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


Officer Columns, Vice President from Canada


Alan Willaert – AFM Vice President from Canada

Standards Committee Finds Solutions for Locals

The Canadian Conference has always been an active, engaging and results-oriented event. The last two remained true to that legacy, as they spawned a special Standards Committee, comprised of Local 279 (London, ON) Secretary-Treasurer Ted Peacock; Local 384 (Brockville, ON) Vice President Pat Johnson; Local 591 (Thunder Bay, ON) Secretary-Treasurer Norm Slongo; Local 293 (Hamilton, ON) President Larry Feudo; and Local 547 (Calgary, AB) Secretary-Treasurer Chair Doug Kuss, who is committee chair.

CFM, a Year-in-Review

The year 2014 has been a turbulent one for the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM). However, to start on a positive, February saw the removal of rules about unionization votes from proposed Bill C-525. The deleted rules were completely biased against unions. At a December 2013 general meeting of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ), a motion […]

The Underachieving Tariff 8 and Other Scary Stuff

As consumers of music shift toward the “all you can eat” digital streaming services as the preferred platform, that should create more revenue for musicians, right? Musicians don’t need to be signed to a major label to distribute their recordings, and that means more airplay/streams and therefore more earnings, correct?  In a word, no.

Canadian Update: Local 145 Trusteeship Ends

AFM Local 145 (Vancouver, BC) has been removed from trusteeship and control of the AFM according to a September 11 BC Supreme Court ruling. The trusteeship and controversy began in June 2013, when it was discovered that Local 145 had entered into an agreement with the owner of Vancouver Film Orchestra (VFO) in relative secrecy, […]

CFM Moves Forward with a Full Dance Card

One year into this term of office, we look back on a year of internal conflict and turmoil on the Canadian scene. While continuing to look for the best solutions for all concerned, there is much work to be done, especially in the area of negotiations.

Understanding the New “Making Available Right”

At the June International Federation of Musicians (FIM) executive committee meetings, a central topic for discussion was streaming and the possibilities of properly monetizing this delivery system for musicians’ benefit. As the major labels and independents make deals with providers for access to their catalogues, compensation to the artist is all over the map in […]

Changes at the Canadian Labour Congress

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Canada’s version of the AFL-CIO, representing 3.3 million unionized workers, held its 27th national convention May 5-9. It was the largest convention ever, with almost 5,000 delegates registered.

More Cuts at CBC, Local 406 Members Go to the Polls, New Canadian IR

With the CBC already reeling from the loss of Hockey Night in Canada to communications giant Rogers, the Harper government finishes the job with devastating cuts to our national broadcaster. This latest faux pas, which trims $130 million, translates into the loss of 657 jobs. Some of those positions are music producers. These losses will […]

Local 406: Déjà vu All Over Again

At the December general meeting of La Guilde des Musiciens et Musiciennes du Québec, Local 406, a motion was passed to conduct a referendum of the members to determine if they should disaffiliate from the AFM. Coincidentally, it was exactly 20 years ago that the exact same question was asked. In 1994, the count fell […]

Changes Coming to Instrument Insurance/Tories Back Down on C-525

The CFM is fortunate to have one of the best instrument insurance packages. It’s been available only to members, through our partners at Hub International, for more than 30 years. The plan has been so stable and successful, that premiums have not increased for 20 years. But we now live in very litigious times, and […]