by Liana White, Executive Director AFM Canadian Office/CFM
Held in Kansas City, Missouri, the Folk Alliance International (FAI) Conference is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community, with more than 3,000 attendees that include artists and industry professionals. In its 27th year, every February the conference welcomes delegates from across North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Japan. New FAI Executive Director Aengus Finnan is a member of Local 1000 (Nongeographic). He did an excellent job of organizing his first conference. We are happy to see him in this role and wish him the best in this exciting endeavour.
I participated on the Crossing Borders panel addressing temporary work permit matters, which covered entry for performances across North America and abroad. Also on the panel was Local 1000 President Tret Fure and Matthew Covey of Tamizdat Incorporated, an immigration firm that consults and works with AFM/CFM on US temporary work permits.
AFM Legislative-Political Director Alfonso Pollard spoke on a panel highlighting the new US airline policies and legislation. Also on that panel was Local 571 (Halifax, NS) member Dave Carroll who retold his awful experience with United Airlines. (You may recall his song, “United Breaks Guitars.”) FAI is now a vital part of the AFM’s Carry-on Coalition, comprised of national arts and entertainment groups. FAI participates in all conference calls on the issue and is helping to develop tips for musicians and to spread the word about this issue. It designed informational pamphlets, which attendees received in their delegate bags.
Local 1000 was present in full force. Aside from Local 1000 President Fure, Vice-President Deb Cowan; Canadian Vice President Eve Goldberg; Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berwick; Executive Board Members Charlie Pilzer, Aaron Fowler, and Daniel Boling; Co-Office Manager Richard Coombs; and recently resigned Canadian Vice President Ken Whitely also attended.
CFM supported the Music Ontario showcase at FAI, which included performances by Local 1000 members The Young Novelists and The Lovelocks; Local 298 (Niagara Region, ON) member Ariana Gillis; and Local 149 (Toronto, ON) members The Strumbellas.