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

Executive Board

Lance Elbeck
Mike Mullin
David Renaud
Sean Rice

Delegates to AFM Convention

Francine Schutzman
Robin Moir

President Emeritus

Glenn Robb


Office Staff

Administrative Officers:

Dan Blackwell
Braiden Turner

Office Assistant: Marlene Morton

MPTF Coordinator: Glenn Robb

Website: Dave Poulin


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


As President of the Local, I’m supposed to come up with something hopefully interesting to write in the Harp every single issue. I admit to being at a loss this time. It feels as if there is nothing major to report, which, in these “interesting” times, might be construed as a good thing.

However, it doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening in my Local life. Robin, Dan and Braiden are the ones who do the day-to-day work of keeping the Local office running, but I don’t exactly sit at home twiddling my fingers.

In the past week, for example, I finished writing the interview of Brigitte that you will find elsewhere in this issue of the Harp (and it was such fun meeting with her!), I edited a couple of other articles for the Harp, I spent some time talking with a few members about sensitive issues, and I attended a Local board meeting. I attended auditions for the NAC Orchestra and went to feedback meetings for probationary members. I worked on some items for the next round of contract negotiations for NACO. Robin and I joined a meeting of the members of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. She and I, as well as Peter Hodgson, Mike Mullin, Glenn Robb, and Joe Turner, were delegates from the Local for the recent elections for the board of the Ottawa and District Labour Council (luckily, it wasn’t as long an evening as some have been in the past, and we’re happy to report that Sean McKenny was re-elected as President). I will be working in the office a couple of days a week when Braiden goes on maternity leave, so I may see some of you in person. I recently hosted a dinner for some CFM colleagues from across the country who were in Ottawa for meetings. This was a good opportunity to exchange information and to strengthen our relationships.

In short, the Local keeps me busy.


Rapport de la président

Qu’est-ce que je fais?

À titre de présidente de la Section locale, je dois rédiger quelque chose d’intéressant pour chacun des numéros du bulletin Harp. J’avoue être à court cette fois-ci. Il me semble qu’il n’y a rien de grave à transmettre, ce qui, à la lumière de cette « époque intéressante », peut être qualifié de positif.

Cependant, cela ne veut pas dire que rien n’arrive dans ma vie de Section locale. Robin, Dan et Braiden se chargent du quotidien au bureau de la Section locale, mais moi, je ne reste pas à la maison à me tourner les pouces.

Au cours des dernières semaines, par exemple, j’ai achevé la rédaction de l’entrevue avec Brigitte, laquelle vous trouverez ailleurs dans le présent numéro du Harp, (et ce fut un immense plaisir de la rencontrer!). J’ai révisé quelques articles du prochain Harp, j’ai discuté d’enjeux épineux avec quelques membres, et j’ai assisté à une réunion du conseil de la Section locale. J’ai également assisté aux auditions de l’Orchestre du CNA et j’ai participé à des réunions de rétroaction sur les membres probatoires. J’ai révisé certains points en prévision de la prochaine ronde des négociations de l’Orchestre du CNA. Robin et moi avons participé à une réunion des membres de l’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa. Elle et moi, ainsi que Peter Hodgson, Mike Mullin, Glenn Robb, et Joe Turner, avons été les délégués de la Section locale à la récente élection du Conseil du travail d’Ottawa et du district (heureusement, la soirée s’est avérée moins longue que certaines l’ont été par le passé, et nous sommes heureux d’annoncer la réélection de Sean McKenny à la présidence). Comme je travaillerai au bureau quelques jours par semaine lorsque Braiden sera en congé de maternité, j’aurai possiblement l’occasion de rencontrer certains d’entre vous personnellement. J’ai récemment tenu un souper pour quelques collègues de la FCM venant de partout au pays pour des réunions à Ottawa. Ce fut une excellente occasion d’échanger de l’information et de resserrer les liens.

Bref, la Section locale m’occupe beaucoup.


Secretary Treasurer’s Message

Robin Moir


Over the past year, the office has encountered many challenges with members contracting engagements. What we noticed most specifically was that members were unfamiliar with the Local Price List (tariff of fees); how to apply it and how to properly execute a contract on behalf of the engager and the musicians.

What became apparent was that because of the locally mandated 5% pension contribution on each and every contract, more contracts were being filed by more members; members that lacked the basic knowledge of contracting and filing contracts.

While many contractors communicated with the office for advice, many more did not, and that led to:

  • incorrect clause application
  • incorrect scale wages
  • incorrect pension contributions
  • incorrect word dues
  • incorrect musician information
  • incorrect venue information
  • incorrect delineation of services in relation to performance and rehearsals
  • incorrect interpretation of contracts
  • insufficient knowledge regarding the signing of contracts
  • insufficient knowledge of the Engager/Client

The situation became electrically charged in late 2019 when a long-time contractor in the local was faced with a situation that meant, musicians at the end of the engagement could not paid, because the client disclosed that the funds were not available. I don’t think that anyone, other than a contractor/leader, can understand how terrible a moment that is. (The Local is currently pursuing the funds in small claims court on behalf of the contractor and musicians).

The Local decided to host a Contractor’s Workshop to assist all of the contractors in the jurisdiction. The Workshop took place on March 2, 2020 and the following is a synopsis of what took place.

I think that the best way to describe the meeting is to say that there was a wonderful turn-out, and that the musicians appreciated the opportunity and for the Local the biggest take away was how grateful the participants were to have had the presentation! They were able to exchange ideas, ask about potential problems, and discuss solutions to those problems.
We went through the Power Point presentation and I urged those present to ask questions as we moved along – in my experience that means that members can ask questions as they pop up, and not forget.

At the end of the presentation we put up the fillable Local Live Performance Contact and we went through it.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for all of us who contract is that we sometimes become emotionally involved in the Engager’s angst. That is sometimes a big mistake. Rather than just concentrate on the contract, the facts and figures and that mode of payment for our musicians, we begin to care when the Engager shares a concern regarding ticket sales, their sponsor’s problems or venue issues.

Contractors MUST remember that their bottom line is to have the contract signed and to secure the Advance (deposit), and final payment at the beginning of the engagement.

It is far better to pass on an engagement (not play) than to have musicians rehearse and play and not get paid.

That decision, to refuse an engagement, is a tough one for all of us because the bottom line is that we want to play and make music, however, as a contractor that tough decision is yours to make.

The Canadian Office sent Rosalyn Dennett, to observe, and happily for Local 180, she offered to return to host a session on P2s in the future.
Thank you CFM and thanks to everyone who attended!


Rapport de la secrétaire trésorière

Atelier à l’intention des contractuels

Au cours de la dernière année, le bureau a relevé plusieurs défis liés aux engagements contractuels des membres. Ce qui nous a particulièrement frappé a été le fait que les membres ne connaissaient pas très bien la liste de prix de la Section locale (barème d’honoraires – comment s’y conformer et comment réaliser un contrat correctement au nom de l’employeur et des musiciens).

L’un des constats fût qu’en raison de la contribution de 5 % au régime de retraite imposée localement sur chaque contrat, plus de membres ont enregistré davantage de contrats — notamment des membres n’ayant pas les connaissances de base relatives à la réalisation et à l’enregistrement des contrats.

Bien que plusieurs contractuels aient fait appel au bureau pour des conseils, plusieurs ne l’ont pas fait, ce qui a donné lieu à :


  • une application erronée des clauses;
  • une échelle salariale erronée;
  • des contributions de retraite erronées;
  • des cotisations syndicales erronées;
  • des renseignements erronés sur les musiciens;
  • des renseignements erronés sur le lieu;
    la délimitation erronée des services par rapport à la prestation et aux répétitions;
  • l’interprétation erronée des contrats;
  • un manque de connaissances quant à la signature des contrats;
  • un manque de connaissances de la part de l’employeur et du client.

La situation s’est aggravée à la fin de 2019 alors qu’un contractuel de longue date à la Section locale s’est trouvé dans une situation où les musiciens n’ont pu être rémunérés à la fin de la prestation puisque le client a révélé que les fonds n’étaient pas disponibles. À mon avis, personne autre qu’un contractuel/chef d’orchestre ne peut comprendre combien déplorable s’avère une telle situation. (La Section locale réclame les fonds actuellement au tribunal des petites créances au nom du contractuel et des musiciens.)

La Section locale a décidé d’offrir un atelier à l’intention des contractuels afin d’aider tous les contractuels dans notre circonscription. L’atelier a eu lieu le 2 mars 2020, et en voici un résumé :

La meilleure façon de décrire la rencontre est de dire que la participation a été formidable et que les musiciens ont apprécié cette occasion. Pour la Section locale, la plus grande récompense a été à quel point les participants ont apprécié la présentation! Ils ont pu échanger des idées, enquêter sur des problématiques éventuelles et discuter de solutions à cet effet.
Nous avons passé en revue la présentation Power Point, tout en invitant les participants à poser des questions. Par expérience, cela incite les membres à poser des questions lorsqu’elles surgissent et à ne pas les oublier. À la fin de la présentation, nous avons montré comment remplir le contrat de prestations en direct de la Section locale.

L’un des plus importants obstacles pour les contractuels est de s’investir émotionnellement dans l’angoisse de l’employeur, chose qui s’avère parfois une grave erreur. En effet, plutôt que de se concentrer uniquement sur le contrat, les faits et les chiffres, et le mode de rémunération pour ses musiciens, le contractuel se préoccupe des inquiétudes de l’employeur au sujet de la vente de billets, des ennuis de son commanditaire ou des problématiques liées au lieu.

Les contractuels DOIVENT se rappeler que leur but ultime consiste à signer le contrat, à assurer le paiement à l’avance (acompte), ainsi qu’un paiement final au début de la prestation.

Il vaut beaucoup mieux refuser une prestation plutôt que de voir les musiciens répéter et s’exécuter sans toutefois être rémunérés. Cette décision, soit de refuser une prestation, est difficile pour nous tous puisqu’en bout de ligne, nous voulons surtout jouer nos instruments et offrir de la musique. Cependant, en tant que contractuel, cette décision extrêmement délicate est entre vos mains.

Le Bureau canadien a délégué Rosalyn Dennett comme observatrice, et heureusement pour la Section locale 180, elle a offert de revenir plus tard pour tenir une séance sur les permis de travail P2.

Nous remercions la FCM ainsi que toutes les personnes qui y ont participé!




Those interested in viewing the Contractor’s Handout that was distributed at the Contractor’s Workshop may do so by clicking on the link to open a PDF.

CLICK HERE or on the following image.


Monday, March 16, 280 Metcalfe, 5th Floor, 12:30 p.m.

Pizza lunch. MMM


Members of Musicians Association Ottawa-Gatineau- Local 180 Sara Williams (violin) & Thaddeus Morden (cello), accompanied by Allistair Elliott (AFM – American Federation of Musicians International Rep) & Isabel Metcalfe (Public Affairs Council) met with The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, to present him with a letter of appreciation for including the transport of musical instruments in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
#haveinstrumentwilltravel #makespaceformycase

Les membres de l’Association de musiciens d’Ottawa-Gatineau Sara Williams (violon) et Thaddeus Morden (violoncelle), accompagnés d’Allistair Elliott (AFM – American Federation of Musicians International Rep) et Isabel Metcalfe (Conseil des affaires publiques) ont rencontré l’honorable Marc Garneau , Ministre des Transports, pour lui présenter une lettre de remerciement pour avoir inclus le transport d’instruments de musique dans le Règlement sur la protection des passagers aériens.

Info on these websites as well:

and here:

From left to right: Isabel Metcalfe, Sara Williams, The Honorable Marc Garneau, Allistair Elliott and Thaddeus Morden



All in the Family

Local 180, the proud home of such family groups as Family Brown and the Huggett Family, now has another to add to the list: a collaboration between violinist Brigitte Amyot, bass player/composer Ian Fleet and their children — violinist Emma, harpist Jessie and cellist Aidan — called Musicalement Fleet.

It all started when Aidan, who is now 19, was about 12 years old. Brigitte was asked to play a solo gig for a wedding. She offered a family trio instead, and things took off from there. They donated their services at retirement homes, which was good training for the kids. In Jessie’s last year of high school, she and Aidan played Stairway to Heaven for a school concert and won the competition. Ian then started doing arrangements for the three kids, who played Ian’s composition Sail and Sea in the Kiwanis Festival. Then Brigitte joined the group. A young friend, Evan Clement, who plays in a string quartet with Aidan, joined in on viola. Now, the group consists of pretty much any family members who are available at a given time, plus the occasional drum-set invitee, currently Jean-Claude Brien. Most often, a group consisting of harp, cello and violin (either Brigitte or Emma) will perform.

So how did this multi-talented family get to where they are today? Ian started out majoring in classical guitar at Concordia; then he switched to double bass at McGill, where he met Brigitte. He also became a technician for in-house alarms. When the couple moved to Ottawa, where Brigitte studied with Calvin Sieb while earning her Master’s degree at Ottawa U, both of them played in the Ottawa Symphony. They’ve now been in the region for 28 years.

The three children all studied music, too. Aidan will be finishing at le Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau this year and will be applying to universities for the fall. Jessie will also be graduating soon, in this case from Carleton University, with a major in music and a minor in business management. Emma is working on a Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa, concentrating on the wellbeing of musicians.

Jessie also works at a non-profit that is devoted to revamping old Gatineau. They present shows of various types in a series called Propulsion Scene. The family group started doing annual shows there perhaps four years ago, and that’s when the group grew to the size it often is today. They have an extensive repertoire ranging from Pergolesi to Led Zeppelin, including classical, popular, Baroque and, not least of all, Ian’s own compositions. Brigitte said that when they play Stairway to Heaven, everyone stops talking! They’re on Facebook (see Musicalement Fleet) and plan to have a webpage soon. At the moment, they do perhaps ten gigs a year, limited by the fact that the kids are all in school.

One gig that the family played last May was on Parliament Hill for a delegation from the Czech Republic. The engagers wanted Canadian content, so the group played Ian’s compositions, which were very well received. Those present were also fascinated by having a close-up view of the harp. And speaking of that harp, Ian says that, whenever the family is looking for a newer car, they have to make sure that it can fit the harp.

Despite the energy contributed by everyone in the family, it appears that the driving force is Brigitte, who could write a textbook on how to survive as a freelancer. She plays with Thirteen Strings and has served as their personnel manager for the last three or four years. She is the leader of the second violins in the Gatineau Symphony, where she loves the collegial ambiance. She teaches privately. She has conducted the junior strings in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy for 27 years and is, in fact, the longest-serving coach there.

As if that weren’t enough, Brigitte also conducts two mixed adult string groups —The More Strings the Merrier (since 2007) and Manor Park Strings. These are for young and old, mostly adults of all ages. They perform in a venue in Hull and in Ottawa. The Big Strings Group, also one of Brigitte’s brain storms, is an annual project (strings only, c. 100-120 players) that puts on a concert in December of Christmas music plus a different theme each year, such as classics, movie music or conductor’s choice. They do a few rehearsals “here and there,” says Brigitte, and then play a concert at De la Salle high school. Each event is followed by a party.

And then there was the summer camp. Twenty or so years ago, Camp Artistique Chez Brigitte was established, just as the name says — Chez Brigitte! After all, why not set up a camp in your own home? Ian says that every day when he came home from work, he would find that the furniture had been cleared out of yet another room to make space for yet another studio. When there were only 36 students and three teachers, this was manageable in the house. However, siblings of the young string players wanted to get involved, so, with the help of family members, the camp expanded to include occasional forays into other fields, such as hip-hop, cartooning, and theatre. The final year that the camp took place in Brigitte’s and Ian’s house, there were 56 kids involved, which was a bit much, so it now takes place in Trille des Bois elementary school from June 22-26, with former students now acting as mentors. News of the camp is spread by word of mouth, so check it out on Brigitte’s website:

Despite Brigitte’s very full schedule, she is always ready to play more. She said that she especially loves doing choir gigs. She is flattered by her reputation as a contractor: people have told her that they will play if she is on the gig, as they know that it will be well organized and relatively free of stress. We are proud to have her, along with her entire family, as members. She returns the favour with words of praise for those who work in the Local office. According to Brigitte, “We have the best union ever.” She urges members to call the office for information and help. On our part, we are delighted to know that her contracts will be filed in a timely manner so that pension contributions are made before the deadline. Well done all around, Brigitte!

La famille réunie

La Section locale 180, l’heureux foyer de groupes familiaux tels que la famille Brown et la famille Huggett, en ajoute un autre à la liste  : une collaboration entre la violoniste, Brigitte Amyot, le bassiste et compositeur, Ian Fleet, et leurs enfants, notamment Emma, violoniste, Jessie, harpiste et Aidan, violoncelliste — le groupe Musicalement Fleet.

Tout a commencé alors que Aidan, qui a maintenant 19 ans, avait environ 12 ans. Brigitte a été invitée à faire une prestation en solo à l’occasion d’un mariage. Elle a plutôt offert un trio familial, et tout s’est amplifié rapidement. Le groupe a offert ses services gratuitement dans les maisons de retraite, un bel entraînement pour les enfants. Lors de sa dernière année au secondaire, et d’un concert à l’école, Jessie, accompagnée de Aidan, offraient Stairway to Heaven, et ils ont remporté le concours. Ian a par la suite commencé à faire des arrangements musicaux pour les trois enfants, lesquels ont offert la composition d’Ian, Sail and Sea, au festival Kiwanis. Puis, Brigitte s’est intégrée au groupe. Un jeune ami, Evan Clement, membre d’un quatuor à cordes avec Aidan, s’est ajouté à l’alto. Aujourd’hui, le groupe comprend en principe tous les membres de la famille disponibles à un moment donné, en plus d’un invité occasionnel à la batterie, présentement Jean-Claude Brien. Il arrive souvent que le groupe offrant la prestation comprenne harpe, violoncelle et violon (soit Brigitte ou Emma).

Comment cette famille aux multiples talents a-t-elle réussi à en arriver où elle en est aujourd’hui? Ian a d’abord étudié la guitare classique à Concordia, puis a opté pour la contrebasse à McGill, où il a rencontré Brigitte. Il est également devenu technicien en systèmes d’alarme. Lorsque le couple est arrivé à Ottawa, où Brigitte a étudié sous Calvin Sieb tout en obtenant sa maîtrise à l’Université d’Ottawa, les deux faisaient partie de l’Orchestre symphonique d’Ottawa. Ils demeurent maintenant dans la région depuis 28 ans.

Les trois enfants ont aussi étudié la musique. Aidan termine le Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau cette année et présentera des demandes d’admission à l’université à l’automne. Jessie sera aussi bientôt diplômée de l’Université Carleton, avec une spécialisation en musique et une mineure en gestion des affaires. Emma complète actuellement sa maîtrise à l’Université d’Ottawa, se concentrant sur le bien-être des musiciens.

Jessie travaille aussi pour un organisme à but non lucratif consacré à la modernisation du vieux Gatineau. Le groupe présente des spectacles de types différents dans le contexte d’une série appelée Propulsion Scène. Le groupe familial a commencé à présenter des spectacles annuels il y a environ quatre ans, et c’est à ce moment qu’il s’est développé pour atteindre sa taille actuelle. Son répertoire est exhaustif, allant de Pergolesi à Led Zeppelin, y compris les musiques classique, populaire, baroque et non la moindre, les compositions d’Ian. Selon Brigitte, lorsqu’ils présentent Stairway to Heaven, tout le monde cesse de parler! Le groupe est sur Facebook (voir Musicalement Fleet) et prévoit avoir une page Web sous peu. Présentement, le groupe offre environ une dizaine de prestations par année, limité en raison des études des enfants.

En mai dernier, la famille offrait à une délégation de la République tchèque une prestation sur la colline Parlementaire. Comme les employeurs voulaient un contenu canadien, le groupe a offert les compositions d’Ian, lesquelles ont été fort appréciées. Les personnes présentes ont aussi été fascinées de voir la harpe de près. D’ailleurs, pour ce qui est de la harpe, Ian confirme que devoir transporter la harpe est toujours le critère principal quand vient le temps d’acheter un nouveau véhicule.
Malgré l’énergie de tous les membres de la famille, Brigitte semble être la force motrice du groupe. En effet, elle pourrait écrire un manuel sur l’art de survivre comme musicienne à la pige. Elle est membre du groupe, Thirteen Strings, pour lequel elle est également gérante du personnel depuis trois ou quatre ans. Elle est chef d’attaque de la section des deuxièmes violons de l’Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau, où elle adore l’ambiance collégiale. Elle enseigne aussi en privé. Depuis 27 ans, elle dirige les cordes juniors à l’Académie des orchestres des jeunes d’Ottawa.

Comme si ce n’était pas suffisant, Brigitte dirige également deux groupes d’adultes mixtes à cordes  : Plus on est de cordes, plus on rit (depuis 2007) et Manor Park Strings. Ces groupes s’adressent aux jeunes et aux moins jeunes, particulièrement aux adultes de tous âges. Ils s’exécutent à Hull et à Ottawa. Le grand groupe de cordes, aussi une idée de génie de Brigitte, est un projet annuel (cordes seulement – de 100 à 120 instrumentistes), offrant un concert de Noël en décembre, en plus d’un thème différent à chaque année, tel que les classiques, la musique de film ou le choix du chef. Ils ont quelques répétitions, « ici et là » affirme Brigitte, puis offrent un concert à l’école secondaire De la Salle. Chaque prestation est suivie d’une fête.

Et puis, il y a le camp d’été. Il y a environ 20 ans, le Camp Artistique Chez Brigitte a été fondé, comme le dit le nom, Chez Brigitte! Après tout, pourquoi ne pas créer un camp dans sa propre demeure. Selon Ian, tous les jours au retour du travail, il découvrait que les meubles avaient encore été retirés d’une autre pièce pour encore créer un autre studio. Alors que le camp comptait 36 élèves et 3 professeurs, c’était gérable à la maison. Toutefois, comme les frères et sœurs des jeunes instrumentistes à cordes voulaient aussi participer, le camp, avec l’aide de la famille, a été élargi pour tels que le hip-hop, le dessin et le théâtre. La dernière année de la tenue du camp dans la demeure de Brigitte et Ian, on comptait 56 participants. Voilà pourquoi le camp a maintenant lieu à l’école primaire Trille des Bois, du 22 au 26 juin, et les anciens élèves sont devenus des mentors. La publicité du camp se fait de bouche à oreille, et vous pouvez en savoir davantage en visitant le site Web de Brigitte à

Malgré son horaire fort chargé, Brigitte est toujours prête à s’exécuter davantage. Elle avoue aimer particulièrement les prestations avec chorales. Elle est très flattée de sa réputation en tant que contractuelle  : des gens lui ont dit qu’ils joueront si elle participe à la prestation puisqu’ils savent que tout sera bien organisé et relativement sans stress. Nous sommes fiers de la compter parmi nous, ainsi que toute sa famille. Elle nous rend la pareille avec des louanges pour les personnes travaillant au bureau de la Section locale. Selon Brigitte, « nous avons le meilleur syndicat possible ». Elle encourage les membres à communiquer avec le bureau pour obtenir des renseignements et de l’aide. De notre part, nous sommes enchantés de savoir que ses contrats seront enregistrés en temps opportun afin que les contributions de retraite soient effectuées avant la date limite. Beau travail de toute part Brigitte!



Many people have asked about the disappearance of the RCMP Band, so I was asked to write a bit about its members – where they are and what they are doing.

The termination date of the Band was April 5, 1994. We were all given termination notices and within those were the terms of our dismissal. Someone somewhere had to figure out what our compensation would be based on the number of years we had served in the RCMP.

We were a combination of different ranks, and for each rank and number of years served they gave us “x” amount of dollars. We were also given the choice to stay in the RCMP and be posted to a different unit or take the benefit package and leave the employment of the RCMP.

Most of us would like to have stayed as a member of the RCMP Band but the upper management decided they did not want a band anymore. Inspector Charlie Hendricks, Director of Music, asked a rather pointed question at the information session. “Does the RCMP want a Band?” The answer was quite pointed and direct: No!

We had thought that maybe the decision was not final, but that “No” said everything. Was it a crushing blow to everyone? – YES. In that single statement 52 full-time good-paying jobs in music disappeared. It was and still is a blow to the music industry. Full-time music gigs are very rare. Did we ever get a definitive answer? —not really. Someone up the chain of command just decided that we would be gone, and poof .. gone!

The RCMP Band had existed in many configurations but for the sake of brevity I am going to try to limit myself to the members affected for whom I have some information.

I may get some facts wrong as I have lost touch with a lot of the past Band members. Please forgive me if I err, but if you know any additional facts, I would be delighted to hear from you. I have contacted some of the members to get updated info and have been very happy to talk to them.

I thank Peter Carss, who has compiled a database so we can keep track of former members. First, I am presenting a list of members who have passed away. All of these people lived in Ottawa for an extended period of time, and many were members of Local 180:

Ian Blakeney-Clarinet, Stewart Butterfield-Clarinet, Bob Connors-Percussion, Michel Desmarchais-Bass, John Griffiths-Tuba, Brian Hawkes-Trumpet, Charlie Hendricks-Conductor & Woodwinds, Joe Hopwood-Trumpet, Rod Johnson-Trombone, Doug Johnston-Drums, Edwin Lydall-Conductor, Alistair McTurk-Clarinet, Gerry Nadeau-Trumpet, John Oosterbroek-Clarinet & Sax, Blenis Pennell-Arranger/Sax/Clarinet, Dennis Presunka-Euphonium, Carmelo Scaffidi-Trumpet/Vocal, Mike Scorah-Woodwinds, Neil Seney-Clarinet, Bramwell Smith-Conductor, Jim Smith-Clarinet, Gerard Van Veldhoven-Clarinet.

Most of us have stayed in Ottawa as our adopted home.

Monty Armitage, Ron Jasper, Rash Ledger, Bob Piche, Peter Spriggs and Ken Hartfield all moved to BC. Shelley Ewing, Don Tatchell and Ross Ulmer moved to Saskatchewan. Dana Kaukinen went to Calgary. Jeff Goodspeed, Jim MacTavish and Jamie Gatti went East. Jamie is currently playing with the Barra MacNeils. Guy Robichaud moved to the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Scott Alexander & John Cheesman went to Toronto. Noel Casey is in the States somewhere.

Some elected to stay in the RCMP and received postings. Don Bishop was transferred to the Air Division until retirement and now lives in BC. Peter Carss was transferred to HQ and began a career as their go-to tech guy. Craig Kennedy retired about two years ago and spent most of his time doing ceremonial duties. Monty Armitage became a prison guard in the BC prison system. Keith Estabrooks was posted to HQ and spent some time in the Access to Information Section. Drummond Hudson retired quite a while after the Band termination and retired from Ceremonies Branch. Nelson McClinton was at HQ until retirement. Jim MacTavish was transferred out west and stayed for quite a few years in a detachment. Gord Price stayed at Ceremonies Branch until retirement.

There are no two stories alike; everyone went their own way. After many years of seeing each other every day, we parted company in April of 1994.

I don’t know everyone’s story, but I do know a few:

I’ll start with myself, Gary Morton. I accepted the retirement package and left the RCMP as a Staff Sargent, Assistant Director of Music. I have been very busy with the Stevens and Kennedy Band for 40 years. I served as the Executive Director of the Kiwanis Music Festival for 25 years and have been the Music Director of the Ottawa Cappies Gala for 15 years. About ten years ago I was elected to the Board of Local 180 and am currently serving as the Vice-President.

Jim Brough accepted the package, left as a Sargent and began working as a church musician and piano teacher. He also began a 26-year career playing for funerals. Jim has begun to slow down recently and is now almost fully retired but still maintains one church job. Jim and Peggy have moved from their long-time residence to an apartment last year, and he still plays the piano in the lobby most evenings. Jim turns 80 this year.

Sid Arnold became a piano technician and continued to play trumpet in the Ottawa area. Sid just had a hip replacement last year and appears to be doing fine.

Dean Tronsgard became a driving instructor and has been gone from that for about 5 years.

Nick Atkinson joined the NACO and had an amazing career playing with these fantastic musicians. Nick moved to BC last year.

Augus Armstrong stayed in Ottawa and had a vibrant career as a freelance trombonist, including playing as an extra musician with the NACO; he was also conductor of the Parkdale Orchestra. He recently moved to BC.

Kirk Macdonald left the Band and is currently a Professor at Humber College. He has been nominated for several Junos and won Best Mainstream Jazz Album in 1999.

Jim Gayfer began a career working for the federal government using the writing skills he learned while attending university.

Mario Gilbert is living in Montreal and getting work as a freelance player of everything.

Although it seems like music left the RCMP, I doubt that music ever left these great musicians.

Have a look at

Gary Morton

VP Local180, CFM


New Members

Aubin, Pierre Richard
Balakrishman, Ethan – Viola, Violin
Chadbourn, Juleann – Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocalist
Choquette, Sebastien – Bass
Concessi-Maclean, Lisa – Clarinet, Conductor, Contractor, Piano, Saxophone
deSouza, Kiran – Piano
Dixon, Carl – Guitar
Donais, Mathieu – Piano
Fraser, Anik – Bassoon
Geller, Chloe – Librarian
Hayes, Kenneth – Keyboards, Piano
Houston, Alison – Piano, Vocalist, Contractor
King, Alexandra – Viola, Violin
MacGowan, Brian – Flute, Trumpet
Pell, Adam – Guitar
Saint Pierre, Kristine – Guitar, Piano, Vocalist
Schryer, Louis – Violin
Sinkus, Jason – Percussion
St. Germain, Brayden – MC, DJ, Producer
Stevens, Claire – Harpsichord, Organ, Piano
Treleaven, Eric – Guitar
Tremblay, Pier-Bernard – DJ, MC, Producer
Tyler-Davis, Tereka – Vocalist
Urbancic, Aude – Piano


Arnold, Sid
Boivin-Laframboise,m Audray
Burke, Sean
Chung, Christoph
Cochrane, Nicholas
Das, Topon
Deacon, Donnie
Erdmann, Jack
Harrison, Joan
Johnny, David
Johnny, Veronica
Johnson, Don
Johson-Scherger, Erik
Lange, Jolani
Mongeon, Melanie
Vilandre, Mathieu



Calkin, James
Ellis, John
Giamberadino, Mike
Harea, Alex
Herle, Lindsey
Joly Pavelich, Alec
Lecomte, Manon
Matte, Ivan
Meagher, Liam
Penny, Caylan
Ramsay, Jessica
Richards, Stephen
Singer, Harrison
Tronsgard, Dean S.
Van der Sloot, Jacob


Curtis, Trevor
Deinstadt, Ben
Greyson, Gritts

Dear Members,
Please email or call the Local 180 office for any fees that are owed to you from media events, festivals, or any engagements that you have played.

Many times engagers have complained to us that they do not have the correct address for musicians, and cheques are misdirected.

However, if you are having difficulty receiving payment after three or four emails and telephone calls, your next call should be to the Local 180 office so that we can follow up for you.

AFM ID Numbers

Dear Members,

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

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

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

You may also go to 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 2020

Featuring Pizza Lunches!!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday, June 16, 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020 


Monday to Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Here are the closure dates from now until the end of 2020

Good Friday, April 10

Easter Monday, April 13

Victoria Day, Monday, May 18

Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 3

Labour Day, Monday, September 7

Thanksgiving, Monday, October 12

Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11

Holiday Closing:

Closed – Wednesday December 23 at noon

Closed – Tuesday December 29

Closed – Wednesday December 30 until January 4, 2021

Attention Members!!!

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

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

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 613-235-3253 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 with belong only to members.


YEARLY DUES – $207.00

HALF-YEAR DUES – $104.00


YEARLY DUES – $104.00


Next Deadline for Membership Dues March 31, 2020 





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· 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
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· 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
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