a rejuvenated beauty kept me on track. An upright boudoir grand piano (Gerhard Heintzman), a very ornate 150-year-old pump organ/harmonium (Bell, of Guelph Ontario), old radios, telephones, ancient Singer treadle sewing machines, coffee and end tables were just some of the things restored.

All of these acquired painting and restoration skills have come in handy with my union office work, especially this time. It was definitely a ‘from a sow’s ear into a silk purse’ effort for a lot of the office furniture and signage. The executive board, office staff and I worked hard toward the creation of a classy looking and efficiently functional business space (in a nice setting) that is now up and running.

Music career

I joined Local 180 in 1973. From before I got my Hon Mus Bach at Ottawa University (1977), and during a long career in the biz as a trombonist, bassist, vocalist, bandleader, arranger and composer, I’ve been proud to have it together enough to perform around the world with some of the best of them.

But I always remembered the advice of my Uncle Tim Arthur, a Local 180 guitarist/banjoist/bassist from 1950-1973. He opened my eyes to the concept of ‘the fall-back’ income generator. “Things get a little thin gig-wise once in a while for the freelance self-employed”, he said…”and bills still have to be paid. Listen to me, boy, a ‘fall-back’ is something to be seriously considered if you want to survive as a musician. Not necessarily a ‘day job’ though, but something to fill in the gaps”. BTW…my work, much of it on the road, would not accommodate a day job anyway. Painting was my alternate choice, and over time it has helped keep me afloat.

There were times when I wondered if being a painter and restorer would drop me down a level or two in the eyes of my music colleagues, but for the most part, my fall-back skills were viewed as honourable and somewhat artistic. And I have painted many of their houses. Work hard, keep the wolf from the door…see ya on the next gig. Nice.

The Local 180 Office

In the late 1990s I painted the entire Local 180 Bank Street office, requiring a serious reorganizing effort and a substantial purge of un-needed office equipment and papers.

In 2020 I helped organize the Claridge Ave. Local 180 office space. No painting but much shelf building (because of the downsized small space). Most of the Local 180 office furniture was held in storage at that time.

In 2022 I set up the new Metcalfe St. office. No wall painting, but mostly restoring the decidedly shabby office furniture (now from out of storage). The daily use and many moves over the years had taken their toll, so a custom furniture upgrade was necessary. The upgrade was deemed less expensive than buying new or decent used furniture. Wall decoration of the office common area was undertaken (signs, plaques, posters, framed stuff etc.). And I restored that dreadful old counter.

In closing

This Local 180 office improvement project was one of the few paint and restoration jobs that I’ve done these days. After years of abuse, my old knees give me a hard time now. That is to say…my paint and restoration jobs are now for only a select few clients and only on occasion. So, dear readers, you’ll probably be turned down if you offer me a painting job, but as always, gig calls are welcomed.

We encourage all of our members to join PAL (

Please see their website and the March eNewsHarp for details about the organization and the planned residence for members of the arts community. It is not too soon to sign up for affordable housing for retirees, even if you are not sure that you’ll need it. And if you are not close to retirement, your membership will help the organization to focus on the needs of our community.


Suzuki Violin Teacher

Ottawa, Canada

Teach private lessons and/or group classes; participate in school events and faculty meetings

– Prefer Bachelor’s or Master’s in Music, Music Education or equivalent
– Minimum Book 1 teacher training (or experience and a plan to get training)
– Effective communication skills with students, parents, and colleagues
– Enthusiastic, encouraging and team player
– Canadian Citizenship or Working Permit

Competitive; Please contact for more details

Email resume, cover letter and 2 references to

Phone: 613-369-4376


Please click on the link to open a PDF of the complete pricelist.


Monday, June 13th @ 12:30 p.m. from your place 


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

Supply your own lunch.

Relief Fund Alive and Well

The Relief Fund established by Local 180 to help those musicians most greatly affected by the pandemic raised an astounding $62,661.74, thanks to the generous donations made by our own members, with a special shout-out to the musicians of the NAC Orchestra. Of that amount, $53,950.00 has been disbursed to our members, leaving a balance of $8,551.74. We plan to maintain the Relief Fund and to add to it. The pandemic may possibly be easing up, but its effects will linger for a long time, and one never knows what is around the corner. So here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

If you need assistance, or if you are aware of a fellow member who needs it, send a message to Robin. We do not ask those who need funds to justify the need or tell us what they will be used for. We assume that if you ask for help, you genuinely need it.

If you are in a position to do so, please contribute to the fund. You might need to tap into it some day yourself.

 . . . . . from our homes to yours:



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.


Monday, JUNE 13th, 12:30 PM


If you know ahead of time that you’re attending,
please notify 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.



Bruce Ireland

Accomplished guitar player

It is with profound sadness and love that we mourn the passing of Bruce Ireland on April 21, 2022 at home at the age of 76. He leaves in sorrow his wife Doreen Farrell, his brother: Robert, his sister: Sue Sabourin, his brother-in-law: Ken (Kathy) Farrell, his nephews: Jesse (Julia) and Shawn, his niece: Lisa. The talented musician also leaves the many friends he met in the musical world. The family would like to extend their thanks to the neighbours Nelson (Diane), and to the many others who helped during this trying time. The family will receive friends and family at the Racine, Robert & Gauthier Funeral Home, 180 Montreal Road, on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Funeral Home parking is accessible at the end of Cyr Ave (past the road closed sign), off McArthur Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations to MADD or Shepherds of Good Hope would be appreciated.
Published on May 7, 2022

Brian Michael Prôt

It is with profound sadness that the family of Brian Michael Prôt, “Butch” as he was affectionately known to friends, announce his peaceful passing on May 15, 2022, at the age of 83 years.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 59 years, Donna Prôt (O’Connor); children: Randy (Esther Clark) and Darren (Mimi Brunet); Jodie (Michael Wraight), grandchildren, Meagan Prôt, Kevin Prôt, Liam Wraight, Haley Wraight, Cody Dorman and Jamie Dorman.

Survived by his sister Claire and predeceased by his parents Clifford and Mildred Prôt as well as his siblings Donny, Joan, Allan, Lorraine, Bernice, and Beverly.

Brian lived his entire life in the National Capital Region. Raising their family in Aylmer, Quebec before retiring to Barrhaven and eventually re-locating to their current home in Kemptville.

He was the drummer for the band “The Talkabouts” and the “Rhythmaires” bringing Rock and Roll to the Ottawa Valley from the mid 1950’s to the early 1990’s.

Brian was a member of the Aylmer Civitan club, achieving positions such as Governor and International Director. He was also heavily involved in the Special Olympics in Aylmer, Quebec.

The family would like to thank the amazing doctors and nurses in the Acute Care Unit at the Civic hospital for taking such great care of Brian and the family in his final days.

Published in The Ottawa Citizen Obituaries on May 17, 2022




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:


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 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.


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

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.

This amendment reflects what is happening on a national level.



New Members

Canche Mass, Keren – Cello
Dassios, Michael – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Eb Clarinet
Fay, Pamela – Viola
Fonseca, Liana – Violin
Hernandez Torres, Jose Juan –  Trumpet
Lehmann, Daniel – Trumpet
MacDonald, Jacob – Cello
Malette, Sebastien – Bassoon, Contra Bassoon
McFarlane, Aaron – Violin
Nicholson, Eric Andrew – Trumpet
Ofei, Ryan – Vocalist
Pineault Deault, Leonard – Tenor Trombone
Reed, Ember-Leah – Violin
Reuten, Serena 
Wang, Shin Yu – French Horn, Piano
Wu, I-Hsinf – Violin



Our new mailing address is:

The Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau
Local 180
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 301
Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7

2AFM 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 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

June 13, 2022 – 12:30 PM – ON-Line VIA ZOOM

September 19, 2022 – 12:30 PM

December 12, 2022 – 12:30 PM


Monday to Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

2021 Financial Overview

(For the year ending December 31, 2021)

Annual Dues79,286
Work Dues208,447
Other Revenue34,215
General and Administrative Expenses205,783
Per Capita25,995
Professional Fees4,750
Federation Work Dues39,755
Executive Board Expenses11,100
Net Surplus (deficit) from operations32,352
Net Surplus (deficit) for the period32,352

Attention Members!!!

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.


If you are planning to file contracts electronically in 2022, please use
our new e-mail address:

Thank you!



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 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.


YEARLY DUES – $217.00

HALF-YEAR DUES – $110.00


YEARLY DUES – $110.00


Next Deadline for Membership Dues JUNE 30, 2021





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

· $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

Cristina Omar| | 519-325-1785 | TF: 800-463-4700
Musicians’ Instrument
Equipment Liability
Specifically for
CFM / AFM members