Libretto October 2014

Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, Local 293, CFM

LIBRETTO  October 2014

President’s Report

This past summer has been a busy and productive time for Local 293 with our membership increasing to 526 members as we go to press. This is an overwhelming vote of confidence from our musicians as the membership has close to doubled in two and a half years.

Some of the reasons for this growth are due to a higher level of service in the office, a greater public profile in the media and the beneficial effects of having MPTF funding once again.

With the influx of more members the board recognized the need for more help in the office. The motion was passed with unanimous support at the last general meeting that I come in 2 or 3 days a week to help run the office and pursue our organizing and public relations strategy. Since this motion was passed last April we have 93 more members so it’s having an obvious positive effect.

If you’ve been reading the Spectator or following our Facebook page you probably already know about the ill-advised scheme by Hamilton Airport to get musicians to play for free. To briefly sum up, the Hamilton Airport’s marketing director thought it’d be a fun idea to get musicians to play for free as part of their customer appreciation days. The uproar over the Spectator article was huge with many musicians expressing their outrage. I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out the flawed logic of their plan and how playing for free is really paying to play. My letter was well received and support for the Local was very strong.

The story was picked up by JazzFm91.1 and I was interviewed on air. I made it clear that musicians’ playing for free for charities was one thing but Hamilton International Airport was a major commercial entity that could afford to pay musicians.

Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert sent a brilliant response to the director of marketing at Hamilton Airport that was posted on our Facebook page. We contacted her as well to point out the folly of her idea and she was very apologetic and promised to consult with us in the future.

This issue generated well over 2,000 hits on our Facebook page and provided us with an excellent platform to showcase our role as the voice of professional musicians.

Another side benefit of this publicity was that booking referrals went up considerably with people recognizing that we were the voice of professional musicians.

We are happy to report that the MPTF funded concert series was an unqualified success.  We received $3363 in support funds and employed 95 members. The funding supported the Downtown BIA Gore Park series and the Waterfront Trust’s Jazz at the Waterfront program. The funding we received was up from last years’ total and was a useful recruiting tool for new members. Thanks to Secretary-treasurer Brent Malseed’s efforts all the bands featured in both series were photographed and posted on our Facebook page. Both the CFM and AFM Facebook pages copied our postings so they reached a much wider audience.

The Canadian Conference was held in Ottawa this past August. Brent and I attended the three day conference and we were impressed by the solidarity shown to us by the other Locals. The progress Local 293 has made hasn’t gone unnoticed by the CFM – many local officers asked us about our strategy and how we managed to grow the Local. The obvious benefit of these conferences is that many good ideas are shared by the delegates and roundtable discussions are very productive.

I served on the Standards Committee which was chaired by Doug Kuss Secretary-treasurer of Calgary. This is a standing committee that has been tele-conferencing since last years’ Convention in Las Vegas. The aim of this committee is to standardize practices across Canadian Locals and to improve the level of service across the board. The idea is to raise the bar for officers and find ways to streamline the operation of Locals and identify areas that need improvement. The work ahead for the committee this year will be in implementing improvements in operating procedures. 

Brent Malseed served on the Resolutions Committee and he will go into some of that in his report. The Conference was to me a good example of how far the CFM has progressed as an organization under Alan Willaert’s leadership.

On another note, we are still pursuing Opera Hamilton’s failure to pay the full amount owed to our members engaged in the Falstaff production. We have spent a great deal of time, effort and money on trying to bring this issue to a successful conclusion. We have met with the mayor and his staff on this issue and have opened the door for further discussion. After having employed the services of the CFM’s lawyers we have now decided to pursue a small claims court action against the Opera Hamilton Board. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.

We are happy to note that the negotiation for the HPO agreement wrapped up after two sessions and was ratified unanimously by the orchestra members. Congratulations to all concerned for setting the bar for harmonious bargaining and working toward a common goal. Special thanks to Brent and Janna Malseed for overseeing the entire voting process. For more details see page 9 of the Libretto.

Lastly, we are saddened by the loss of Executive Director of TMA Local 149 Jim Biros who passed away September 19. He was also a well respected member of the Canadian Conference executive board. Jim had a long career in the theatre and was a true advocate for musicians everywhere. His gentlemanly demeanour will be greatly missed.

Yours in solidarity,

Larry Feudo, President


Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

I hope you had an enjoyable fun filled summer, both in your personal life and your musical journey.   It sure has been a very active spring and summer at the Local 293 office with the processing of new membership applications, P2 Visa applications, Music Performance Trust Fund co-funding coordination, dealing with lawyers in regards to the Opera Hamilton situation, Collective Bargaining with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, gearing up for the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, delegate to the Canadian Conference of Musicians in Ottawa, as well as many other key activities to provide service to the members.


Local 293 has been on an upward swing the last couple of years and in the first 9 months of 2014, the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild has processed 95 applications for membership.   As you will see in the “Membership Matters” section of this newsletter (page 7), since our last issue of the Libretto in April, sixty-two (62) members have applied for membership and thirty-one (31) members have reinstated.  This is an increase of 93 members in just 6 months.  As of September 30, 2014 our membership stands at 526 members. 


The Music Performance Trust Fund co-sponsorship program series was a great success and created lots of work for members of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild throughout the summer months.  I was able to coordinate with the Hamilton Downtown BIA for the “Gore Park Summer Promenade” and would like to thank Executive Board member John Balogh for all his help and organization with the coordination of the many other series of concerts in the area especially the Waterfront Trust “Music on the Waterfront” series and the “Dundas Cactus Festival”.   I was able to attend almost all of the performances to photograph our members and post to our Facebook page and have also included the faces of members from many of these performances on pages 11 through 14 in this issue of Libretto. 

AFM Entertainment (the AFM operated booking agency) 

If you are a single performer or have a self contained group, now is the time to register (see registration details on page 19).  Many singles and groups have already registered and the AFM has is now launching its advertising campaign to promote AFM Entertainment for online bookings and referrals (see an example of the AFM ad on page 20).  This ad will be published in the program for the upcoming Sam Lawrence Dinner benefitting the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre at Liuna Station on November 14th, 2014. 

Canadian Conference of Musicians

President Larry Feudo and I attended as your delegates the Canadian Conference of Musicians held in Ottawa in August.  This is an annual conference and gives us the opportunity to meet face to face with many of the AFM International Executive Board members as well as local officers from across Canada to discuss and share ideas to improve service to the members to better meet their needs. Larry served on the Standards Committee and I served on the Resolutions Committee at the Conference.  There was a void at this years Canadian Conference because Jim Biros was unable to attend due to illness. Jim passed away on September 19, 2014.  He was a wonderful human being and will be missed by many. Please see our tribute to Jim on page 10. 

HPO Negotiations

Please refer to page 9 regarding information of the ratification of a new three year agreement with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.   

Opera Hamilton

The situation of 32 musicians not being paid by Opera Hamilton for the production of Falstaff is still ongoing and we are now working with our lawyer preparing  the claim documentation to file at Small Claims Court. 

2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton

The Juno Awards have not been in Hamilton since 2001and we are looking forward to working with the Events Director from CARAS (the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).  This organization coordinates the local events for the JUNO’s.   Larry Feudo and I have been in contact with the Events Director to discussed the event and are currently working on a draft agreement with him that should be signed by the end of October.   This agreement will include the following clauses:  Local 293 Security Provision;  Local 293 Representation; Notification and Participation; Performance Fees; Temporary Work Permits; Broadcast & Recording and Associated Events.

CARAS has agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to cause each Venue to engage only the services of musicians who are members in good standing of the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) for any performance during the 2015 JUNO Awards and associated music industry events.

In closing, on behalf of President Larry Feudo and myself, we would like to thank all members of the Executive Board for their dedication to Local 293, Hamilton Musicians’ Guild.  We work well as a team and we understand that to run this organization effectively we must be a coordinated team.

Thanks to Reg Denis, Steve Sobolewski, Paul Panchezak, Lorne Lozinski, Janna Malseed, John Balogh and Ron Palangio.

Yours in solidarity,

Brent Malseed, Secretary-Treasurer


CFM  Musical Equipment & Liability Insurance Program Enhanced

I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide the Canadian members of the AFM/ CFM with direct information on one of the best, on going benefits of belonging to the AFM/ CFM. The Canadian National office approached our company over 30 years ago to establish an insurance program for their members. This program is very unique in that it has stayed with the same insurance company and same insurance brokerage (although they have been purchased or had name changes ) during all these years. This is why it has been such a consistent product with only 1 change in rates in over 20 years. However, it was time to see if we could improve the product without risking the integrity of the rate stability, superior claims service and the ability of the carrier to deal with those “ exceptions” that the members require from time to time.  Before I highlight the enhancements to the current product, I thought I should review the benefits of the current policy. We hope you are as excited about the changes to the policy as we are. The two new enhanced changes are a direct result of input from the Canadian National Office and the Canadian Conference of Musicians Executive Board. They are a great add on to the policy as they provide income that otherwise you could be out. I encourage all of the members to let Sandra Sween, your local, the CFM National Office or myself know your thoughts on the changes.

Sincerely, Bob Burns, HUB International


Local 293 Streetbeats 

by Paul Panchezak

Local 293 member Laura Cole’s career is in high gear. She has just released her debut album “Dirty Cheat” with the help of executive producer Daniel Lanois and her father Ron Cole (both members of the local). The release was followed by a hugely successful Album Release Party at Porcelain Records in Hamilton and appearances at the annual Greenbelt Harvest Picnic and on CHCH-TV. Now she is preparing to embark on a trip to New York City where she will be appearing at the Rockwood Music Hall on October 22. As the song says, if she can make it there she can make it anywhere.

Victoria Boland is another 293 member who is presenting her talents on an international stage. She’s a seasoned pro who began her career performing for audiences at age 8 in Australia, her home at the time. In the interval between then and now she has received scholarships at Berklee School of Music, won the Canadian Open Country Singing Championship, formed a duo with talented Australian Andrew Rudd (Andrew-Victoria) and released a number of critically acclaimed recordings. Recently she teamed with Andrew, Kristal Vanderkruk, and Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo to form “Apollo’s Crown”. The group was included in the past summer’s series of MPTF concerts in downtown Hamilton. Now they are off to Nashville to write and record. Can’t wait to hear the results.

Great to see members of the Hamilton Philharmonic front and center at this year’s popular Supercrawl on James North. As at past Supercrawls they were presented in a unique setting – an artistic collaboration between HPO musicians and Thought Beneath Film who are characterized as “a potent blast of high energy guitar pop in the time-honoured Steel City tradition.”  The band is anchored by Stoney Creek brothers Brent and Brian Wirth of Local 293. They recently appeared on CHCH to promote their latest song #SixtySix. Proceeds from sales of the recording go to the charitable organization MusiCounts, dedicated to preserving music programs in our schools.  The band deserves a pat on the back for their charitable inclination. In this case nice guys finish first.

OB O’Brien made a surprise appearance in the area recently. October 3 he presented “A Night with OB O’Brien” at Sarcoa. OB is a Hamilton native who recently has been spending his days on the road touring with Drake and Lil Wayne. Like Laura Cole he is from a musical family. His brother is keyboard whiz Jesse O’Brien (Local 293). His cousin is noted blues guitarist Steve Strongman and his father, the late Michael O’Brien was a part of the Hamilton scene for decades.

Finally, a mention of one other case where the musical gene runs in the family.  19 year old Roslyn Witter recently won a video audition that had her sharing the musical spotlight with Keith Urban at his Tim Horton’s Field concert.   She joined the country superstar for a duet of  “We Were Us”.   Roslyn is the daughter of a popular Local 293 entertainer, Jim Witter.   In interviews concerning the exciting event Roslyn pointed out that she is hoping to make music her career.  We look forward to the day she turns professional by joining the Hamilton Musicians Guild.

Don’t forget, we want to keep abreast of the musical adventures of all our members.  If you are up to something you want us to know about drop us a line or call the office and fill us in.  Communication always works best when it’s a two way street.


General Membership Meeting

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

7:00 p.m.

The Admiral Inn

York and Dundurn Streets, Hamilton


The Constitution and Bylaws Committee

Executive Board Members Paul Panchezak (chair) Janna Malseed and Lorne Luzinski have completed their mandated review of the Local’s Constitution and Bylaws and made a number of recommendations for revisions and additions. You can see the results at the link below which reproduces the present documents with changes highlighted. We encourage members to take note of the proposed revisions. If you prefer a hard copy drop us a line or call the office (905-525-4040). Prior to ratification the changes and revisions will be open to discussion and questions at the upcoming general meeting on October 22, 2014 at the Admiral Inn. We welcome your input.


Life Memberships Presentations

Michael Maguire

Jon Peterson

Mikhail Brat

Jean-Norman Iadeluca


Membership Pins Presentations

Ralph Le Fevre—50 Years

John Gora—25 Years

Catherine MacDonnell—25 Years

Ruth Hoffman—25 Years

Ernest Porthouse—25 Years

Greg Smith—25 Years

Membership  Matters


(Membership activity from 01 April to 30 September, 2014)


Michael Almas

Tom Bigas

Sandra Bohn

Justin Bozzo

Jackie Chalmers

Rita Chiarelli

Laurie Goldblatt

Ted Hallas

Geoff Hlibka

Ruth Hoffman

John Lawrence Ingles

Brett Kocsis

Frank Koren

Corey Lacey

Carter Lancaster

Andrew Little

Eric Martin

Dan Medakovic

Brian Melo

David Nardini

Johnathan Scott Paige

Ernest Porthouse

Neil Quin

Charles Ricottone

Brandon Strychowsky

Bruce Tournay

William Christian Turner

Michele Verheul

Cassandra Warner

Robert Wiseman

Laura-Lee Zimmerman



George Behr

Neil Boshart

John Crawford

John Dauphinee

Matthew Fleming

Dan Goldman

Kelly Hamelin

Ken Hammond

Susan Barber Kahro

Kim Koren

Daniel Kurtz

Keith McKeown

Sean McKeown

Melissa Messina

Keegan Powell

Trent Richer



Elvis Baker

Ramond Calderon

Christine Chesebrough

Kalan Comba

Duncan Cooper

Doug MacRae

Paul Millard

Ken Sills

Liam Smith

David Storey



Doug Barlett

Jose Miguel Contreras

Andre Filippetti

Dejehan Hamilton

Nathan Hew

Samuel Klass

Randall Knight

Liam MacNaughton

Allison McAuley

D’Arcy McGilligan

Daniel Russell

Andrew Sansone

Antonino Sciara

Radha Sciara-Menon

Nathan C. Skeba

Mark Timmermans

Lee Williamson


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. 


2014 OCSM Conference Report       

By delegate ElspethThomson

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

On Tuesday August 5th at 1:30pm, the 2014 OCSM conference was called to order at The Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We were welcomed by Tom Roach, President of Local 571 (Halifax). We were then addressed by OCSM president, Robert Fraser. He talked about his journey as a musician, a union rep and them an OCSM rep and now President. He said he has learned so much about how activism can put out a positive message about our profession. It is still just as vibrant, and very worth doing. The rest of the afternoon was used for closed session Delegate Reports.

On Wednesday morning we heard the remaining Delegate Reports and then had some discussions on Conference topics. We discussed the pros and cons of having National Auditions and the OCSM reps were split on whether they are a good idea. 

After lunch we heard reports from ROPA, RMA and TMA. First we heard from Carla Lehmeier, president of the Regional Orchestra Players Association(ROPA). ROPA just had its 30th anniversary conference this summer in Pasedena. Their theme was “creative change through creative channels”. The anniversary gave the musicians an opportunity to examine the prime reasons for ROPA’s existence, which is to promote unionism, advocate for our industry and to develop new resources and update existing ones. Some of their break-out sessions talked about pit safety, “music care” how we get legal protection for ill and injured musicians, and the importance of using the power of social media.  Her closing comments were about “focusing on our voice”. We as musicians need to stop underestimating the power of our music.   We then heard from Marc Sazer from  the Recording Musicians Association (RMA). He mentioned the negotiations with the film and entertainment electronic media. They have also started a campaign called “Listen Up” to hold film and entertainment companies accountable when they take our tax dollars but hire the musicians from outside North America. They are trying to work side by side with political entities to turn tax dollars into employment for musicians. They are targeting the company Lionsgate to sign on to the RMA agreement.  The Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) report from Tom Mendel was read by Bob as Tom was unable to be there.  They have chartered two new chapters and have moved to a delegate system. They have on their website the comparative data for Theatre collective bargaining agreements. He also mentioned wanting to strengthen the relationship between the TMA and the players conferences. 

Next we heard from Sam Folio, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). He talked about fighting for health care in the U.S. and mentioned how lucky we are in Canada. They are also interested in taking care of extra musicians as well. They have negotiated agreements for jingles with the Entertainment Arts and are just waiting ratification. He closed with a comment about how “we can’t let our problems be us.” We need to come together.  Then we heard from Allan Willaert, Vice-President from Canada of the AFM. There were two difficult issues that the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) faced this year. The first was an ongoing issue in Quebec where the musicians have conducted a referendum to disaffiliate from the CFM. They voted 53% for leaving. They want more autonomy. The second issue was in Vancouver. The local was placed into trusteeship last year and the board was removed from office. The AFM believed their agreement with the VFO was not in the best interest of the AFM. They were waiting for a resolution from the BC courts. The CFM has also been involved in negotiations with the CBC for two and a half years. In this agreement the internet is now a third broadcast platform. The agreement is in the final editing stage. Other things they are working on are, the Fairness Work Legislation with the Canadian Labour Conference, agreements with the National film board and for jingles. They are also going after Rogers for agreements regarding new work Rogers is entering into. They are also looking at overhauling copyright laws when they come due in 2017.

After a break we heard from SSD/AFM. First up was Jay Blumenthal, Director, AFM/SSD. He thanked his staff and mentioned that running a division involves collaboration between colleagues, and respecting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. He mentioned some of their success stories in spite of the medias insistence in only reporting on the negative. However, one of the difficult situations was with the Metropolitain Opera. The negotiations are difficult but Jay is hopeful they can avoid a lockout. He was happy to report that the strike fund which had been depleted during the Minnesota lockout has gone back up. There is also an issue with the Hartford Wagner Festival who are trying to use a virtual orchestra. It has been deferred in part because of all the musician complaints via social media.

Next we heard from Mark Tetreault, Director, Symphonic Services Division (SSD/CFM), of the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM). He emphasized that we should bring any and all our issues to our local and if necessary they will bring it to the SSD. He was also happy to hear that most of the delegates reported that things were going well. He also talked about the importance of Advocacy:

Political – we need to advocate for the money that is out there. Who do you know (Local Councilor, MPP, MP)? The Canada Council money is not going to increase. Their budget is equal to the budgets of all the Canadian orchestras combined.

Patrons – It is important to engage with your audience. 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada.   How can we get orchestras to be the conveners or presenters of a big joint celebration for Canada?

Lastly we heard from Bernard LeBlanc, Associate Director, Symphonic Services Division, (SSD/CFM). He was very busy negotiating for 19 mostly regional orchestras. He was also working with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO). They started meeting a year before their CB expired. They are using a different method of negotiating called Interest based bargaining as oppose to position based bargaining. Both sides took a course on this together. The negotiations are going well so far. He finished with reminding the delegates to be conscientious about retrieving the data for the Wage charts. 

We finished the day by passing a resolution to extend our best wishes to Jim Biros, Executive Director, Local 149 (TMA).

Thursday morning we started off with Bruce Ridge from International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM). He talked to us about the way society sees our industry. The failures of our organizations are not chastised, and often expected. Managements are saying profitable years are a fluke. However, in light of all the negativity, positive results are still happening where they are being expected. Some of these successes are Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Houston Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera etc. For every story of failure there are ten of successes. Facebook and twitter are changing the way the world works. Methods that were used in the past by authoritarian forces such as isolation, fear and apathy are not as successful. “Music remains an inextinguishable light”. The ICSOM conference was called the Art of Advocacy. He firmly believes it is not just sustainable, but achievable. 

We then had a panel discussion on the use of social media with Bruce Ridge and Mark Sazer. It is important that we use the method of communication that is relevant to the group or groups you are targeting. Because these tools on the internet are being used against us, we need to become relevant by using twitter and Facebook to our benefit. This requires having an organized plan. 

We then heard the report from Ellen M. Versteeg-Lytwyn, Executive Director and Humberto Martins, Director of Pension Benefits from the Pension Fund of Canada.  Ellen mentioned that not much had changed from last year and their report did not need to be so comprehensive. They have a new communications policy which includes two newsletters a year, an annual report, updating of their website Q and A, and the introduction of the member self-serve on the website. They will also be establishing a focus group for the area of communication. There will be a symphonic rep on the group. The fund’s assets have climbed back up but the liabilities have increased as well, so there will be no upward change in the allocation of contributions. On the investment side, the trustees have made significant moves in diversification in order to minimize the Fund’s risks and to protect the Plan’s assets. All information relating to assets and investment reports are available on request.

After lunch, we heard from Katherine Carleton, head of Orchestras Canada. Their role is very much about advocacy right now. There are going to be cuts coming from the government.  This will have an impact on the quality of life to Canadian communities. Orchestras Canada’s financial recommendations to the government are:

  • a $35 million increase to the Canada Council to start a new pilot project to fund touring for orchestras to implement a stretch tax credit (a larger % of tax credit if the gift to a charitable organization is bigger than the year before)

She believes that ARTS DAY on Oct 22 is a very important advocacy opportunity.  Orchestras Canada is trying to collect as much information as possible on how to be good advocates in the present day because so many avenues are changing rapidly.

This segued very nicely into the panel discussion on Community Engagement and Arts Outreach with Barbara Richman and Katherine Carlton.                            

Barbara had four key points to discuss:

Audience Development —this is directed specifically to further engaging the audiences we have, or bringing in new audiences to our concerts. e.g.. adding educational content to concerts

Education — this is designed to teach anyone from kids to senior citizens more about our art form so they can better participate and enjoy it. e.g. partnering a musician to a class to compose a piece of music.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Outreach — this is programs activities that are directed and led by us, taking us into the community and building a profile and presence.                                                                 

Community Engagement — this is programs and activities that are collaborative and responsive to the needs of our community with a goal of building partnerships.  This is different from the first three points because this is a long term strategy to build community ownership not a short term marketing strategy to fill the hall.  It is externally focused not internally focused.  e.g.. asking local positions how the orchestra can be more engaged in the community.   Barbara believes community engagement if done correctly will fundamentally transform the business we are in as well as the way our whole organization does business.                                                          

Friday morning we heard committee reports from the Editorial and bylaw committee, the conference committee, the finance committee, and the electronic media committee. We then held nominations and elections of officers and the conference was adjourned.   

In Solidarity,

Elspeth Thomson


In Memoriam: Harold Namaro

Our Brother Harold  Namaro was born Sept.12,1922 here in Hamilton. He owned his own garage in the 40’s and early 50’s but then turned his attention to music.   Harold came from a renowned musical family. Not only did he have his own bands in the Hamilton area, but, you might also remember that Harold was in the movie “Three men and a Baby”.

Harold worked many local venues, such as the world renowned Brant Inn, the “Thursday Night Music on the Waterfront” series as The Harold Namaro Jazz Band as well as having played often at “Music in the City” series in Gore Park with The Harold Namaro Dixieland Band and the Burlington “Summer in the Park” series with the Harold Namaro Quartet. Harold really spiced things up at The Mustard Festival and was often enjoyed at Whitehern Historic House & Garden and the Cactus Festival, just to name a few.

Harold was always asked back to any venue he played because folks loved his fine musicianship and charming manner.

Harold’s brother, Jimmy Namaro, vibraphonist, marimbist, percussionist, composer and painter came from Michigan in 1913 and moved in 1921 to Hamilton, where Jimmy studied piano with Sid Walling and Eric Lewis. He made his radio debut as a marimba player on CHML, Hamilton, and was heard in his teens on CFRB, Toronto, and on the CBC. In 1933, Jim was assistant conductor of a marimba band at the Chicago World’s Fair. Yes, Harold indeed had musical family roots!!

In 2008 Harold finally decided to retire from music.  Our Local 293 “Life Member”, Harold Namaro is now a resident of the Village of Wentworth Heights, a long term care facility located at 1620 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton. When 293 Board members John Balogh and I went to visit him recently, he told us he loved it there and was being well cared for and happy!

Harold, your Brothers and Sisters at Local 293 wish you all the best, continued good health and a heartfelt THANKS for the many years of wonderful music, you touched so many Hamiltonians and made us all smile, bless you Brother.

Regards, Reg Denis


Music Performance Trust Fund

The 2014 summer series of concerts was co- sponsored by the Waterfront Trust, the Downtown Hamilton BIA , the Dundas Cactus Festival 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.

Congratulations to all the members of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on the ratification of a new three year Collective Agreement that was negotiated between the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.  We were able to come to a mutual understanding  with only 2 meetings (1st meeting — June 9, 2014 / 2nd meeting  – June 23, 2014).  The  contract was ratified on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Hamilton Place and signed by HPO  Management and the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild on Monday, September 29, 2014.   The Hamilton Musicians’ Guild negotiating team consisted of Laura Jones (Chair), Mike Fedyshyn and Elizabeth Lowen-Andrews with assistance from Mark Tetreault, Director, Symphonic Services Division of the CFM, Larry Feudo, President HMG293 and Brent Malseed, Secretary-Treasurer, HMG293.

Five Life Memberships were Presented and Two 25 Year Pins Awarded

Roger Flock , John Bianchini, Diane Merinuk , Sonny Del Rio, Russ McAllister, Valerie Tryon and Christopher Hunt

Local 293 Presentations

Life Memberships

Michael Maguire

Jon Peterson

Mikhail Brat

Brent Malseed

Jean-Norman Iadeluca

Peter Rihbany

Russ Weil

Frank Chiarelli


Presentation of Pins

Ralph Le Fevre—50 Year

John Gora—25 Year

Catherine MacDonnell—25 Year

Ruth Hoffman—25

Ernest Porthouse—25

Greg Smith—25

Carter Lancaster

Russ Weil

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 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; or 1-855-510-0279.


In Memoriam: Jim Biros

Executive Director, Toronto Musicians’ Association, Local 149, AFM/CFM

James (Jim) Biros, Executive Director of the Toronto Musicians’ Association and Executive Board Member of the Canadian Conference of Musicians, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, September 19, 2014 at the age of 66. Those of us in the performing arts around the world, have lost a dedicated, eloquent and loyal advocate through the passing of our dear Brother Jim Biros. Jim’s life work was advocating for performing artists on a global level. His loss not only affects his own family, but also the lives of all musicians and the live arts community.  

Jim advanced the concerns of musicians, spread the knowledge of the issues faced by our members and ensured that all unions used unionized musicians in the same way they use other unionized services. Jim was outgoing, articulate, dedicated, smart and a special advocate. He will be missed by the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, and other AFM/CFM locals in Canada and the United States. Jim also collaborated with the Ontario Federation of Labour on the Status of the Artist legislation, and he took a lead role in the education of other unions on what Status of the Artist legislation could achieve. We are stronger today because Jim was a part of our organization.