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Unions – Not a Spectator Sport

The AFM in Canada has members from many different backgrounds, resulting in similar diversity in their politics. The polarization of right and left in the United States over the past few years has influenced Canada, both in how politicians present their platforms and in the manner in which information is filtered prior to public ingestion. Without sparking a debate over the authenticity of mainstream media, suffice to say, opinions are varied and increasingly more volatile.

As a union, we are inherently charmed by parties most responsive to labour. Practically, we work with any government who offers improvements to the lives of working musicians. Sometimes, objectivity is not achievable.

Case in point was the CFM’s efforts to support government’s modernization of the Broadcast Act, Bill C-10. Succinctly put, the purpose was to include big tech entities such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube under the regulation of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Virtually all the entertainment-centric organizations, unions, and guilds lauded the bill, as did our office. Unfortunately, with a late summer or fall election looming, the opposition party chose this particular bill as a vehicle to leverage votes, and in the process, voiced assertions that were highly misleading at best.

Via public statements and letters to MPs, and in conjunction with the other unions, guilds, and arts organizations, the CFM made clear its support for the bill. Predictably, we received a handful of complaints from members that were philosophically opposed, believing the bill would infringe upon their rights to upload user-generated content to their preferred social media platforms. They weren’t alone; a significant segment of the public rallied to mumble objections. A hefty number of law professors opined that provisions contained within the Charter of Rights would not be impacted by the tabled amendments to the Broadcast Act. Still, the naysayers were dogged.

The few emails we received were analogous—shocked that their union would back legislation designed to strip away their rights and freedoms, regardless of assurances to the contrary. For the record, we felt the stakes were high, in particular for musicians, and here is why.

Netflix (which has recently opened an office in Canada) has for years produced movies and episodic drama primarily for viewing on the internet, although they have now ventured into feature films with theatrical-first release. Unlike traditional broadcasters, there have been no obligations to pay taxes, no Canadian Content requirement, and no contributions to the Canadian Media Fund. Yet, by producing in Canada, they can avail themselves of the labour credits for media productions through the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CACVO). Streaming has become the preferred way that Canadians consume content and therefore poses a market-share threat to traditional broadcasters. Bill C-10 would level the playing field, and ostensibly impose the same rules to big tech as for existing platforms.

What does that mean for musicians?

Broadcasters are federally regulated under the CRTC, and therefore subject to the Status of the Artist Act. Regulating Netflix means that the CFM, as the federally-certified bargaining agent for all musicians, can serve notice and compel them to bargain an agreement covering musical services, representing hundreds of jobs.

For the CFM, it wasn’t about politics at all. Our endgame was about securing more work for musicians under union contracts, not to mention a higher-degree of world recognition for Canadian artists, courtesy of Canadian Content regulations.

Meanwhile, big tech is desperate to retain absolute power and avoid regulation by any means. One example is the US$36 million that Google spent in an attempt to scuttle the European Union (EU) Article 13, that would require internet tech giants—Facebook, Google, and Microsoft—to install effective technologies to ensure content creators, artists, and authors receive fair pay for their work online. In the United States, Alphabet (parent company of Google) disbursed over $18 million lobbying politicians in 2017, according to federal disclosure records. Facebook spent $11.5 million on inducements, Amazon over $12.8 million, Microsoft $8.5 million, and Apple invested $7 million.

Against that background, one must wonder why the Canadian Progressive Conservatives were so adamant to kill C-10, and keep these mega corporations responsibility-free. In the end, they may well succeed. At the time of writing, the bill is being debated in the Senate. Should the writ be dropped for an election before the legislation returns to Parliament, it dies on the order desk and the whole process must begin again.

In my previous career as a gigging musician, I never focused on the fact that the AFM was toiling on my behalf on matters of national and international importance. My days were consumed in finding gigs, practising, performing, travelling, and the other burdens of a working band.

That same disconnect exists today, as a large number of our members are independent artists who are not cognizant of the value of their union membership—at least not in conjunction with their daily routine. The simple fact that the AFM exists gives all members a voice in modernizing legislation and fighting for more favourable labour laws and practices. Perhaps there are those who don’t feel this has consequence, or that it doesn’t directly affect them. It does.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the plethora of issues that constantly must be dealt with. Our union’s path forward is easier when the members are engaged and active within their locals. Unlike elsewhere throughout organized labour, musicians are a tight-knit community with more similarities than differences. Participation creates success and is the proverbial tide that floats all boats; apathy ensures failure. As in life, you only get out what you put in.

Les syndicats – pas un sport de spectateur

par Alan Willaert, vice-président de la FAM pour le Canada

Au Canada, les membres de la FAM proviennent de milieux très différents, d’où la diversité de leurs opinions politiques. La polarisation entre la droite et la gauche aux États-Unis ces dernières années a influencé le Canada, tant dans la manière dont les politiciens présentent leurs plates-formes que dans celle dont l’information est filtrée avant d’être communiquée au public. Sans vouloir provoquer un débat au sujet de l’authenticité des grands médias, je me contenterai de dire que les opinions sont variées et de plus en plus volatiles.

Comme syndicat, nous sommes nécessairement attirés par les partis qui sont le plus à l’écoute des travailleurs. Concrètement, nous collaborons avec tout gouvernement qui se propose d’améliorer la vie des musiciens professionnels. Parfois, l’objectivité reste hors de portée.

Ce fut le cas, par exemple, lorsque nous avons appuyé le projet de loi C-10 du gouvernement visant la modernisation de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion. En résumé, l’objectif consistait à assujettir les grandes entreprises technologiques telles que Netflix, Amazon et YouTube à la réglementation du Conseil canadien de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications (CRTC).

Presque toutes les organisations liées au divertissement, les syndicats et les guildes ont loué le projet de loi, tout comme notre propre bureau. Malheureusement, avec la possibilité d’élections à la fin de l’été ou à l’automne, le parti d’opposition a choisi ce projet de loi en particulier pour s’attirer des votes, et dans le processus, a fait des déclarations qui prêtaient pour le moins à confusion.

Par l’entremise de déclarations publiques et de lettres aux députés, et conjointement avec d’autres syndicats, guildes et organisations artistiques, la CFM a donné son appui sans équivoque au projet de loi C-10. Comme on pouvait s’y attendre, nous avons reçu une poignée de plaintes de membres qui s’y opposaient sur le plan philosophique, croyant à tort que le projet de loi porterait atteinte à leur droit de téléverser du contenu produit par les utilisateurs sur leurs plates-formes préférées de médias sociaux. Et ils n’étaient pas les seuls; un groupe significatif du public s’est rallié pour marmonner des objections similaires. Plusieurs professeurs de droit ont affirmé que les amendements proposés à la Loi sur la radiodiffusion n’auraient aucun effet sur les dispositions de la Charte des droits. Qu’importe, les opposants sont restés sur leur position.

Les quelques courriels que nous avons reçus étaient de la même eau – les auteurs étaient abasourdis d’apprendre que leur syndicat comptait appuyer une loi conçue pour leur enlever leurs droits et libertés, en dépit de nos assurances du contraire. Pour votre gouverne, nous trouvions que les enjeux étaient importants, en particulier pour les musiciens, et voici pourquoi.

Netflix (qui a récemment ouvert un bureau au Canada) produit depuis des années des films et des séries dramatiques à diffuser essentiellement sur Internet, bien que maintenant elle s’aventure dans le cinéma avec sortie d’abord en salle. Contrairement aux diffuseurs traditionnels, Netflix n’a pas à payer de taxes, à respecter les exigences en matière de contenu canadien ni à contribuer au Fonds des médias du Canada. Et pourtant, lorsque la société produit au Canada, elle peut se prévaloir d’un crédit d’impôt sur la main-d’œuvre pour les productions média par l’entremise du Bureau de certification des produits audiovisuels canadiens. La diffusion en continu étant devenue le mode préféré de consommation de contenu des Canadiens, elle menace la part de marché des diffuseurs traditionnels. Le projet de loi C-10 permettrait de régler le problème en imposant aux grandes sociétés technologiques les mêmes règles qu’aux autres plates-formes.

Comment cela se traduirait-t-il pour les musiciens?

Les diffuseurs relèvent de la compétence du fédéral et sont réglementés par le CRTC, donc assujettis à la Loi sur le statut de l’artiste. Réglementer Netflix permettrait que la FCM, à titre d’agent négociateur pour tous les musiciens et reconnu par le gouvernement fédéral, envoie un avis à l’entreprise pour l’obliger à négocier une entente couvrant les services musicaux, ce qui représenterait des centaines d’emplois.

Pour la FCM, l’enjeu n’était pas du tout politique. Nous visions simplement à assurer plus de travail pour les musiciens aux termes de contrats syndicaux, et une meilleure reconnaissance mondiale pour les artistes du Canada grâce à l’application des règles sur le contenu canadien.

Entre-temps, les grandes sociétés technologiques cherchent désespérément à conserver le pouvoir absolu et à éviter par tous les moyens d’être soumises à la réglementation. J’en veux pour preuve les 36 millions de dollars américains que Google a dépensé pour tenter de saborder l’article 13 de l’Union européenne qui obligerait les géants de la technologie —Facebook, Google et Microsoft — à installer des mécanismes efficaces visant à assurer la juste rémunération des créateurs, artistes et auteurs pour leurs œuvres en ligne. Aux États-Unis, selon les registres fédéraux de divulgation, Alphabet, la société mère de Google, a déboursé plus de 18 millions de dollars en activités de lobbyisme auprès des politiciens en 2017. Facebook a dépensé 11,5 millions de dollars en incitatifs, Amazon, plus de 12,8 millions, Microsoft 8,5 millions et Apple, 7 millions de dollars.

Dans un tel contexte, on se demande pourquoi les progressistes conservateurs du Canada tiennent tant à torpiller C-10 et à laisser ces mégasociétés libres de toute responsabilité. À la fin, il se peut bien qu’ils réussissent. En effet, au moment d’écrire ces lignes, le projet de loi est débattu au Sénat. Si les élections sont déclenchées avant que le projet de loi ne retourne au Parlement, il mourra au feuilleton, et il faudra reprendre le processus depuis le début.

Dans ma carrière précédente de musicien pigiste, je n’ai jamais prêté attention au fait que la FAM travaillait en mon nom à des enjeux d’importance nationale et internationale. Mes journées étaient occupées par la recherche d’engagements, les répétitions, les prestations, les déplacements et toutes les autres tâches qui incombent à un groupe de musiciens professionnels.

La même dissociation existe encore aujourd’hui, car un grand nombre de nos membres sont des artistes indépendants qui ne reconnaissent pas la valeur de leur adhésion au syndicat, du moins pas en rapport avec leur vie au quotidien. Or, le simple fait que la FAM existe permet à tous les membres d’avoir un mot à dire sur la modernisation de la législation et la lutte pour des lois et des pratiques qui leur sont plus favorables. Il y en a peut-être qui croient que cela n’a pas d’importance, que ça ne les touche pas directement. Et pourtant.

Cela n’est que la pointe de l’iceberg; une pléthore d’enjeux se présente constamment à nous, et nous devons nous en occuper. Il est clair que nous avançons plus facilement lorsque nos membres s’impliquent et s’activent au sein de leur section locale. Au contraire des autres milieux syndicaux, les musiciens forment une communauté tissée serrée et présentent plus de similitudes entre eux que de différences. La participation engendre le succès et la proverbiale marée qui fait flotter tous les bateaux; l’apathie garantit l’échec. Comme dans la vie, on ne récolte que ce que l’on sème.

Walter Ostanek

Walter Ostanek: Canada’s Prize-Winning Polka King Looks Ahead to Oktoberfest

In lockdown, during the pandemic, the esteemed accordionist Walter Ostanek of Local 298 (Niagara, ON) had to cancel all of his live shows. He says, “It’s been kind of quiet,” but he’s quick to add, “Once it opens up, I’ll be working; I’ll be getting back to music.”

Never mention retirement to the 86-year-old, who likes to say, “I’m not over the hill—yet!” He is planning Oktoberfest gigs in Western Canada and the largest, of course, the nine-day Kitchener-Waterloo festival in Ontario, still slated for this fall.

Born in Duparquet, Quebec, of Yugoslavian parents, Ostanek mastered the piano accordion by age 12. At 16, he formed a band and joined the union. Seventy years and more than 80 polka albums later—plus three Grammys, a star on its Walk of Fame, and a Member of the Order of Canada—he is Canada’s reigning polka king.

Whether between sets at Danceland or at promotional events, the fans line up. Walter Ostanek of Local 298 (Niagara, ON) greets supporters at a show with Brian Sklar of Local 446 (Regina, SK) and The Western Senators.

The style of polka that Ostanek has become famous for came by way of Cleveland. He had long been a fan of Frankie Yankovic, America’s polka king and master of Slovenian-Cleveland style polka. When he was young, his father took him to Cleveland, the heart of polka country, where he soaked it all in. “I was in awe of the music there. I got a cab to different festivals and watched all the music I could on TV.” He says, “I was like a kid in a toy store.”

Once relegated to Octoberfests and union halls, polka gained wider appeal in the postwar era, becoming popular with dance bands. Unlike brass-heavy traditional polka, Cleveland polka has a lively beat, with banjo, bass, and drums, the occasional sax, and the accordion up front. Like big band music, it appealed to Ostanek.

At 18, he joined Abbie Andrews and the Canadian Ranch Boys, and quickly became a cornerstone of their three-times-a-week radio broadcasts. In 1957, he formed his own country-themed polka band, adding traditional rhythms and old-time dance beats. Once he began recording in 1963, his career took off.

By the late 1960s, Ostanek had become a polka phenomenon in Canada. He went on to host the variety show Polka Time for 24 years. His long-running radio and TV programs included old-time fiddle, folk, and Irish music, and a Newfoundland music show called Music of the Maritimes.

In the 1970s and 1980s, in between a string of recordings, he toured Italy, Austria, Slovenia, and Holland—and has made five tours to Hawaii. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, namely, The Tommy Hunter Show, The Lawrence Welk Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It was an especially productive period for Ostanek who earned several awards and gold records. He and Yankovic, whom he met in 1950, often performed and toured together until 1995, just before Yankovic retired.

Brian Sklar, president of Local 446 (Regina, SK) united the two polka kings for one last tour, with a film crew, which resulted in Frankie and Walter: One More Time. The show, which won numerous awards, was Yankovic’s last project.
Ostanek’s career has taken him from the dance halls to the Grand Ole Opry, where he has played with country artists Ricky Skaggs, Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, and Ray Price, to name a few. Laughing, he says, “I’ve met Taylor Swift.” He’s even adapted pop tunes to a polka rhythm.

You can’t play polka and not enjoy people. And from the stage, the ebullient Ostanek radiates cheer. His energy is only matched by the music’s buoyant tempo. He engages easily with audiences, says Local 298 President Steve Kostyk, who was mentored by Ostanek. “Regardless of how he feels at the moment, on the initial downbeat, it’s always a performance delivered with a smile.” He adds, “He’s in his element, whether he’s playing polka, Latin, country, or jazz standards.”

Every year in Western Canada, Ostanek performs with Sklar’s band, the Western Senators. Sklar says, “People line up long before the event is scheduled to start and buy anything with Walter’s name on it. To people under six and over 60, he is a superstar. That’s because there are no unhappy polkas!”

In 2016, Ostanek added another win to his list of awards, claiming the $1 million grand prize in the London, Ontario, Dream Lottery. He felt rich already, he says—with three Grammys and the Order of Canada under his belt—but the windfall came when he needed it most, when his wife required long-term care in a nursing home.

Sklar, whose band has recorded 12 albums and 92 PolkaRama TV shows with Ostanek says, “I hope we get to celebrate his 100th birthday at Danceland in Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, where we perform with Walter every Remembrance Day weekend.”

Right now, Ostanek says he’s content to sit back and wait for the shows to begin. Over the last year, he’s had a chance to enjoy the music he’s made for more than 60 years. He says, “I’m in my ‘man cave’ here at home and I’ve got videos of music I’ve never had a chance to watch. As a busy musician, sometimes, you didn’t have time to sleep.”
On reflection, he says, “It’s been a wonderful career, a great life—but I’m not retired yet. I’ve been all over the world, but you don’t stop dreaming.” Jokingly, he says, “I haven’t picked up my accordion in a while. I might be getting rusty. I have to get back to music.”

Awards & Accolades

In addition to 21 Grammy nominations (and three Grammy Awards), Ostanek has netted awards for song of the year, album of the year, and musician of the year from the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, as well as more than a dozen band-of-the-year honors from Kitchener’s world-renowned Oktoberfest.
Other inductions and awards include:

  • Akron’s Broadcasters Hall of Fame
  • Chicago Polka Hall of Fame
  • Minnesota Music Hall of Fame
  • Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (2007)
  • Niagara Lifetime Music Award (2009)
  • Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
  • Honorary Doctor of Law, Brock University
  • Canadian Entertainment Hall of Fame (2019)

The Taxman Cometh: Tax Considerations for Canadian musicians

Tax time is almost upon us and the annual tax filing of April 30 is fast approaching. Canadian musicians have certain advantages in terms of dealing with the Canadian tax system, and this article will outline how you can reduce your tax liability. Knowing what expenses you can deduct from your income and keeping track of your annual income/expenses—along with a file of corroborating evidence (contracts, receipts, cancelled cheques, credit card statements, etc.)—will ensure that you can take advantage of favourable tax regulations for Canadian performing artists.

Most Canadian musicians are considered by Revenue Canada to be self-employed entrepreneurs since they independently contract their services and are classified as operating a music “business” as a sole proprietorship for tax purposes. This provides an opportunity for claiming a number of deductions against earned income and reducing the tax liability to Revenue Canada.

Your income as a self-employed musician is claimed on your personal income tax T1 return, detailed on an attached Statement of Business or Professional Activities (Form T2125). This form is used to detail your income and the many deductions you can claim to reduce the income and thus pay less tax. Revenue Canada offers helpful information in its Guide to Self-Employed Business Income.

A financial spreadsheet detailing your income and expenses should be maintained to summarize your income/expense annually and provide evidence, if ever required, to Revenue Canada to support your tax filing.

Note that if you are not a sole proprietor but have formed a partnership (as some musical groups do), then each partner will file separately according to their share of the partnership income and expenses. If a musical group is incorporated, then different tax regulations apply to the business and it is recommended that you consult a tax professional to ensure compliance with Revenue Canada business filings.

In terms of income, Canadians are required to claim their worldwide income from all sources on their annual income tax return. If your income was in other than Canadian currency, you should convert the amounts to Canadian on the date of receipt using the Bank of Canada Currency Converter (available online at www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/currency-converter).

You can reduce your tax bill considerably by claiming any business expenses related to your earning money as a musician. Note that you must keep invoices, receipts with the name of the vendor and the date, or even a voucher detailing the expense. Proof of expenditures, including cancelled cheques or credit card statements, must be kept, along with the receipts, etc., for seven years. In terms of deductions, the following could be claimed:

Fees:

• Union dues (CFM local).

• Professional association memberships.

• Legal and accounting or other professional fees.

• Interest on loans taken out for musical purposes.

• Agents’ commissions.

Office Expenses:

• Home expenses (rent, mortgage, mortgage interest, property taxes, electricity, heat, water, home insurance, some repairs) based on the amount of space used for your music “business” (divide the total area of your home by the total area of the workspace).

• Rehearsal/rental space.

• Postage and courier fees.

• Stationery supplies used for earning income.

• Industry-related subscriptions, magazines.

• DVDs, CDs or internet recordings purchased for a specific educational purpose

• Telephone and internet costs.

Travel Expenses:

• Car expenses (check the Automobile Allowance Rates at Revenue Canada).

• Hotels.

• Flights.

• Entertainment expenses (50%).

• Meals while on the road.

• Childcare expenses related to absences to earn income.

Instrument Expenses:

• Instrument insurance.

• Replacement strings or instrument repairs.

Performance Expenses:

• Portion of haircuts or styling, makeup.

• Wardrobe used in performance.

• Cleaning/repairing stage clothing.

• PA or gear rentals.

• Any fees paid to other players or accompanists.

• Headshots or promotional photos.

• Advertising.

•  Cost of recording demos.

Note that there may be some limitations or particular rules relating to these deductions.

In addition to these deductions, there are two other areas regarding tax to consider: GST and Capital Cost Allowance.

Registering for GST/HST is not required unless your income level is $30,000 annually, however, if you voluntarily register for the GST/HST you will collect GST/HST on all Canadian gigs but will be able to claim the GST/HST paid on any items relating to your musical activity to reduce the amount of GST/HST due to Revenue Canada. Depending on the volume of GST/HST in your business, you have the option of filing annually, quarterly, or monthly. You can get more information from Revenue Canada on GST/HST Registration.

Capital cost allowance applies to any major music or office equipment or instrument purchases, as well as music reference material (scores, arrangements) and stage wardrobe. These items are depreciated over a number of years, i.e., their cost is deducted not all at once but by a certain portion each year. The amount you can claim varies according to the class of the item. For example, Class 8 applies to equipment purchased for more than $500 and 20% of these purchases can be claimed each year; Class 10 applies to computer equipment and 30% of these purchases can be claimed each year.

It is sometimes difficult to do the required paperwork to record your musical activities in a business-like way. However, setting up a simple way to keep track of your income and expenditures will allow you to reap the many benefits available to Canadian musicians under the Canadian tax system.

Robert Baird is president of BAM! Baird Artists Management Consulting in Toronto, and an expert in international touring including visas, withholding, and taxation. He is an AFM booking agent and an acceptance agent for the IRS. His guest column is provided for informational purposes only, not as a substitute for advice from your personal tax professional.

Le percepteur d’impôt s’annonce : considérations fiscales pour les musiciens canadiens

par Robert Baird, conseiller en arts de la scène

C’est presque la saison des impôts, et la date butoir du 30 avril pour la transmission de nos déclarations de revenus arrive à grands pas. Le système fiscal du Canada offre certains avantages aux musiciens canadiens, et dans cette chronique, je tenterai de vous aider à en tirer parti. Savoir quelles dépenses vous pouvez déduire de votre revenu et faire un suivi annuel de vos revenus et dépenses— tout en conservant vos pièces justificatives telles que contrats, reçus, chèques annulés, relevés de carte de crédit, etc. — vous garantira de bien profiter des règles fiscales qui s’appliquent aux artistes de la scène canadiens.

Revenu Canada considère la plupart des musiciens canadiens comme des travailleurs autonomes puisqu’ils offrent leurs services de façon indépendante et sont classés comme entrepreneurs exploitant une entreprise musicale à titre de propriétaires uniques. C’est pourquoi ils peuvent déduire un certain nombre de dépenses de leurs revenus et ainsi réduire leur facture fiscale.

Vous devez déclarer votre revenu de musicien travailleur autonome de façon précise sur un formulaire T2125 en annexe de votre déclaration personnelle de revenus T1. Ce formulaire permet d’indiquer vos revenus en détail ainsi que les nombreuses déductions auxquelles vous avez droit pour réduire votre revenu total et donc votre impôt. Revenu Canada offre de l’information utile à cet égard dans son guide Revenus d’un travail indépendant d’entreprise.

Veillez à maintenir une feuille de calcul financière dans laquelle vous inscrirez vos revenus et dépenses annuelles au cas où vous feriez l’objet d’une vérification de Revenu Canada. 

Si vous n’êtes pas propriétaire unique de votre entreprise, mais plutôt établi en partenariat comme certains groupes musicaux, chaque partenaire devra faire sa propre déclaration selon la part des revenus et dépenses qui lui revient. Si le groupe est constitué en société, les règles qui s’appliquent ne sont pas les mêmes, et je vous conseille de consulter un professionnel en fiscalité afin de garantir que vous répondez bien aux exigences de Revenu Canada.

Dans leur déclaration annuelle, les Canadiens sont tenus de rendre compte de tous leurs revenus de toute source, d’où qu’ils viennent dans le monde. Si vous avez gagné votre revenu dans une devise autre que le dollar canadien, convertissez les montants en devise canadienne selon la date de leur réception en utilisant le convertisseur de devises de la Banque du Canada, accessible en ligne à www.banqueducanada.ca/taux/taux-de-change/convertisseur-de-devises.

Vous pouvez réduire votre facture fiscale de façon considérable en déduisant toute dépense professionnelle encourue pour gagner un revenu comme musicien. Notez que vous devez conserver vos factures, vos reçus où figurent le nom du vendeur et la date de l’achat ou même les récépissés avec le détail de vos dépenses. Toutes les pièces justificatives, incluant les chèques annulés ou les relevés de carte de crédit, ainsi que les reçus et autres documents, doivent être conservées pendant sept ans. Voici les déductions que vous pouvez réclamer :

Frais :

• cotisations syndicales (section locale de la FCM )

• adhésions à des associations professionnelles

• honoraires juridiques, de comptabilité ou d’autres types de professionnels

• intérêts sur prêts contractés pour gagner un revenu comme musicien

• commissions d’agent

Dépenses de bureau :

• dépenses liées au domicile (loyer, hypothèque, intérêts sur hypothèque, taxes foncières, électricité, chauffage, eau, assurance résidentielle ainsi que certaines réparations) en proportion de l’espace que vous utilisez pour votre
« entreprise » musicale (diviser la surface totale de votre résidence par la surface totale de votre espace de travail)

• location de lieux de répétition

• frais de poste et de courrier

• papeterie utilisée pour gagner un revenu

• abonnements liés à l’industrie, magazines

• DVD, CD ou enregistrements sur Internet achetés dans un objectif éducatif particulier

• dépenses de téléphone et d’Internet

Frais de déplacement :

• dépenses d’automobile (vérifiez les taux d’allocation pour frais d’automobile de Revenu Canada)

• hôtels

• vols

• frais de réception (50 %)

• repas pendant les déplacements

• frais de garde d’enfants se rapportant aux absences permettant de gagner un revenu

Dépenses d’instruments :

• assurance instruments

• cordes de remplacement et réparations d’instruments

Dépenses de prestations :

• une partie des frais de coupe de cheveux, de mise en plis, de maquillage

• vêtements pour prestations

• nettoyage ou réparation de vêtements pour la scène

• sonorisation ou location de matérie

• tout cachet versé à d’autres musiciens ou accompagnateurs

• portraits ou photos de promotion

• publicité

• coûts liés à l’enregistrement de « démos »

Notez que ces déductions peuvent faire l’objet de certaines limitations ou de règles particulières.

En plus de ces déductions, il y a deux autres éléments à considérer : la TPS et la déduction pour amortissement.

Vous n’avez  pas à vous inscrire à la TPS/TVH si vous gagnez moins de 30 000 $ annuellement. Toutefois, si vous vous y inscrivez volontairement, vous recevrez de la TPS/TVH sur tous vos engagements canadiens, et vous pourrez la déduire sur vos achats liés à votre activité musicale, réduisant ainsi la part de taxes à verser à Revenu Canada. Tout dépendant du montant de TPS/TVH que collecte votre entreprise, vous aurez le choix de faire vos déclarations une fois par année, aux trois mois ou mensuellement. Pour de plus amples renseignements relativement au processus d’inscription à la TPS/TVH, contactez directement Revenu Canada.

La déduction pour amortissement s’applique à toute acquisition importante de matériel de bureau, de musique ou d’instruments ainsi que de matériel de référence (partitions, arrangements) ou de vêtements de scène. Ces articles sont amortis sur un certain nombre d’années, c’est-à-dire qu’une certaine proportion de leur coût est déduite chaque année. Le montant des amortissements varie selon la catégorie de l’article ; par exemple, la catégorie 8 inclut les achats de matériel dépassant 500 $ et permet d’en déduire 20 % chaque année; la catégorie 10 s’applique aux ordinateurs et autre matériel informatique et permet d’en déduire 30 % par année.

Il est parfois difficile de faire toute la paperasse nécessaire pour rendre compte de vos activités musicales de façon rigoureuse. Mais en établissant un moyen simple de faire le suivi de vos revenus et dépenses, vous pourrez profiter des nombreux avantages qu’offre le système fiscal du Canada aux musiciens canadiens.

Pour obtenir des renseignements en ligne auprès de Revenu Canada, rendez-vous à l’adresse suivante : www.canada.ca/fr/agence-revenu.html.

Robert Baird, président de BAM! Baird Artists Management Consulting, à Toronto, est un expert reconnu en matière de tournées internationales, de visas, de retenues à la source et de taxation. Sa chronique d’invité vous est offerte à des fins d’information seulement et ne peut en aucun cas remplacer les indications de votre propre conseiller en matière de fiscalité.

JW Jones

Sonic Departures

JW Jones

JW-Jones

Fresh off the heels of winning Best Guitarist at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, JW-Jones, of Local 180 (Ottawa, ON) was excited for a huge year before COVID-19 hit and halted his tour schedule. “l knew I had to do something productive to stay positive, so I turned isolation into inspiration,” said the JUNO-nominated guitarist, whose axemanship has been praised in recent years by legendary blues artists Buddy Guy (Local 10-208, Chicago) and Chuck Leavell (Local 148-642, Atlanta).

The result was Sonic Departures, comprising nine songs of original music and previously unreleased tracks. “This album sounds bigger and wider-than-ever,” says Jones. It features a 17-piece band with a 13-piece horn section, plus additional tracking of vocals, guitars, and studio effects.

Joining Jones on the album were his wife, Brit, singing harmonies, and a vocal sample from his 15-month-old daughter.

AFM Members Named to CBC Music’s ‘30 Under 30’ List

CBC Music has announced its annual “30 under 30” list, celebrating the accomplishments of Canada’s emerging classical musicians. “They’re winning competitions and awards, graduating from top music schools, [and] making exciting debuts,” according to CBC Music. A number of musicians on the list are members of the AFM, including:


Elizabeth Skinner, 29, violinist and member of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ). Skinner recently completed her master’s in violin performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, and is continuing her studies there as a Doctorate of Music in Performance Studies candidate. She is a founding member of Trio Émerillon and a member of Montreal’s cutting-edge classical string band, collectif9. In 2019, she played with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for its European tour and tour of the Americas. She also regularly plays with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Photo: Annie Éthier


Ron Cohen Mann, 29, oboist and English hornist, and member of Local 226 (Kitchener, ON). A graduate of Yale, Mannes College, and the University of British Columbia, Cohen Mann is a frequent recitalist, new music proponent, orchestral musician, and teacher based in Toronto. He is passionate about advancing the oboe as a solo voice in recitals and chamber music, and has lately been creating tutorials on Instagram and YouTube. He has won numerous awards and competitions, and has performed with ensembles in Canada and abroad. Cohen Mann is a sought-after teacher and has held positions as an Oboe Instructor at Yale College and as a Teaching Artist at the Yale Music in Schools Initiative.

Photo: Oboeron Photography


Marie Bégin, 28, violinist and member of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ). Bégin has performed in recitals as a soloist and in ensembles around the world. At age 26, she was appointed first violin of the Saguenay Quartet (Alcan) as well as concertmaster of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Symphony Orchestra. She also forms a permanent duo with pianist Samuel Blanchette-Gagnon, also of Local 406. The two are working on a recording of 20th century works for violin and piano. She graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, pursued studies in academies throughout Europe, and has won several prizes in international competitions.

Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois


Hillary Simms, 25, trombonist and member of Local 149 (Toronto, ON). Simms is a founding member of Canadian Trombone Quartet, Canada’s first all-female professional trombone quartet. In January, she was named Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 emerging artist. Simms has recently played with the Canadian Opera Company, The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. She holds a bachelor’s in music performance from McGill University, a master’s in music performance from Yale University, and is currently finishing an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School. In September, she’s moving to Chicago to begin her doctorate at Northwestern University.

Photo: Zachary Haas


John Sellick, 25, is a violist and member of Local 149 (Toronto, ON). Sellick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba and was completing his final year at the Glenn Gould School when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He is the winner of the University of Manitoba competition, and has also played with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Sellick is also heavily involved with the El Sistema music education program, as an educator, administrator, conductor, and arranger.

Photo: John Sellick


Bryn Lutek, 25, is a percussionist and member of Local 406 (Montreal, PQ). Lutek recently completed his master’s degree at the University of Toronto, studying with Aiyun Huang and Charles Settle, both of Local 149, and collaborating with three other students on research into John Cage’s experimental electronic work Cartridge Music. Their project was accepted to the TENOR 2020 International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation in Hamburg, Germany. Lutek has recently moved to Quebec City to begin his new job as principal percussionist of l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

Photo: Bryn Lutek


Chloe Kim, 23, violinist and member of Local 247 (Victoria, BC). If the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t happened, Chloe Kim would have spent May and early June touring as a concertmaster in Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. Instead, she organized Music for the Pause, a weekly online summer concert series in Victoria. Kim graduated from the University of Victoria and currently is in her final year of a two-year master’s degree in historical performance at Julliard, which specializes in music composed before the 18th century.

Photo: Kelsey Goodwin


Jacob van der Sloot, 22, is a violist and member of Local 145 (Vancouver, BC). Van der Sloot made his solo Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 playing Brahms’ Viola Sonata No. 2 as part of Julie Jordan’s International Rising Stars series when he was a student at Julliard. Jacob’s passion for chamber music also carries into music outreach, playing chamber music all over New York City in hospitals, prisons, retirement homes, schools, and psychiatric facilities as part of Juilliard’s “Gluck” Fellowship program. In January, he became the youngest member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: Jeiming Tang


Gabrielle Després, 19, violinist and member of Local 390 (Edmonton, AB). Després recently concluded her second year at Juilliard. In February, she played Mahler 5 with the Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and in January she took part in Juilliard’s Chamberfest. She recently took first prize in the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, which was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Jacques Després


A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music

Dick Weissman’s A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music presents a provocative discussion of the history, evolution, and current status of folk music in the United States and Canada. This book examines the history of folk music and how it evolved from an agrarian style as it became increasingly urbanized. Scholar-performer Weissman, of Local 20-623 (Denver, CO), includes in this book a detailed discussion of the quest for authenticity and how various musicians, critics, and fans have defined that pursuit.

A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music, by Dick Weissman, Bloomsbury, www.bloomsbury.com.

Canadian Flying Guide Now Available in English and French

en français

After four years of lobbying the government of Canada, as well as meeting with airline councils, the Canadian Transport Agency, Minister of Transport, The Honorable Marc Garneau, and his staff at Transport Canada, I am pleased to share the news that, as part of the new Passenger Bill of Rights within the Canadian Transportation Act, we now have language in Canada with regard to musicians travelling with instruments on airlines in Canada.
Effective July 15, Air Passenger Protection Regulations within the Canadian Transportation Act included language to ensure that all air carriers must accept musical instruments unless security or safety is an issue. 
The airline industry battled hard to avoid the new bill, however, Minister Garneau and his staff at Transport Canada held strong in favor of passenger rights. As such a small part of a major bill, we were thrilled to affect language and changes to the industry and find support from Minister Garneau in our efforts to better represent musicians travelling in Canada.
We have prepared a Canadian Flying Guide in both English and French, which can be found online at:
www.afm.org/what-we-are-doing/travel-resources/afm-travel-kit/ under “Carry On Your Instrument” and “Carry On Your Larger Instrument” tabs
www.cfmusicians.org/uploads/file/CAD%20Flying%20Guide%20-%20Final%20English.pdf
www.cfmusicians.org/uploads/file/CAD%20Flying%20Guide%20-%20French%20Version.pdf
Each airline also will have clear guidelines published as part of their tariff. Under the law, all commercial airline carriers must accept musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage, unless it is contrary to general terms and conditions in the carrier’s tariff with respect to the weight or dimension of baggage or because of safety or security.
Many thanks to President Hair and VPC Alan Willaert for their support and investment into lobbying the Canadian government on behalf of all musicians.

Nouveau guide sur les déplacements en avion, en anglais et en français

Allistair Elliott, représentant international pour le Canada
Après quatre ans de lobbying auprès du gouvernement du Canada et de rencontres avec le Conseil national des lignes aériennes du Canada, l’honorable Marc Garneau ainsi que son équipe à Transport Canada, j’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que le Canada est désormais doté d’une réglementation régissant le transport d’instruments de musique par avion dans le cadre de la Déclaration des droits des passagers aériens de la Loi sur les transports au Canada.
En vigueur depuis le 15 juillet, le Règlement sur la protection des passagers aériens, qui fait partie de la Loi sur les transports au Canada, contient des dispositions obligeant tous les transporteurs à accepter les instruments de musique à bord de leurs avions, à moins que ceux-ci ne présentent un risque pour la sécurité. 
Les compagnies aériennes se sont battues becs et ongles pour empêcher l’adoption du projet de loi, mais le ministre Garneau et le personnel de Transport Canada n’ont pas cédé. Comme nos revendications ne touchaient qu’une petite partie d’un projet de loi majeur, nous avons été ravis de constater que nous avions du poids ey que nous pouvions compter sur l’appui du ministre Garneau pour mieux défendre les intérêts des musiciens qui voyagent par avion au Canada.
Nous avons conçu un guide sur les déplacements en avion, en anglais et en français, que vous trouverez en ligne au :
www.afm.org/what-we-are-doing/travel-resources/afm-travel-kit/ Sous les onglets
« Le transport de votre instrument à bord de l’avion » et « Le transport de votre instrument de grande taille à bord des avions » de la page Trousse de voyage de l’AFM
www.cfmusicians.org/uploads/file/CAD%20Flying%20Guide%20-%20Final%20English.pdf
www.cfmusicians.org/uploads/file/CAD%20Flying%20Guide%20-%20French%20Version.pdf
Chaque compagnie aérienne publiera par ailleurs des directives claires dans le cadre de son tarif. En vertu de la loi, tous les transporteurs aériens commerciaux sont tenus d’accepter les instruments de musique comme bagage enregistré ou à main, à moins d’indication contraire dans les modalités générales du tarif du transporteur en ce qui a trait au poids, à la dimension ou aux risques pour la sécurité.
Je remercie chaleureusement Ray Hair, président, et Alan Willaert, vice-président, pour leur soutien et le temps qu’ils ont investi dans les activités de lobbying au nom des musiciens canadiens.

Meet the Canadian EMSD Staff

Rosalyn Dennett

Rosalyn is a professional musician who’s a proud member. In addition to administrating and invoicing signatories, Rosalyn administers the collected new use payments for distribution. Rosalyn also administers the social media for CFM and is very involved in our outreach and organizing efforts.

Rosalyn est musicienne professionnelle et fier membre de la FCM. En plus de s’occuper de l’administration et de la facturation des signataires, Rosalyn gère les paiements de nouvelle utilisation perçus en vue de leur distribution. Elle est également responsable des médias sociaux pour la FCM et elle participe activement à nos efforts de sensibilisation et d’organisation.


Carl
Schilde

Carl joined our team just over a year ago. He is the researcher for all of our recording contracts, and responsible for inputting new contracts/all other electronic media data for the department.

Carl Schilde: Carl s’est joint à notre équipe il y a un peu plus d’un an. Il agit comme recherchiste pour tous les contrats d’enregistrement et est responsable pour le département de l’entrée des nouveaux contrats et de toutes les autres données relatives aux médias électroniques.

We Negotiated What? Details of the Commercial Announcements Agreement

Negotiations have successfully concluded with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). A deal in principle has been reached, which will extend to April 1, 2020. Upon ratification, a more compact, up-to-date, and in some areas, radically different General Production Agreement for Commercial Announcements will be in effect.

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