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.

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Vice President from Canada

awillaert

Alan Willaert – AFM Vice President from Canada

    Changes at the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada/CBC Agreement Update

    Pour voir cet article en français, cliquez ici.

    I have been
    advised that long-time employer trustee and chair of the Musicians’ Pension
    Fund of Canada, Stanley J. Shortt, has retired from the board of trustees for
    personal reasons. A former senior executive whose corporate associations had
    included Eaton’s, Simpson’s, HBC, the TSO, and the Toronto Centre for the
    Performing Arts, Shortt was an integral part of the team for almost 30 years
    and was always committed to serve in the best interests of the membership.

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    Streaming Leads to Slim Profits

    Pour la version française cliquez ici.

    In the September
    2013 International Musician, I reported statistics that represented the number
    of streams necessary to earn a minimum wage in the US. These numbers were based
    on the US federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or $1,160 per month for a
    40-hour week.

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    Maximize Your Income from Recordings

    Pour la version française cliquez ici.

    I am pleased to report that the General Agreement for Commercial Announcements (Canada) has been ratified. While there have been some delays in editing, I expect printing and distribution to take place shortly. I would like to thank Local 149 (Toronto, ON) Executive Director Michael Murray, rank-and-file members Chris Tait, Jane Heath, and Nicola Treadgold of Local 149, as well as Director of Administration Susan Whitfield and Electronic Media Supervisor Dan Calabrese from the Canadian Office for their diligence, patience, and foresight. Without these folks, such an excellent result would not have been possible.

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    Is the Album Doomed?

    Pour la version française cliquez ici.

    In a recent article by Tim Ingham for Rolling Stone, some startling statistics pointed to further erosion of the music model of the past, as consumption patterns continue to swing further toward single tracks. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), album sales in the US for the first half of 2018 (including downloads, CDs, and vinyl) were down 25.8%, compared to a year earlier. If that trend holds for the full year, album sales will be half of what they were in 2015, or in terms of dollars, down by half a billion dollars compared to last year.

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    The Value of AFM Membership Is Realized Through Proper Contracts

    Pour la version française cliquez ici.

    Meeting with members is always an interesting exercise, and a way to keep in touch with the realities of the music scene, which can be both good and, well, not so much.

    One of the most disappointing aspects is conversations with prominent musicians who have been members for a significant number of years, yet are in a personal quandary about whether to continue membership because they haven’t “seen any value.”

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