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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Articles, Officer Columns, Vice President from Canada

Canadian Office Prepares for Busy Season

As we enter the spring and summer seasons, the Canadian Office will be embroiled in a plethora of negotiations, both for successor and new agreements.


Married to the Band

In the absence of a written agreement, there is automatic equal ownership of the assets, equal distribution of income, joint and several liability, and the duties and responsibilities are not apportioned. Quite literally, you are married to the band.


Changes at the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada/CBC Agreement Update

I have been advised that long-time employer trustee and chair of the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada, Stanley J. Shortt, has retired from the board of trustees for personal reasons.


Streaming Leads to Slim Profits

As discussed last month, album sales have dropped dramatically as consumption has moved decisively toward streaming as the preferred platform. Recent information available online through Digitalmusicnews.com paints a different picture in terms of how artists can expect to benefit from various streaming services.


Maximize Your Income from Recordings

I am pleased to report that the General Agreement for Commercial Announcements (Canada) has been ratified. While there have been some delays in editing, I expect printing and distribution to take place shortly.


Is the Album Doomed?

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), album sales in the US for the first half of 2018 (including downloads, CDs, and vinyl) were down 25.8%, compared to a year earlier.


The Value of AFM Membership Is Realized Through Proper Contracts

The shocking thing for me is discovering that these members are unaware of benefits they should have been receiving for years, such as payments for new use of their recordings, special payments, and pension statements laden with employer contributions. After a considerable number of recordings and a substantial amount of national success, how can this be? In a word: contracts.


Canadian Federation of Musicians Bargaining Roundup

The summer and fall of this year have shaped up to be negotiation-heavy. While exhausting, we see this as an opportunity to secure better wages and benefits for our members who work under those agreements.


Union Contracts Strengthen Our Union in the Digital World

Working off-contract creates the kind of divisiveness employers look for to unravel union strength. Only by insisting that everything you do is on an AFM contract, can we hope to prevent further erosion.


Copyright Reform: Why Bother?

On May 29, I appeared before the Heritage Committee and, on June 5, before the Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology, all part of the statutory review of Canada’s Copyright Act. Why is this important, and how does it affect you, our members?








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