Libretto December 2015


Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, Local 293, CFM

Libretto, December 2015

President’s Report

December marks the end of my second term of office as president and I’m looking forward to the start of a new term of office in January. In the span of four years we’ve grown our Local from 283 members to 635 strong. This was accomplished with a committed board that feels strongly about advancing the cause of musicians in our community.

Some of the highlights of the past four years include our two business of music seminars held at the Spectator, the resolution of the Opera Hamilton fiasco that resulted in $20,000 being paid out to our musicians thanks to our lobbying city council successfully. In this process we managed to win friends on city council and further established the reputation of Local 293.

This year with the Pan-Am Games in town we managed to triple the amount of funds available for MPTF gigs around the city. Funding was provided to the Cactus Fest, It’s Your Festival, Downtown BIA Promenade,  BIA Pan Am Promenade, the Waterfront Trust Music Series and the Jackson Square Rooftop Concerts. A special thanks goes to MPTF Trustee Dan Beck who made it all possible. Extra special thanks to Brent Malseed who spent umpteen hours doing the paperwork, taking pictures and all that goes into making these events happen. As a matter of fact, Brent does a great deal to make the office run as smooth as possible always going the extra mile to see to it that our members are well looked after.

We’re particularly proud to say we’ve managed to get six Lester Petrillo Fund grants for our members who fell ill and couldn’t work. I think it’s nice to know that when the chips are down our members can count on us to help.

We’ve reached out to other labour organizations such as The Workers Arts &Heritage Centre and the Hamilton and District Labour Council which in turn has strengthened our solidarity with the labour movement and provided more jobs for our musicians as they are committed to hiring union members for their social functions.

We also marched in the Labour Day Parade for the first time in decades. We’re looking forward to having a larger presence in the parade next year with more members participating.

Over the years we’ve made donations to the King Biscuit Boy Scholarships for Mohawk College students in the music program. We’ve also made donations to the Hamilton Spectator Summer Camp for Kids Fund as part of our community partnership with the Spectator.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Steve Sobolewski and Lorne Lozinski for their many years of service to the local as they have both opted not to run again for the board. Replacing them will be Glen and Brenda Brown and we look forward to their participation in the new year.

Wishing everyone all the best of the season,

Yours in solidarity

Larry Feudo

 

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

Executive Board 2016/2017 – I would like to thank the membership for their vote of confidence in my nomination and acclamation for another term as Secretary-Treasurer and Delegate to AFM Conventions & Conferences.  I would also like to thank Lorne Lozinski and Steve Sobolewski for the years of service as Executive Board Members of Local 293.  Both Lorne and Steve decided not to run for re-election this year.  Congratulations to all board members who were re-elected and to Glen Brown and Brenda Brown as new members to the Local Executive Board.

Membership – Our membership now stands at 636 members.  This is an increase of 11 new and reinstated members since the last issue of the Libretto was published in October, 2015.  I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new and reinstated members as listed in the “Membership Matters” section on page 9 of this Libretto.  Recruitment and Retention is a priority for this local and to achieve this we strive at providing quality service and advice to all members.  An article was published in the September 2015 issue of the International Musician, written by Tina Morrison, AFM International Executive Board  entitled “Snapshots: How To Encourage Union Membership”.  We were impressed with Tina’s article and with her permission, have reprinted it on page 5 of this issue of Libretto.  The Executive Board of Local 293 strives to accomplish the vision of the AFM Mission Statement by working together, organizing the unorganized musician, lobbying local politicians, building relationships with local labour organizations, networking with music educators, colleges and universities, negotiating fair agreements, raising industry standards and placing the professional musicians in the foreground of the cultural landscape.  It is only by working together that we will have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect all musicians in our community.  

P2 Visa Process – The wait time for getting a P2 visa is currently quite long, as the U.S. Homeland Security office is backlogged.  It is very important to make sure that you allow at least 90 days for visa processing. For those who need it, there is a type of P2 visa that covers a full year if, for example, you are making a recording in the U.S. with a number of sessions spread out over the year.  Please see Robert Baird’s article on page 23 reprinted from the November issue of the International Musician.

**IMPORTANT PROCESSING DELAY ALERT** US Immigration reports a P2 processing backlog. 

To avoid delays, submit your P2 package at lease 75 – 90 calendar days before your first show.

MPTF – The community of Hamilton and area witnessed a great variety of professional talent throughout the Hamilton area this past summer with generous co-funding from the Music Performance Trust Fund.   I was able to attend many of these concerts to snap some photos of our members which have been posted on pages 11 through 14 of this issue of the Libretto.

Congratulations to Loralee McGuirl – Local 293 member Loralee McGuirl will be on a 2 hour Murdoch Mysteries Christmas Special airing on December 21, 2015.  Loralee will be singing  “Joy to the World” and “Deck the Halls”

General Membership Meeting December 7th – I hope to see you at the upcoming General Membership Meeting on December 7, 2015.  This meeting will be held at the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild Board Room at 20 Hughson Street South, Suite 401, Hamilton.  This is the first time we have held a meeting at our office location.  The meeting starts at 7:00 pm and there will be someone at the front door to let you in from 6:30 to 7:00 pm.  If you arrive after 7:00, you will need to dial 401 at the front entrance building security system and someone will come down to let you in (Instructions will be posted on the door the evening of the meeting).

All the best to everyone during the holiday season and the New Year.

Yours in solidarity

Brent Malseed

 

Congratulations to the following who were elected by acclamation at the  General Membership & Nomination Meeting on October 20, 2015, to serve the membership of Local 293 as Executive Board Members for 2016 & 2017:

Executive Board — Local 293 CFM

Local 293 StreetBeat

Great to see longtime Local 293 member Jesse O’Brien back in the musical news. Jesse is a multiple nominee in this year’s Maple Blues Awards. As well as a much deserved nod in the “best piano/keyboard category” he is also nominated as “best producer” for his work on Harrison’s Kennedy’s latest CD, “This Is From Here”. Dave King, who we mentioned in our last Streetbeats column has been recognized as well for his work with Steve Strongman. He has been nominated in the “best drummer” category. We wish Dave and Jesse good luck in the final balloting.

Speaking of longtime members, Local 293 Life Member Sonny Del Rio is on a roll it seems. Back in the spring family, friends and fans rallied to stage a benefit concert to raise money for some much needed dental work, without which sax playing would be impossible. The show was wildly successful and a substantial amount was raised. The Local helped out as well with a contribution from the A.F.M.’s Lester Petrillo Fund. The good news is that Sonny is back and playing better than ever. He staged a free “Thank You” show recently where he put the new choppers through their paces and a good time was had by all. On Sunday December 6 Sonny will be hosting his annual charity Christmas show at the Bay City Music Hall. Look for many surprise guests including Santa.

After many years making other people sound good, Frank Koren finally gets to lend his considerable talent to his own career. Frank has just released his first solo effort, Red Chair, recorded at the world renowned Grant Avenue Studio. The CD is already reaping considerable critical acclaim. It’s about time Frank stepped to centre stage.

One of the highlights of this year’s Music In the City series in Gore Park was the concert by Leonard, Burns and Dell on a beautiful summer afternoon. Sue Leonard, Cindy Dell and Brennagh Burns, all Local 293 members are putting the finishing touches on their brand new CD release. If you enjoy exquisite harmonies and strong songwriting you will want to keep an eye out for that one.

Finally it was a pleasure to meet and speak to Dan Beck at the recent “Business of Music” seminar that Local 293 put on along with the screening of the documentary “Broke”. It was a rare opportunity to access someone with Dan’s experience and credentials in the music business. It’s even rarer when someone of that stature is so personable and generous with his time.  A class act and an honorary member of Local 293.

By the way, before we close the column for this issue, here’s a quick reminder: if you have a development in your musical career that you would like to see included in Streetbeats – an album release, the start of a major tour or a special concert or event– drop us a line at the Local 293 office and we’ll share the news with your union brothers and sisters.

Regards,

Paul Panchezak, Sergeant-at-Arms

General Membership Meeting
Monday, December 7, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Local 293 Guild Office
20 Hughson St. South, Suite 401

 

Neighbouring Rights Royalties

Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC) distributes Neighbouring Rights and Private Copying Royalties to musicians and vocalists, across all musical genres, in Canada and beyond.

Most musicians know that songwriters collect money from SOCAN for radio airplay of their songs, but many musicians and vocalists remain unaware that they are entitled as musicians and vocalists to performers’ royalties for the radio airplay of their recordings. Since 1998, Canadian law has recognized the performer’s performance on a sound recording. As a musician or vocalist, you are entitled to Neighbouring Rights Royalties when a recording on which you performed gets radio airplay. These royalties are completely distinct from, and in addition to, any SOCAN royalties to which you as a songwriter are entitled.

Neighbouring Rights Royalties are paid to musicians based on tariffs covering commercial radio, satellite radio, pay audio and Canada’s public broadcaster CBC/ SRC; and the use of recordings as background music in commercial/public venues. Tariffs for additional royalties are continually in the works. In Canada, royalties are also generated by a levy payable on blank audio CD-Rs sold in Canada. Distributions are based on a blend of radio airplay and album sales.

Their website www.musiciansrights.ca provides useful information on neighbouring rights and private copying royalties and on other revenue streams available to performers. There you’ll find the forms you’ll need to get signed up. They can also mail you an information package and forms. You can contact them at: Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC),1200 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 505 Toronto, ON M3C 1H9; info@musiciansrights.ca or 1-855-510-0279.

*This information is used by permission.

NOTE:  If you have any questions about your membership status, please contact the office.

Resigning in Good Standing

Moving out of the region?  Got a great job somewhere else?  Taking a break from the music scene?  We are sorry to lose you, but before you leave, please send us a letter or an email to let us know when you’ll be ending your membership in Local 293.  This will prevent any additional fees for both you and the Local.  We can also help you transition into another Local if you are moving.

To alleviate any confusion regarding Resigning in Good Standing, please note:

You can only resign in good standing if you are indeed in Good Standing. Good Standing means that you have paid any back dues and/or penalties before  resigning. To resign you simply write the Local (post or email) to inform the office of your intention to resign. To rejoin the Local there is a $15.00 fee.  If you have any questions, please call contact the Secretary-Treasurer.   

 

AFM/CFM Immigration Services

The AFM has been recognized by both US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as an authorized petitioner for temporary work permits on behalf of AFM/CFM member musicians.  For P1, P3 and O1 Consultations, AFM provides the consultation letter required by the USCIS, but does not supply USCIS forms (see here for more information: http://www.afm.org/departments/touring-travel-theatre-booking-immigration/visa-questions-and-answers). You may also access information from the USCIS website:  http://uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm.

Canadian members who wish to work in the US may be eligible for a Class P2 non-immigrant work permit.  For more information on Immigration Visa Questions and Answers:  http://www.cfmusicians.org/services/work-permits

Please note, at this time P2 permits are being processed within 75-90 days.

 

IN MEMORIUM: Harry McDade

February 11, 1934 – November 20, 2015

Suddenly at the Carpenter hospice on November 20th, 2015,McDade, aged 81, beloved husband of Joyce McDade, passed peacefully after a challenging fight with lung cancer.   Beloved Dad of Steve, Carol and her husband Paul.  Loving Granda of Emily and Lauren.   Harry leaves behind many Scottish relatives.

Harry was a well-respected pianist in the Hamilton/Burlington area.   Also known for a great sense of humour.    His main vocation was as an electrician, then upon retirement included piano tuning and restoration.

At Harry’s request, there will be no visitation or funeral. Private family cremation has taken place.   

Donations to Carpenter hospice will be greatly appreciated by the family.

Harry was a member of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild for many years.

 

You and Your Money

What they don’t teach you in music school!

Keeping proper financial records is a necessary task for anyone wishing to successfully pursue a career as a self-employed musician.  This article is the second installment dedicated to musicians who are new to the business side of earning a living from their musical activities.  You may be a person who works a day job and is issued a T4 at the end of the year by your employer plus you have self-employed income of which your paid activities as a musician may be just a part. Keeping the business records initially is fairly straight forward but requires discipline and commitment during the course of the year.

Tax evasion is the process of not paying your properly calculated taxes. It is a crime. Tax avoidance is a process of paying your properly calculated taxes where the taxes that you pay are minimized in accordance with Canadian tax laws.  These laws invariably change almost every year as politicians vie for re-election and modify their social policies. Once every 18 months I get approached by someone who is looking for an accountant to help him with his taxes because he has not filed a tax return for five years. These people have inflicted on themselves a nightmare of their own creation. Do not be one of these people.

In general: Revenues minus expenses = net income or taxable income

You are required to keep a full listing of all revenues that you receive as employment income.  If someone pays you for your services and they maintain their own set of books and that transaction is going to be recorded on their books then you also have to record it in your own accounting records. Keep a handwritten page or an Excel spreadsheet where you record all of the revenues for the year: the amount, the place, the time, and the person who paid you or is going to paying you. Maintain a copy or a photo copy of everything for which you received payment especially handwritten cheques before you deposit them. Add these receipts up to arrive at a total revenue for the year and give this figure along with the backup to your accountant.  Do not provide totals by months because your accountant needs the total for the year to use in the tax return calculations.  If you are a band leader or group leader on a gig and you pay side musicians then the best procedure is to record the money you received in total from your customer and then keep a record of the disbursements that you made to your side men for each job that you worked otherwise all of the money could be attributed to you by the CRA.

Expenses:  what to include – EVERYTHING – everything that applies to the effort you expended to generate the revenues that you earned. This is where tax avoidance comes in – maximize the expenses that you claim plus use any personal tax credits that are available to you.

Try keeping a travel log of the kilometres that you drive for business.  The current CRA rates for an expense deduction are $0.55 per kilometer for the first 5,000 kilometres and $0.49 per kilometer thereafter.  The total kilometres resets to zero every January first.  If you drive long distances, this expense total may exceed the total of all of the other individual auto expenses plus it provides a fairly irrefutable record of your business travel for the CRA.  Try it for a couple of months and then pick whichever method offers you the higher expense deduction.

HST is a topic for a different article. Your accountant can help you with this.   If your total self-employed business revenue from all sources exceeds $30,000 a year you have to file an HST return.  Your tax bill and your HST bill require two separate filings. Group your expense receipts by type of expense. Total them for the year and if you are subject to filing an HST return then have the HST for both revenues and expenses by each revenue and expense type already totaled for your accountant. One of my service providers stated a couple of months ago that he always considered that a good accountant saved him more than he cost. 

For earnings from self-employment, many musicians set aside a standard cash balance of 15% of their total receipts as a reserve to pay their income taxes at the end of the year.  What percentage you set aside should match your tax bracket.  If you have to pay HST then I suggest that you also set aside a reserve to pay for HST.   This money is not yours so don’t play with it.  Set up a separate bank account for business and another for the reserves if you have to. File your tax returns on time.  Being late simply provides an opportunity for the CRA to charge you late fees and interest on overdue payments.  This is the digital age, the CRA does not forget about you. For example; say that you owe tax for 2014 and do not file your return for 2014 on time then the late-filing penalty is 5% of your 2014 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. Government late fees and fines generally do not comprise a tax deductible expense.

For my clients I offer some spreadsheets that they can use to initiate their own organized record keeping. The best way to keep your records is to simply jot them down every weekend as you complete the week’s activities otherwise you will tend forget what you’ve done and once you get in the groove it’s pretty straightforward. A little preparation time upfront can save you money and headaches down the road.   Best regards to you in these endeavours and good luck with your musical activities.

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

Copyright Kevin Mann Accounting. 2015.

[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.]

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.

 

Snapshots:  How to Encourage Union Membership

By Tina Morrison,

AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 105 (Spokane, WA)

The conversation begins:  “Oh, so you’re a musician, too!  Do you belong to the union?  What union?  Don’t you know about the American Federation of Musicians?  I’m a member of Local XXX because I want to make music to the best of my ability, and to do so, I need appropriate compensation.  While music making is an individual endeavor, everything work-related is part of a much bigger picture.  My ability to work is impacted by outside influences beyond my control and that is where union membership is important.  I’m individually responsible for my music making, but only with the leverage of a larger group of people with similar interests can I have influence on decisions that affect my ability to work making music.  Join the union and become informed.  All of the roads to being a working musician in the US or Canada lead back to the influence of the American Federation of Musicians”

The union doesn’t do anything for me.  “Okay, so you joined the union and nothing changed.  Did you join the union, or did you simply send in your application and dues and get into the database?  The union isn’t a cable subscription service.  It’s more like a gumball machine where you drop in the coin but actually have to reach into the spout, pick out the gumball, and then chew it to get the full flavour of what you paid for.

“The union is interactive with a key word being ‘active’.  Have you attended a new member orientation?  Have you met with your local officers?  Have you been to a union meeting?  If you have, did you speak up?  If you raised an issue was it in the context of ‘the union needs to fix _____’?  And then your perception is that nothing happened?  Did you follow up with your local to find out whether your issue has been examined?  Have you offered to assist with finding a solution?  Many of the work issues we face as musicians don’t have simple solutions but by interacting with other member musicians we can find answers that will either help us resolve the issue or provide us with information that takes us in an entirely different direction making the original issue less unimportant.”

All I want to do is show up to my job, make music, and get paid.  “You, and everybody else.  No musician I have ever met became a musician so they could join the union and become involved in union activities.  We get out into the workforce and start realizing there are issues beyond our individual control.  Then it comes down to choices: we can either get out of the business or we can find resources that help us address our issues and find workable solutions.  Generations of musicians have turned to union membership as the best resource for finding those solutions.  Those of us who have found the union, and benefited by union membership, have an interest in helping other musicians join us as well.  Greater union membership equates to more resources and more control over our work.”

For more talking points when having a conversation about the union, check out the AFM Bylaws, Article 2 – Mission.

Music Performance Trust Fund

The 2015 summer series of concerts was co- sponsored by the Waterfront Trust, the Downtown Hamilton BIA , the Dundas Cactus Festival, It’s Your Festival (Gage Park), Jackson Square, the Pan Am Games through the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, Local 293, AFM with co-funding from the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF).

The Music Performance Trust Fund is funded via a royalty stream from the signatory record labels, led by the three major labels, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and the Warner Music Group, and with the help of locals of the American Federation of Musicians, presents thousands of live, admission-free musical programs annually in the United States and Canada.

 

Business of Music Seminar

October 26, 2016 Panel Discussion

The recorded stream of the panel discussion following the screening of Broke*,

can be viewed at:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/76326742