Tag Archives: local 406

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

local 406

Local 406 Is Back!

After what seems like years, I am pleased to report that a service agreement has been reached between La Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Quebec and the AFM, allowing them to continue as an important, vibrant part of the Federation. Difficulties had progressively mounted, as our third largest local, Local 406, was straddled with the overwhelming obligations of representing all musicians in the province under Status of the Artist.

In addition, Local 406 could not just compel producers to sign onto existing AFM agreements, as other laws require a “made in Quebec” solution, which was made even more complex with language laws. These unique circumstances were ultimately addressed by the International Executive Board, resulting in an arrangement that allows more flexibility for the local, while maintaining their charter in the AFM.

Special thanks go out to both AFM International President Ray Hair and the Local 406 team, led by President Luc Fortin. To their credit, they showed tremendous patience and understanding, which allowed for the necessary dialogue and the resulting solution.

Music Supervisors Summit

local 406Several weeks ago, an incident occurred involving our New Use Department that led to a decision, which has echoed through most of the production houses in Toronto. At the core, was a request for paper backup to substantiate new use fees on a popular tune from the 1960s.

As always, the client was in a hurry for a final quote, and our office knew that it would take many days, perhaps weeks, to track down a contract from 50 years ago. Knowing the band was AFM, and knowing the label was signatory (Warner), our team went online to determine how many musicians were on the track. We quickly responded to the production company with the answer—four musicians (five units), and gave them the fee.

That should have been the end. However, the company refused to acknowledge that the track was AFM unless we produced the B4 report form. Knowing that would take time, we instead obtained the “label copy” from Warner and were, of course, able to identify each musician on the album. Still, that was not satisfactory.

I started to become fearful that there was a game at play. Did the producers realize that on a track that old, we could very likely be chasing paper for some time? By stating that without the B4 there was no proof it was an AFM product, they could potentially pocket the fees paying nothing to the musicians who did the recording. For me, such a notion is incredibly unacceptable. Also, we met the burden of proof in other ways, as did Warner. So, I then made the decision to cease providing a copy of the B4, to anyone, period. After all, it’s an internal document, resulting from an agreement between the labels and the AFM. A third party should not be entitled access to a document containing wages, pension, and Social Security or Social Insurance Numbers.

When informed of my new policy, the production company, of course, was extremely upset. In what appeared to be a search in support for their cause, the company then reached out to other music supervisors, the jingle agencies, and even the major labels. Copies of the Master Licence Agreements issued by the labels were obtained to determine exactly what language tied the licensee (producer) to paying new use fees to the AFM. When the dust settled, a meeting of all concerned was scheduled in downtown Toronto, ostensibly to challenge my decision, and possibly to the extent of challenging the labels’ licence language, and the validity of new use.

Contract Administrator for Canada Daniel Calabrese and New Use Administrator James Gadon attended, along with myself, as the presenter for the AFM. The turnout was surprising. There were more than 50 attending in person, with SAG-AFTRA representatives Skyped in from Los Angeles. The meeting lasted in excess of two hours.

SAG-AFTRA presented first, followed by the labels; it was then CFM’s turn. I prefaced the question period with a brief history of the SRLA, the rationale for new use payments, and the fact that similar requirements live in all our scale agreements. I also detailed the setup of our ramped-up new use department, new servers, contract scanning procedures, and link with Los Angeles as our view was to deliver a new use quote in minutes, not days or weeks.

We answered all questions quickly and succinctly, and in the end, not one music supervisor dared to suggest that the musicians did not deserve new use fees for having their music synchronized or repurposed. In fact, all comments directed at the CFM were positive. It seems our quotes and responses were understood and very well received. All were left with the knowledge that we’re approachable and easy to work with. Indeed, good news to our team.

I believe the meeting was a major step forward in having a working relationship with the city’s music supervisors, and a reminder to them that tracks must be cleared through our office. In addition, dialogue that occurred with the major labels prior to the meeting, as well as after, was a positive step toward developing a sustainable rhythm in the process of tracking, billing, collecting, and disbursing new use fees to our members.