Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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President's Message

The Struggle in Fort Wayne Is a Struggle for All

On May 1, I traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to stand with the musicians of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic as they rallied with hundreds of supporters and unionists to protest unfair treatment endured at the hands of the institution’s management and board of directors.  Also standing with Philharmonic musicians were Fort Wayne AFM Local 58 President […]


The PRO Act Would Level the Playing Field for Organizing

Organizing is the lifeblood of any union, and with our current labor law, it is the most difficult task we face as a labor organization. It takes commitment, tenacity, and abundant resources to be successful. Organizing new workplaces brings the benefits of collective bargaining to newly organized workers, which grows our membership and creates increased […]


“The Times They Are a-Changin’” or “Disruptive Innovation”?

There’s a new energy out there. You can feel it, right?  It’s not just that things are starting to open up, even in our industry. It’s that this lost year may not have been a complete loss, but rather a realignment. Part of that realignment has to do with the level of activism and engagement that I’m seeing all around us.  […]


Taking Your Shot with Confidence

For musicians, the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel—having live music resurface—will be excruciatingly slow. We already knew that. It’s common knowledge that having a large percentage of the public vaccinated and achieving herd immunity is key to venues reopening. Canada is not exempt from having its share of anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, and conspiracy theorists. Vaccine […]


Broadway Tour Discussions Begin as Pandemic Recedes

More than a year after the COVID outbreak prompted the lockdown of global population centers, halting public gatherings, darkening entertainment venues of all sizes, locking out musicians and performers, and eliminating thousands upon thousands of jobs, wheels are now in motion for the reopening of the live entertainment industry and a mid-summer return for concerts, […]


Paycheck Protection Program Available to Unions

While unions are organizations that strive to improve the lives of their members and protect workers’ rights in the workplace from unscrupulous employers, unions are also employers themselves. The Federation and its locals (particularly larger ones) retain many employees in order to handle the workload of the union. As many small businesses were forced to […]


As We All Go Back to Work, Know Your Value

During this time of lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, musicians and music teachers are finding creative ways to teach and earn income.


Employers Beware: Don’t Poke The Bear

Canada has a long history of union victories that have defined our society, prosperity, and social programmes. Within the labour movement’s success lay pertinent lessons. The established labour scene of the early 1900s was dominated by many small craft unions—each organized according to the identity of a specific skill, and therefore very exclusive. Meanwhile, unskilled […]


The American Rescue Plan: In Unity There is Strength

As I write this column (March 12, 2021) the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with its relief provisions for multiemployer pension plans, has passed the Senate, was approved by the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Biden. If there were ever a day to celebrate the power of collective action and […]


Pharmacare, Tommy Douglas, and the Price of Tea in China

en français The longer the pandemic goes on, the more exposed the weaknesses in the social structure become. Those with precarious work (e.g. gigging musicians) have struggled for mere survival. When the “Great Reset” happens, certainly there are a plethora of improvements to be made. One of the major objectives of the Canadian Labour Congress […]








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