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.
March 24, 2015IM -
by Daniel Calabrese, AFM Canada, Contract Administer
Every year since 1970, the Juno Awards have recognized Canadian musical artists and bands for their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music. This award show has grown in the past 45 years, becoming the biggest award show for Canada’s music industry.
For several days prior to the award presentations, events are held in the host city as part of “Junofest.” Local venues open their doors to host around 120 concerts by local and national artists. Hotels are filled with musicians, musician representatives, and music lovers from around the country for this annual tradition. Hamilton, Ontario, hosted this year’s Juno Awards. I was fortunate to attend Junofest, along with AFM International Representative from Canada Allistair Elliott. Together we witnessed some of the best musicians Hamilton has to offer.
Our trip to Hamilton began with a visit to Local 293, the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild. Local Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed and President Larry Feudo were great hosts, taking us to see the best up-and-comers, along with some of Hamilton’s well-known musicians. I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of local talent in Hamilton.
One of those performers was previous Juno winner and long-time Local 293 member Rita Chiarelli. She is Canada’s most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist. Chiarelli just released the soundtrack for her award-winning documentary, Music from the Big House. With one Juno Award and four subsequent Juno nominations, she is known across Canada as “the goddess of the blues.”
It’s no wonder Hamilton has hosted the Juno Awards six times. The awards provide an opportunity to celebrate Canadian music from the past year, not only on a national level, but on a local level. The awards recognize the legends as well as new break-out artists. At Junofest 2015, I saw that the city of Hamilton is proud to embrace and show off its local talent to Canada.
Hamilton Musicans’ Guild showed its pride for the musicians. Local 293 also has a lot to celebrate this past year because it has doubled its membership since the last convention. It’s nice to see how much these local officers get out to shows, pay attention to their music scene, and educate local musicians about the AFM. “We’re doing it one musician at a time, and it seems to be working out for us,” says Malseed.
Overall, it’s always refreshing to see the celebration of Canadian music in one city with musicians, composers, managers, and representatives all in the same place promoting and embracing Canadian culture through music. I look forward to next year’s Junofest in Calgary and I hope for another equally successful event.