by Robin Moir, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 180 (Ottawa, ON)
The week leading up to the April 2 JUNO Awards was exciting here in Ottawa. Not only were we able to sign a first-time, Canada-wide, three-year deal with CARAS for a CFM JUNO Agreement, but we were able to join in the fun of a city jam-packed with Canadian talent and fans! In all previous years, the agreement was signed year-to-year and negotiated between CARAS and the local of jurisdiction for the year’s event.
Nightclubs and bars were rockin’. There was a JUNO Cup Jam March 30. This year’s JUNO Songwriters’ Circle was hosted by 12-time JUNO Award winner and Local 180 (Ottawa, ON) member Bruce Cockburn, live at the National Arts Center April 2.
The 2017 JUNO Allan Waters Humanitarian Award went to Canadian singer-songwriter, educator, activist, and humanitarian Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ph.D., a member of Local 802 (New York City).
Ottawa also had something special planned for Sainte-Marie. The Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable George J. Furey Q.C., the Honourable Marilou McPhedran C.M., the Honourable Lillian Eva Dyck, the Honourable Sandra M. Lovelace Nicholas C.M., and the Honourable Murray Sinclair invited guests and members of Local 180 to a Senate event called “Celebration of the Power of Music,” honouring Sainte-Marie.
It was a remarkable occasion—the first time in the history of the Senate that music was celebrated. The first part of Sainte-Marie’s speech was dedicated to an initiative that the CFM has been lobbying for with the air transportation industry: carry-on allowances for musical instruments.
We were delighted to welcome such a powerful advocate for such an essential issue to our industry. We were also pleased to meet and greet many who believe, as we do, that the time has come for all air transportation corporations to offer musicians instrument carry-on opportunities.
“Minister of Transport Marc Garneau’s office is currently juggling a new passenger bill of rights, which we believe will address the issue of musicians travelling on airlines with musical instruments. We are so grateful to Sainte-Marie for her unsolicited support,” explains AFM International Representative from Canada Allistair Elliott. “We are committed to seeing this issue through to the end as we represent the interest of all musicians in Canada.”
Last but not least, Local 180 has been lucky to welcome Jacob Dioszghy as an intern. Dioszghy is a singer-songwriter and producer who is planning to study law. He is First Nations, like Sainte-Marie. Dioszghy’s mother was thrilled to discover he would have the opportunity to share in this wonderful event. Little did she guess that he would have a photo taken with one of her all-time favourite First Nations artists: Buffy Sainte-Marie.