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


Vice President from Canada


Alan Willaert – AFM Vice President from Canada

Accord de retenue à la source aux États-Unis

Accord de retenue à la source aux États-Unis — Si vous êtes un artiste étranger non résident (en d’autres mots, si vous n’êtes pas citoyen américain) et que vous vous produisez aux États-Unis, vous êtes assujetti à une retenue de 30 % de votre revenu brut aux fins d’impôt. Cette exigence ne s’applique pas à tous (des entreprises et organismes sans but lucratif répondant à des critères précis y échappent, et certaines conventions fiscales prévoient des exonérations), mais la plupart des artistes ont intérêt à conclure une entente de retenue à la source appelée « central withholding agreement » (CWA), avec l’Internal Revenue Service (IRS) afin de réduire le montant de la retenue.

New Hope for Labour and the Arts Under Canada’s Liberal Government

Labour and the Arts Under Canada’s Liberal Government — One of my duties as AFM Vice President from Canada is to sit as a Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). In that capacity, I attend the executive committee meetings. At the last gathering, those in attendance were treated to a question and answer period with Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Trans-Pacific Partnership—Harper’s Deal with the Devil

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has eclipsed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as being the new “gold standard” of global trade. And while it may take years to sign, ratify, and implement, the final agreement remains carefully under wraps. Once signed, the TPP will become the world’s largest economic trade agreement, encompassing more than […]

Be Careful What You Sign—They Don’t Care About You; They Want Your Song

Musicians want their music out there to be heard, everyone knows this, but be careful what you sign with companies because they want your song…not you.

Unity Conference Offers Valuable Union Insights to Attendees

The annual Canadian Conference, which took place in Windsor, Ontario, August 7-9, was special this year as it was a Unity Conference, held in conjunction with the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM).

International Federation of Musicians: Lessons Learned from Musicians Unions from Around the World

The International Federation of Musicians in Helsinki brought home the importance of having ongoing relations with the other musicians’ unions in the world.

Statistics Canada’s Report on the Economics of Canadian Culture

Statistics Canada just released a paper that outlines the Provincial and Territorial Canadian Culture Satellite Account (PTCSA). The PTCSA provides measures of the economic importance of culture (inclusive of the arts and heritage) across Canada in terms of output, gross domestic product, and employment, for reference year 2010.

Copyright Extended and Anti-Union Bill C-377 Moves Forward

Prior to May of this year, the copyright on sound recordings in Canada extended 50 years after release. In a surprise move, the Harper government, without any public consultation or discussion, moved to extend protection to 70 years as part of the budget.

Canadian Boycott of Crown Cans

Members of United Steel Workers Local 9176 have been forced on strike for close to 18 months at Crown Holdings in Toronto, Ontario. Crown is one of the largest beverage and food can manufacturers in the world. Originally known as Crown, Cork & Seal, the company is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and operates approximately 149 […]

99 Problems with the Music Industry

I recently ran across an article by Paul Resnicoff, entitled “99 Problems with the Music Industry,” and while written some months ago, it has an interesting perspective on the current state of affairs

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