Libretto April 2016


Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, Local 293, AFM/CFM

Libretto, APRIL 2016

President’s Report

As we head into the summer season we should take the opportunity to review some common sense practices regarding the filing of contracts. There’s an unfortunate trend with members not bothering to file AFM contracts resulting in cancellation of gigs and promoters not delivering the agreed upon fee.

Lately there’s been an upswing in disputes between members and promoters defaulting on payments. Whether it’s the economy or just ineptitude on the part of promoters this situation prompts us to point out some key points for freelancers to always keep in mind.

Always file AFM contracts in advance of the date with the Local whose jurisdiction the gig is to be played .This provides the Local with the legal basis to represent you should something go wrong. There are no work dues on freelance gigs that fall outside of a collective bargaining agreement in the Local 293 jurisdiction.

Ask for a 50% deposit to be paid in advance of the date as a show of good faith. It should be presented to the promoter that the contract protects him/her as well by binding you to the date and a contract is mutually beneficial to both parties. Depending on your marketability and clout this could be advantageous to the owner should a better offer come along for that date.

When dealing with a promoter that you’ve never worked with before contact the Local for some insight about his/her past record of dealings with members. Promoters don’t operate in a vacuum, if they’re fair and honourable we’ll know about it. Conversely, if they have a bad reputation of being unfair and disreputable that news travels fast.

From time to time we get the general public looking for acts and we try to recommend the names of members who would be suitable for the job. I would say the overwhelming majority of those people wouldn’t present any problems for our members but I would recommend our members still file an AFM contract with the Local. Should something go wrong with a referral it would put us in an awkward position of responsibility.

The final point and possibly the most important one is – no AFM contract = no pension contribution. It’s always worth the effort to get a portion of your fee for a pension contribution. If you’re a full time musician it’s important to start getting some pension contributions for your future.

Now at this point some of you are probably thinking no promoter/buyer will sign a contract if I ask for one and I’ll lose the gig if I do. First of all that’s probably a red flag right there-does a bar owner/promoter have to sign contracts with his suppliers? I would think so-any reputable businessman runs his operation on paper not on a nod or a wink. The point is if you don’t ask you don’t get. If everyone asked for contracts and stuck together as a collective that would be the norm rather than the exception. The point of this article is to avoid having to go to court for satisfaction by using these precautions to eliminate possible disputes. There’s an adage that goes “he that goes to the law holds a wolf by the ears”. In light of Local 293’s past experience with the legal system we’d advocate avoiding that process by any means necessary.

Have a great productive summer!

Yours in solidarity

Larry Feudo

 

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

Membership Recruitment or Membership Retention? – Is recruitment the most important activity for local membership development and to secure its existence?   Member recruitment is definitely a key factor, but if we want our local to thrive, membership retention is the most important piece of the puzzle.  Although many may believe that if new members are not joining, the livelihood of the local will not survive. However, in order for new members to join, it is necessary to have a solid foundation of members which will always stimulate membership growth. Here are three reasons why retention is more important than recruitment:

Get retention right and we will have built the basis for recruitment. High retention rates are the signal that we have happy, satisfied members. These members tend to share the local success stories with others, automatically creating a grassroots recruitment campaign. We must start with retention, and follow with recruitment.

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is certainly true for local organizations.  It’s true not only because it takes less effort to keep a member than find a new member, but also it is less expensive to retain a member than recruit a new one. Recruitment often gets the attention, but retention will make our organization financially secure and strengthen our collective voice in meaningful decisions that affect all musicians in our community.

A low retention rate is a signal that we have serious underlying problems in our local. Recruiting members is primarily a function of great marketing, but member retention is a function of both marketing, and more importantly, a great membership experience. If we can not retain members, then we are wasting our money recruiting new members until we fix the problem that is causing members to leave. If we can’t retain, recruitment will burn through prospects because they won’t remain. 

The bottom line is that recruitment is important for Local 293, but retention must be our first priority. If we master the art of member retention, then recruitment will be fun and easy, leading to success for all of our present and future members. 

The chart to the right shows the continuous climb in new member recruitment as a result of member retention.  In 2012, our membership stood at 283 members.  At the time of writing this report, we now stand at 647 members.

I would like to thank all the members of Local 293 for your continued confidence and support in rebuilding the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild by retaining your membership.  It is through solidarity that we will survive and grow to exercise our collective political power to ensure that our members’ voices are heard at every level of government.   

Mohawk College Music Program – In December of 2015, President Feudo and I presented a donation to the Richard Newell Memorial Scholarship on behalf of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild.  Jamshed Turel, Head of the Mohawk College Music Program accepted the $900 donation which will benefit a student in the Applied Music Program.  On February 10th, 2016 the Hamilton Musicians Guild hosted a group of 2nd and 3rd year music students from Mohawk College along with Jamshed Turel, Academic Coordinator and Professor Pat Collins for their Entrepreneurship and

Executive Board — Local 293 CFM

President: Larry Feudo
1st Vice President: Reg Denis
2nd Vice President: Janna Malseed
Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed
Sergeant at Arms: Paul Panchezak
Marshall: Ron Palangio
Director: John Balogh
Director: Glen Brown
Director: Brenda Brown

Emeritus Officers: Matt Kennedy, Harry Waller

GUILD CONTACT INFO

20 Hughson St. South, Suite 401
Hamilton, Ontario   L8N  2A1
Phone: 905-525-4040
Fax:  905-525-4047

email:  local293hmg@bellnet.ca
www.hamiltonmusicians.org

Local 293 StreetBeat

The 2016 Juno awards were held in Calgary last month and once again Hamilton (and Local 293) was represented. After five previous nominations Harrison Kennedy finally prevailed in the “Blues Album of The Year” category with “This Is from Here”.  The CD was a co-production with Jesse O’Brien, one of our local’s hardest working members who was also featured playing keyboards on the release. Congratulations go out to Jesse on a job well done. Jesse also found time in the last year to tour and record with Tom Wilson’s group LeE HaRVeY OsMOND. Tom is another longtime Local 293 member. His latest LeE HaRVeY OsMOND  project, “Beautiful Scars”, was nominated in the “Best Contemporary Roots” category but lost to Canadian legend, Buffy Sainte Marie.

Jesse O’Brien will also take part in the fourteenth annual “Blues With a Feeling” tribute to the late Richard Newell a.k.a. King Biscuit Boy (an ex-293 member). Jesse will lead a band with guitarist Chris Caddell at this year’s concert. Both musicians are also part of Colin James’ touring band. Once again Local 293 is a proud co-sponsor of this event which raises funds for a scholarship in Richard’s name. Also on this year’s show is another member of our local, vocalist/guitarist Andre Bisson and his band. Rounding out the lineup will be Fort Erie native Spencer MacKenzie and legendary Canadian blues band, Fathead. The concert takes place Saturday June 4 at the Bay City Music Hall and is followed on Sunday June 5 by a three hour “Blues Cruise” on Hamilton Harbour featuring Local 293 members Trickbag and many special guests.

Blues singer Rita Chiarelli is another hard working member of Local 293. It seems she always has two or three musical irons in the fire. In February she performed a handful of dates in western Canada including an appearance at the Regina Mid Winter Blues Festival. For those dates she utilized an acoustic trio which included 293 member Michael Hickey on bass. Lately she is in the midst of an Ontario tour of soft seaters featuring her new all woman band, Sweet Loretta. They made an appearance in Hamilton on April 16 at the Molson Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place. A key member of that ensemble is keyboard player and Local 293 member Lily Sazz. Add to that a screening of Rita’s full length documentary “Music From the Big House” at the Art Gallery of Hamilton on Thursday May 5 and you have an extremely talented and versatile performer with a very busy schedule.

Retro Party Groove, a group comprised of Local 293 members Frank Rocchi, Antoinette Krusto, Harold Lee and two members of our executive board, Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed and Marshall Ron Palangio, was recently honoured in the Hamilton Spectator’s annual Readers’ Poll. They received the top of the list “Diamond” award in the “Best Professional Entertainers” category. I think the key word here is “professional”. It’s what the Canadian Federation of Musicians is all about. The “Gold” award in the same category was taken home by new Local 293 member Robin Benedict. Congratulations to all concerned.

Another thing the Canadian Federation of Musicians and Local 293 are about is taking care of our members needs. In the recent past a number of our members who found themselves unable to work on account of physical setbacks received payments from the A.F. of M.’s Lester Petrillo Fund. The fund is meant to provide short term relief to members dealing with medical conditions that prevent them from pursuing their musical careers. If you find yourself in a similar position contact the 293 Office and we can help you process your application to the Petrillo Fund. Likewise if you are dealing with job related medical issues keep in mind that Hamilton is home to the renowned Musicians’ Clinics of Canada. Professional musicians, much like professional athletes, are prone to very specific job related problems. Dr. Chong and Dr. McMillan at the clinic, located on the West Mountain, are experts at dealing with such problems. With a referral from your family doctor an appointment at the Musicians’ Clinic is OHIP covered.

Finally I noticed saxophonist Lou Marini on the cover of a recent edition of International Musician, the A.F. of M.’s monthly publication. Lou has played and recorded with everyone from the Blues Brothers to Frank Zappa and the Saturday Night Live House Band. Lou will be in Hamilton on May 8 appearing at First Ontario Center with James Taylor’s All Star Group which also includes a number of other world famous union members including drummer Steve Gadd, trumpeter Walt Fowler and guitarist Michael Landau. We’ll close off this issue’s Streetbeats column with some words of wisdom from “Blue” Lou who points out in the IM article, “I’m a passionate defender of the union. Politicians seem to delight in claiming that unions are the source of all evil. It baffles me that the normal worker doesn’t realize that, if you leave it to the man to determine what you are going to get, you are going to get less and less.” Well spoken Lou !

Regards,

Paul Panchezak, Sergeant-at-Arms

 

Why Cover Bands and Musicians are More Important than Ever

By Steve Witschel

“The world just learned that we lost yet another music icon…the incomparable Prince.  As with when anyone else passes away, people all over the globe are celebrating his life and music. We’re sure to see tributes to follow where well-known living artists will cover songs from his vast catalog of music. But then, as with any other great loss, the attention and focus will slowly fade. It will never disappear; an artist that has had as much of an impact with music as Prince will always be remembered.

Unfortunately as the years pass – even just getting through this year – we’re going to see this happen more and more often. Our heroes will all eventually be gone. We’ll only be left with the art that they created. It will then be our job to make sure the music lives on.

Let’s be honest. The millennials don’t have any real young icons to look up to. There’s barely any artist that I can think of that writes and performs with the integrity and passion of past generations. But that’s actually okay.

There is such a great wealth of popular music to discover and rediscover that has been written in the last 60 years. What will keep this alive? Radio? Somewhat, although the tradition is that you only hear current and former hits. Perhaps we will pass it down to our children at home. That already seems to be the case.
But there’s nothing that compares to the live music experience. And for cover bands and musicians that want to fulfill their own musical desires while still pleasing the masses, it’s important that we carry the torch of the greats.

With the incredible library of music to choose from, and what is and will continue to be a demand to hear it played over and over again, my prediction and hope is that cover bands will become more lauded and respected, because music fans will still want to hear these songs for generations to come, and will still get to experience the feelings and inspiration that it has given us.

I said that it’s important for us to carry the torch, but I think it’s more than important. It’s our responsibility.”

Regards, Ron Palangio, Marshall

MISSION STATEMENT

We are the American Federation of Musicians

of the United States and Canada

Professional musicians united through our Locals so that:

We can live and work in dignity;

Our work will be fulfilling and compensated fairly;

We will have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect us;

We will have the opportunity to develop our talents and skills;

Our collective voice and power will be realized in a democratic and progressive union;

We can oppose the forces of exploitation through our union solidarity.

We must commit to:

Treating each other with respect and dignity without regard to ethnicity, creed, sex, age,

disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or national origin;

Honoring the standards and expectations we collectively set for ourselves

in pursuit of that vision, supporting and following the Bylaws that we adopt for ourselves;

Actively participating in the democratic institutions of our union.

With that unity and resolve, we must engage in direct action

that demonstrates our power and determination to:

Organize unorganized musicians, extending to them the gains of unionism

while securing control over our industry sectors and labor markets;

Bargain contracts and otherwise exercise collective power to improve wages

and working conditions, expand the role of musicians in work place

decision-making, and build a stronger union;

Build political power to ensure that musicians’ voices are heard at every level of government

to create economic opportunity and foster social justice;

Provide meaningful paths for member involvement and  participation

in strong, democratic unions;

Develop highly trained and motivated leaders at every level of the union

who reflect the membership in all its diversity;

Build coalitions and act in solidarity with other organizations that share

our concern for social and economic justice.

 

You and Your Money

What they don’t teach you in music school!

This month was marked with the passing of the American pop music icon Prince.  I watched on CNN various interviews with people who were close to Prince as they gave glowing recollections of their involvement in his life and he with theirs.  Aside from the artistry of his music and stage presentations, many people, especially those who worked with him behind the scenes, commented how fiercely independent Prince was. He gained control of all aspects of his production and the money that it earned and insisted that staff operate with the best decorum both in their mannerism and their attire while at work – a good example for us all.

This is another article designed to help our fellow musicians and their associates manage the money that they earn. Below are just some of the highlights regarding changes to Canadian tax regulations that will take effect in 2016.  This presentation is intended only to serve as a broad overview of changes to personal taxation regulations and is by no means exhaustive.  Always check with your accountant – your CPA – to make sure that you are current.

Key Personal Income Tax Changes

Old Age Security (OAS): The Budget formally outlines the government’s intention to restore the eligibility of the Old Age Security program to age 65.

Canada Child Benefit (CCB):  The existing Canadian Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) programs will be replaced with a new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) effective July 1, 2016.  Payments under this program will not be taxable and will be phased out for higher income families.  Lower income families will receive more funding than under the current rules.

Family Tax Cut: This measure, which allowed limited income splitting for families with at least on child under the age of 18, will be discontinued for 2016 and subsequent years.

Education and Textbook Tax Credits:   The education and text book credit will be eliminated effective January 1, 2017; however, the tuition tax credit will remain in place. Unused education and textbook credit amounts carried forward from years prior to 2017 will remain eligible to be claimed for 2017 and subsequent years.   A new 15% refundable tax credit will be introduced for teachers and early childhood educators on the first $1,000 of eligible school supplies acquired on or after January 01, 2016 for use in the classroom.

Children’s Fitness and Arts Tax Credits:  For 2016, the eligible amounts for fitness and arts credits will be reduced to $500 and $250 respectively.  These credits will be eliminated entirely in 2017.   The supplemental amounts for children eligible for the disability tax credit will remain at $500 for 2016.

Canadian Private Business Tax Measures

Small Business Tax Rate: The federal small business tax rate will remain unchanged at 10.5%.

Eligible Capital Property:  Eligible capital property includes intangible property such as goodwill and licences, franchises as well as certain other rights.  The current cumulative eligible capital (CEC) pool will be replaced with a new CCA class with a 5% CCA rate. This measure, including the transitional rules, will apply as of January 1, 2017.  The first $3,000 of incorporation expenses will no longer be required to be capitalized and can be written off as a current expense.

Any comments or viewpoints expressed in this article are those of Kevin Mann Accounting.

Copyright Kevin Mann Accounting, 2016.

[Kevin Mann, MBA is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a member of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, a performing bassist and the President of Kevin Mann Accounting. He has provided extensive financial and managerial expertise to a wide range of not-for-profit and for-profit businesses including being a board director and member of local symphonies.]

Here’s a recent email from an A.F.M. Member:

“Hi Robert,

I have a duo, and a tour of the US coming up in early 2016. I’ve been told that we’ll need an IRS Tax #ID because they’ll be withholding a percentage of our earnings.’d appreciate your guidance on how you think we should proceed.”

Revenue Canada and the IRS require tax numbers, both from individuals and businesses, for a variety of reasons:

If you are an individual applying for a tax waiver in Canada you need an ITN (Individual Tax Number).

If you are an individual filing a tax return in Canada you need an ITN (Individual Tax Number).

If you are a business submitting a tax return in Canada, you need a BN (Business Number).

If you are a business applying for a tax waiver in Canada you need a BN (Business Number).

If you are a business applying for a tax waiver in Canada you need to attach an application for an ITN (Individual Tax Number) for all employees or sub-contractors.

If you are an individual submitting a Tax Return in the United States, you need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

If you are an individual applying for a CWA (Central Withholding Agreement), you need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

If you are a business submitting a W-8-BEN-E or filing a Tax Return in the United States, you need an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

Both in Canada and the United States an individual tax number is required if an individual is not eligible for a SIN (Social Insurance Number in Canada) or an SSN (Social Security Number in the United States). Obviously, this applies to non-residents or occasional visitors such as artists on tour.

To get an individual tax number (ITN) in Canada you simply submit a completed Revenue Canada Form T-1261 (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1261/t1261-fill-14e.pdf) and attach the required supporting documents (passport, driver’s license or birth certificate). The documents must be originals or certified copies. Documents can be certified by local officials such as doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers, or officials in a federal department, by having them signed, dated and noted: Certified a True Copy. Revenue Canada will send your ITN (and return any original documents) in 4-6 weeks.

To get an individual tax number (ITIN) in the United States you file a W-7 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf) along with an income tax return (unless you meet one of the exceptions), and a passport, or a certified copy of a passport. Passports can only be certified by the office of issue. It can take 8-10 weeks to get an ITIN. In certain circumstances you may have to apply for and be denied an SSN which means a visit to a Social Security Administration Office in the United States. The denial letter is attached to the W-7 when it is submitted.

To get a Business Number for Canada, simply submit Revenue Canada Form RC-1 (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc1/rc1-fill-14e.pdf) along with a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation.

You can get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) by fax, mail or telephone (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Employer-ID-Numbers-EINs). You can get an EIN immediately by telephone, 2 weeks by fax, 4-5 weeks by mail. 

It is important to remember that when you work in a foreign country, you should satisfy the tax requirements of that country. With the provisions of the Canada-U.S. Tax Treaty, most tax liability is restricted to one’s own country, but it is a good idea to file an annual non-resident tax return where applicable, even if no taxes are owing.

I welcome your questions and concerns. Please write to me at: robert@bairdartists.com.

While I cannot answer every question I receive in this column, I will feature as many as I can and

I promise to answer each and every e-mail I receive.

Frank Musico received his Life Membership Certificate at the
December 2015 General Membership Meeting.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Monday, May 9, 2016    7:00 pm
The Admiral Inn
York & Dundurn Streets, Hamilton

AGENDA

2015 Financial Review

Life Membership Awards

Ian Thomas, Lynda Eady, Carmen Nemeth,

Andrea Garofalo, Rita Chiarelli, John Bebbington,

Daniel Lanois, James Heaslip, Neil Nickafor

25 Year Membership Pins

Ginger Graham, Bill Wright, Helen Beese,

Sterling Stead

50 Year Membership Pin

Glenn Mallory

 

Remembering Gus Figliola

By Matt Kennedy
Local 293 President Emeritus

From the “Jam Sessions” Sunday afternoons at the Moose Hall in Hamilton in the years immediately following W.W. II, to the Jack Ryan Orchestra at the El Morocco, Johnny Mario Band (co-led with Fred Purser) in 1950 at the Royal Connaught Hotel, Morgan Thomas and Alf Borsellino Bands, to a lengthy sojourn with Gav Morton at the Brant Inn in Burlington, the drumming prowess of Gus Figliola was well-entrenched in the Hamilton-Burlington area.

Summing it all up, “He swung every band mightily”

As the Big Band era came to an end, smaller jazz groups found new performance venues in coffee houses and jazz clubs.  Gus could be found playing regularly with various groups of this genre.

In the 1970’s and into the 1980’s, CHCH TV in Hamilton was producing numerous live shows which provided work for Local 293 musicians, and Gus was very active in this area.  In addition, he was performing regularly at the Burlington Golf Club and later at the Royal Connaught Hotel dining room.

Gus served on the Executive Board of the Hamilton Musicians Guild for over thirty years.  He was also a member of the Executive Board, as well as President of the Glendale Golf Club in Hamilton.

As the song says, “Don’t be so sad – let’s be glad we had this time to spend together.”

 

Entrepreneurship and Portfolio Class

Mohawk College holds an Entrepreneurship and Portfolio Class at the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild Office on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 for 2nd & 3rd Year Applied Music Students

We spent a morning with the class discussing the business side of the music industry and the many benefits of membership with the AFM/CFM.

 

Public & Community Relations Initiatives

City of Hamilton – In February, 2016, An Honorary Membership was presented to Hamilton City Councillor Tom Jackson and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to John Hertel, Director of Finance, Administration, and Revenue Generation Corporate Services Department City of Hamilton for a motion to City Council that resulted in the musicians of the Falstaff Orchestra from Opera Hamilton being paid $20,000 through a grant from the city for their performance that was unpaid by Opera Hamilton in 2013.

CFM Office Visit – President Feudo and Secretary-Treasurer Malseed attended a meeting at the Canadian Federation Offices (CFM) in Toronto on December 10th, 2015 to discuss a proposal for a Local Organization Plan with Paul Frank, Director of Organizing & Education for the AFM, Alan Willaert, AFM Vice-President for Canada and Paul Sharpe, Director of Freelance Services & Membership Development.

IATSE – A meeting with Cindy Jennings, President of Local 129 IATSE was held at the Hamilton Musicians Guild office on December 11, 2015 to discuss various matters including contracts with Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton Place and other venues.

Hamilton & District Labour Council – President Feudo and Secretary-Treasurer Malseed attended the Hamilton & District Labour Council meeting on January 21, 2016 and were both sworn in as official delegates to the H&DLC.   Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed was nominated and elected to the Special Events Planning Committee of the H&DLC. 

CORE Entertainment – President Feudo and Secretary-Treasurer Malseed attended a meeting with Scott Warren, General Manager of Core Entertainment.at Hamilton Place on Friday, April 1, 2016 to discuss the role of the Hamilton Musicians Guild in the community and the history of agreement’s with HECFI

Outreach to music students – Marshall Ron Palangio has arranged a seminar at Cardinal Newman High School on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 with the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild to discuss the state of today’s music industry and the power that the youth hold in the future of music.   President Larry Feudo, Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed and Local 293 member Brent Wirth with attend this seminar with Ron Palangio.

On a closing note, I would like to take this opportunity pay my respects to Gus Figliola.  I had the opportunity to get to know Gus over the years during the many gigs we played together, especially playing with the Matt Kennedy Trio in the O’Sullivans’ Dining Room at the Royal Connaught Hotel during the 70’s and 80’s.. 

Rita Carrey

Steve Kostyk, a board member of the Niagara Region Musicians’ Association, Local 298, AFM/CFM contacted the office of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild in early April and asked us for support for an upcoming rally.  The City of Niagara Falls had recently advertised looking for musicians to perform for one hour at the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings for 20 weeksMay 21 and running until October 8, 2016.   It seems like a great way to gain exposure and make a few bucks, right?   At a pay rate of $50 per act the city is offering,  whether it is one person or 10, the pay rate would be the same and this has enraged a lot of local musicians, including Rita Carrey, a member of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild.   “The city put out in the newspaper that they needed musicians to send in their information if they want to play the Market Square and they are going to pay $50 to play for one hour. This is ridiculous!” Carrey said in a recent interview with Music Life Magazine.   “The worst thing is, the musicians who will play for free or 50 bucks screws over all other musicians,” explains Carrey. ” Most musicians are rallying behind me because they believe as I do – something has to change!”

Information was posted regarding the rally on the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild Facebook Site and President Larry Feudo and Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed made the trip to Niagara Falls to show solidarity and support from Local 293 and stand with Rita Carrey and Steve Kostyk and all our fellow musicians at the “Fair Pay & We Play” rally.

Addressing council, Carrey said it was disappointing an “entertainment city” such as Niagara Falls continually short changes arts and culture.  “Unless we say what we do is of value, no one else will care,” she said , stressing the need for local musicians to take a stand against poor rates, or performing free for ‘exposure.’  “Would you get a plumber to come in here for free? No,” she said. “It’s an entertainment city. The money seems to go to everything but us.  “If they’re good enough to play, they’re good enough to be paid.”    Steve Kostyk, a board member of the Niagara Region Musicians’ Association, said $50 for one hour didn’t take into account the cost of renting equipment, travel time, setup time or splitting the rate among two or more artists.

Following the rally calling for a better rate of pay, Niagara Falls City Council unanimously voted to double the rate

The City changed its tune when it comes to pay for musicians who will perform this summer at the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market.  City politicians voted unanimously to back a motion from Councillor Mike Strange, who as a former bar owner, said he knows the struggles musicians face when it comes to making a living.    “I ran a bar for 21 years. I know how hard it is, it’s a lot, a lot of work,” Strange said. “It’s a passion. You do that because you love music.”   Strange was responding to an impassioned speech by Rita Carrey, a musician and former radio personality who implored council do something. 

Rita Carrey is the sister to comedian Jim Carrey. She is a Canadian television and radio personality. Born in Canada, she grew up in Toronto and Burlington, Ontario.   Rita is an accomplished singer/songwriter and public speaker.  She is also the co-owner of a new organization called TriStream Entertainment which helps fund Parkinson’s and other fundraising charities in North America.  Besides giving to charity Rita has been performing classic rock for many years now and is currently performing all over Ontario with her new band RCB the Rita Carrey Band. She loves playing intimate venues as well because it allows her to interact with her audiences more closely. It gives her fans a chance to see her quick wit and talent with a show she calls Carrey On, Growing Up Carrey. In this show she performs big band, pop and sultry blues.

Rita comes from a musical background her father had his own big band and her mother occasionally sang in it. She is also in the process of writing a book called Growing Up Carrey, which she hopes will hit store shelves soon.

Last but not least Rita has her own online YouTube site which she calls Peet & Reetwww.peetandreet.com 

 

Labour Day Parade

Last year, members of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild marched in the Labour Day Parade & Picnic under the AFM Banner.  We are asking Local 293 members to consider joining us in this years’ Labour Day Parade & Picnic.  You can bring your family and friends to march with members of the Hamilton Musicians Guild.  Watch for more information about this years event on FaceBook and through email.

 

Convention of the American Federation of Musicians

The 100th Convention of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada will convene at the Westgate Las Vegas hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, June 20, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. The Westgate will be the official headquarters. Registration of delegates will take place in Pavilion 8 of the Westgate’s convention area on Sunday, June 19th, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Monday, June 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.