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.
February 1, 2023
One of the core services of the Federation is collective bargaining, headed by our national offices or within the locals. In Canada, locals have autonomy to bargain within their jurisdiction. Exceptions to this are the events which move from province to province on a yearly basis. To provide continuity, the Canadian Office is responsible for […]
January 1, 2023
As I reported in October, a last-minute amendment to Bill C-11, the proposed update to the Broadcasting Act removed the application of Status of the Artist legislation from online undertakings. In other words, the ability for artists’ unions to compel big tech to bargain collectively was suddenly excised. The bumbling and embarrassed excuses from the […]
December 1, 2022
As a member of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), Canada was asked to participate in lobbying our government representatives who are attending the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to vote against a proposal by Brazil (CoP19 Prop. 49) to move Pernambuco trees from Appendix II to […]
October 1, 2022
As I write this, Canadian locals have just attended a presentation by Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC). My sincere appreciation goes out to Freeman, who took the time to apprise those in attendance on the status and short-term objectives her team faces in anticipation of pending updates to Canada’s […]
September 1, 2022
At the risk of being repetitive, I must lament at hearing nonmember musicians (and a disturbing number of members) parroting the corporate slogan: “perhaps there once was a need for unions, but not anymore.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Giving any credence to that statement is a recipe for disaster. Corporations, or any […]
August 1, 2022
Bill C11, the online streaming bill, passed its third reading in the House of Commons and has now landed in the Senate for approval. If passed, the bill would compel streaming platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and others to add more Canadian content, or in the wording of the bill, “contribute in […]
June 1, 2022
“Apparently, some believe musicians are unworthy and should be afforded less rights than movie stars’ dog walkers.” As the sixth wave driven by the Omicron variant begins to fade, hope springs eternal that life may soon return to whatever normal will be. Bargaining with employers has been particularly difficult, since two-dimensional negotiating via zoom is […]
May 1, 2022
For those who still believe conditions in the workplace are something you’re entitled to, you may be surprised that unfair labour practices (in Canada) were only defined and prohibited in 1938! While the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century gave birth to the labour movement in Europe and North America, there were many significant events […]
April 1, 2022
The pandemic has, among many other things, caused musicians to explore alternatives to live music, one being a pivot to digital. However, in doing so, members have often thrown caution to the wind and not bothered to cover their recordings with obligatory (and protective) agreements and report forms. Moreover, the desire to stay relevant with […]
March 1, 2022
On February 1, 2022, the Government of Canada made a commitment to supporting the recovery of the arts and culture sector, which has been among the hardest hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of renewed shutdowns and public health restrictions due to the emergence of the omicron variant have been particularly severe for the […]