Category Archives: Updates

U.S. Work Permits for Canadian Musicians

PREMIUM PROCESSING FEE INCREASE: US Immigration increased their Premium Processing fee to $1,410 USD (from the prior fee of $1,225 USD). To apply for Premium Processing, you need to provide 2 separate money orders payable to “Department of Homeland Security” for $460 USD and $1,410 USD.

Regular Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM *at least 60 calendar days prior to first performance. *US Immigration reports a processing backlog for Regular Processing

Premium Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM at least 30 days prior to first performance.

CFM Announces Major Breakthrough Affecting Travelling Musicians

Air Passenger Protection Regulations Amendments Include Mandatory Acceptance Of Musical Instruments 

TORONTO, May 29, 2019 – The Canadian Federation of Musicians announce a successful outcome in its efforts to affect much needed changes to Canada’s Air Policy  with regard to the transportation of musical instruments on Canadian air carriers. Effective July 15, 2019, Air Passenger Protection Regulations within the Canadian Transportation Act will include language that ensures that all air carriers must accept musical instruments unless security or safety is an issue. These amendments will include clear and predictable terms and conditions with regard to musical instruments as well as the obligation to carry and accept an instrument.  Airlines will also be required to offer an alternative to musicians travelling with instruments should a change in aircraft cause an instrument not to fit.

“Over the years, we’ve seen far too many professional musicians have very expensive and often irreplaceable tools of their trade broken or destroyed during air travel,”  explains Alan Willaert, Vice-President from Canada, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. “We have worked closely with the Government of Canada and all Canadian air carriers on this issue since 2014 and are delighted to see these demands become regulation.  We are grateful to The Honourable Minister Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport who has been supportive from the very beginning; the officials at Transport Canada, who have worked tirelessly with us; and the Canadian Transportation Agency”.

CFM will issue a Canadian Flying Guide over the coming weeks to further assist musicians flying with instruments.  Each airline will also have clear guidelines published as part of their Tariff.  Under the Obligation to Carry amendments, all commercial airline carriers must accept musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage, unless it is contrary to general terms and conditions in the carrier’s tariff with respect to the weight or dimension of baggage or because of safety or security. The Canadian Federation of Musicians looks forward to working with Transport Canada and air carriers to help make these positive changes as seamless as possible.

For more info:

CFM Discount Program

Dear Members,

We are thrilled to announce that we have expanded the CFM Discount Program to provide our members and their families with more savings and benefits. In partnership with Union Savings, a not-for profit program, we join 70 fellow unions across Canada in this program which greatly benefits our collective members.

Discounts are offered in a vast range of products/services from credit cards, mortgages, home and auto insurance, clothing, car rentals, concerts and more! Some vendors include Canada’s Wonderland, LG, Adidas, BMO, RBC, Park’N Fly, the ROM, 1800Flowers and Swarovski.

Of particular interest to our touring musicians and their families, is our updated, world-wide Travel Medical Insurance Program, which is more comprehensive and cheaper than ever! $138.99 annually gets you coverage for a year world-wide (previously it was USA only) and is applicable to as many single trips as you like as long as each trip is 60 days or less. So for example, you can obtain coverage for 3 (or more) trips under 60 days in length.

How to Register

1)      Register online at

2)      Select Canadian Federation of Musicians, then select your local office in the dropdown menu

3)      After logging in, select the products/services of interest

For questions on your account, how the discounts work or on any of the products/services please contact Union Savings at 1-800-418-2990.

Cathy Lee
Membership Services Coordinator

42 Canadian music community groups commit to fostering safe and respectful workspaces

Coalition of Canadian music organizations sign Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct, announce training & education resources will be available through Unison Benevolent Fund

March 16, 2019, London, ON: A coalition of Canadian music community groups has joined in solidarity and is working towards environments free of harassment, discrimination, violence, and bullying for the music community.

Today the coalition announced that 42 music groups have formally signed on to the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct. By signing on to the Code, the organizations are acknowledging their responsibility to build safe, respectful workplaces, and are committing to improving and implementing policies to keep the music community safe.

As a first step, members of the coalition have formed an Education, Training and Safe Support Committee, which is working to provide each member of the Canadian music community with the appropriate resources and training to identify, confront and prevent harassment, bullying and violence in any workplace. Unison Benevolent Fund has volunteered to host a suite of educational and training resources through its website at no cost. These resources will be made available to the music community at a later date.

Today’s announcement was made at Allies in Action, an event focused on initiatives undertaken or underway to create safer spaces as the Canadian music community gathers in London, Ontario for the 2019 JUNO Awards.

Because of the uniqueness of the music business and the spaces in which musicians and music workers often operate, the coalition has added the following music-specific preamble to the existing Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct:

“We, the Canadian music community signatories, support the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct. We recognize that in the music industry, the terms work, workplace and work-related, are extremely broad and can include any physical or virtual spaces at any time.”

You can read the full Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct at

Additional organizations that would like to sign on to the Code can register online. Once the form has been completed, new signatories should email a high resolution company logo to with your organization’s name and “Becoming Code signatory” in the subject line.

Music industry groups that have signed on to the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct are:

Across the Board 50/50 by 2020

ACTRA RACS (Recording Artists’ Collecting Society)

AFM Local 1000 (American Federation of Musicians)

Calgary Musicians Association

Canadian Conference of Musicians

Canadian Country Music Association

Canadian Federation of Musicians

Canadian Live Music Association

Canadian Music Publishers Association

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA)

Canadian Private Copying Collective

CCMC Music Gallery

CONNECT Music Licensing

Creative BC

Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION)

Edmonton Musicians Association, AFM Local 390

Film & Entertainment Industries, City of Toronto

Folk Music Ontario

Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec

Gypsy Soul Entertainment

Island Musicians Association (IMA)

Manitoba Music

Music BC Industry Association

Music Canada

Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MusicNL)

Music Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Music·Musique NB

Musicians Association Local 276 CFM (Canadian Federation of Musicians)

Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau

Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC)


Regina Musicians Association


Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)

Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.)


The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

Toronto Musicians’ Association, AFM Local 149

Unison Benevolent Fund

Vancouver Musicians Association, Local 145 of AFM

WCMA (Western Canadian Music Alliance)

Women in Music Canada

– 30 –

 Supporting quotes

 “The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct addresses the distinct circumstances of music professionals, and the unique ways in which we work. Unison exists as a resource for the Canadian music community during times of crisis, and we look forward to investing in more proactive solutions that prioritize the safety of music workers. On behalf of the Unison Board of Directors, we would like to extend our most sincere thanks to the Education, Training, and Safe Support Committee for putting such a vital program together. We’re proud to partner with them to further serve the Canadian music community.”

– Amanda Power, Executive Director, Unison Benevolent Fund

“As organizations, CARAS and Music Canada deeply value respect, inclusiveness and excellence. Both organizations believe everyone working in this beautiful and complex music community deserves to feel safe and supported. To achieve this, we’re working on national initiatives like the Allies in Action event, as well as local CARAS partnerships in our host cities with groups like Anova in London and Good Night Out in Vancouver to make JUNO Awards events safe for everyone.

Signing the Code is a way for Canadian music community groups to affirm our dedication to our shared values, and to reinforce those values with action. Through the work of the Education, Training and Safe Support Committee, I’m very pleased that we will be able to offer all members of the Canadian music community the resources to help make all of our workplaces safer.”

– Jackie Dean, Chief Operating Officer, CARAS, The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts Chief Financial Officer, Music Canada 

“Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), as the union for professional musicians, is committed to representing and protecting its membership in all facets of their career. Signing the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct represents the music community’s shared action towards creating a healthy culture with zero tolerance to all forms of harassment. Working to ensure health and safety in the workplace for our membership is one of the union’s many functions. We will continue to pledge our resources, support and expertise and proudly sign on behalf of our over 17,000 active Canadian members.”

– Liana White, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of Musicians

 “The Code is a community statement and commitment that each signatory organization and company takes their own measures to discourage and address harassment in their workplaces. It acknowledges that music industry workplaces are often non-standard workplaces, known as extended workplaces, and include studios, venues, bars, green rooms, and tour buses, among others. If we collectively are motivated to meet the commitments in the Code, it will help musicians and all workers across the industry feel safer and more enabled to collaborate, create great music, and ensure that there is a professional platform to share the work of the world’s best artists.”                                                            

– Michael Adam Murray, Executive Director, Toronto Musicians Association (TMA), local 149

“Canada’s live music industry is doing its part to ensure that every live music space is a safe place through our recently launched Raising the Bar program. Raising the Bar addresses safer spaces, harm reduction and event safety at live music events – be they indoors or out, and will work to complement both the ethos and practical implications of the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct. We are all in this together, and we are vigorously working to supplant systemic issues with positive change.”

– Erin Benjamin, Canadian Live Music Association President & CEO

“The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct is a wonderful initiative that provides a uniform set of standards to ensure the safety and success of our colleagues throughout the industry.”

– Samantha Slattery, Founder, Women in Music Canada

 “It is important that we have all signed on to the Code as a community but now it is even more important that we look at ways to proactively change the way we do business.”

– Margaret McGuffin, Executive Director, Canadian Music Publishers Association

For more information:

Victoria Lord, VLPR Inc.


Universal Pharmacare

Folks just like you are super keen to tell their Members of Parliament why universal pharmacare makes sense.

So, we’re making it easy for everyone to do it.

Join us this Wednesday, August 8, at 12:30 p.m. EDT for a LIVE Webinar. Become an expert on pharmacare with quick and easy information that we’ll teach you to deliver with confidence.

We can’t assume the federal government will know what we want – it’s up to us to tell them. They need to hear directly from us. We need a plan that is universal, portable, accessible, comprehensive and publicly administered.

Can we count on you? Register now:

Laurie Antonin

The Pharmacare Team
Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of Canada’s unions

Len Lytwyn Passes

Len Lytwyn passed away peacefully at Southlake Village, Newmarket on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at the age of 76. Dearly loved husband of Ellen Versteeg-Lytwyn. Loving father of Dawn (Danny Cirillo), Paul Versteeg-Lytwyn (Erin O’Brien) and Mark Versteeg-Lytwyn (Emily). Cherished Gigi of Eric, Evan, Cayman, and Maloh. Dear brother of Elaine (Don) and predeceased by his brother Fred. Len will be sadly missed by his nieces, nephews, extended family and friends, especially by all those he mentored throughout the years. A Celebration of Life Gathering will take place at a later date. Special thanks to all the staff at Southlake Village who took care and loved Len. In memory of Len, please consider a donation to the Margaret Bahen Hospice. Arrangements entrusted to M.W. Becker Funeral Home. Sign an online book of condolences at



For Immediate Release Toronto, On June 5, 2018 –  Earlier today, representatives of the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to outline recommendations for much needed amendments to the Copyright Act.   The consultation follows a presentation made to the Heritage Committee on May 29th.  In their statements Alan Willaert , Vice-President from Canada American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada and  Eric Lefebvre of the Guilde Des Musiciens Et Musiciennes Du Québec (GMMQ – AFM/CFM Local 406) called on the committee to lay the foundation for regulatory and policy tools and provide the financial support needed to ensure that Canadian professional musicians thrive in the digital environment now and for the years ahead.

“Our government must respect the contributions of our creative communities, and the indelible mark that recording artists and professional musicians have made on our cultural identity,” said Mr. Willaert.   “The amendments we strongly urge the committee to adopt would increase revenue streams to musicians, create sustainable employment and help to preserve arts and culture in our country”.

Among the list of recommendations, CFM identified changes to the definition of sound recording, eliminating the exemption for radio advertising, and expanding the definition of private copying to include new media devices to be its top priorities.

“Professional musicians are losing a significant part of their livelihood to streaming.  Many can no longer support themselves solely through their music career and are living in poverty,” added Mr. Lefebvre.  “Changes to the Copyright Act are critical to the long-term success of all content creators in this digital, globalized world”.

Singer-songwriter Damhnait Doyle, urges the committee to look at the issues on the table and make the amendments that will give the creative community the opportunity to make the choice to continue to be musicians in this country. “Throughout my 25 years as a long standing and proud member of Local 820 of the Musician’s union, I have only seen the standard of living decrease for those of us who have chosen to make this our profession”, said Ms. Doyle.  “We are being hammered from every angle, from piracy to streaming, to being at the losing end of exemptions to broadcasters and losing our royalties for our work in film and TV because the definition of “sound recording” needing be redefined, while our American counterparts do get paid for their efforts. Meanwhile the cost of living is continually rising, and our middle class has been eviscerated”.




Pour diffusion immédiate – Toronto, le 5 juin 2018 – Plus tôt aujourd’hui, des représentants de la Fédération canadienne des musiciens (FCM) ont comparu devant le Comité permanent de l’industrie, des sciences et de la technologie de la Chambre des communes afin de formuler des recommandations quant aux modifications essentielles à apporter à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur. Cette consultation fait suite à la présentation ayant eu lieu le 29 mai dernier devant le Comité du patrimoine. Dans leurs exposés, Alan Willaert, vice-président pour le Canada de la Fédération américaine des musiciens des États-Unis et du Canada, et Éric Lefebvre de la Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ – section locale 406 FAM/FCM) ont demandé au comité de préparer le terrain pour la mise en place de mécanismes de réglementation et d’intervention et de fournir le soutien financier nécessaire dans le but d’assurer la réussite, aujourd’hui et dans les années à venir, des musiciens professionnels du Canada dans l’environnement numérique actuel.

« Le gouvernement se doit de reconnaître la contribution des créateurs artistiques ainsi que l’empreinte indélébile qu’ont eue les artistes-interprètes et les musiciens professionnels sur notre identité culturelle », a déclaré M. Willaert. « Les modifications que nous demandons instamment au comité d’adopter permettront d’augmenter les sources de revenus pour les musiciens, de créer des emplois durables et d’aider à la préservation des arts et de la culture au pays. »

Dans sa liste de recommandations, la FCM a défini, en guise de priorités absolues, des changements à la définition d’enregistrement sonore, l’élimination des exemptions pour la publicité radiophonique et l’élargissement de la définition de copie privée afin d’y inclure les appareils relatifs aux nouveaux médias.

« Les musiciens professionnels perdent une partie importante de leurs revenus à cause du streaming. Beaucoup ne peuvent plus subvenir à leurs besoins uniquement grâce à leur carrière musicale et vivent dans la pauvreté  », a ajouté M. Lefebvre. “Les changements à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur sont essentiels au succès à long terme de tous les créateurs de contenu dans ce monde numérique mondialisé”.

L’auteure-compositrice-interprète Damhnait Doyle exhorte le comité à prendre en considération les questions en jeu et à apporter les changements nécessaires afin de donner aux créateurs la possibilité de poursuivre leur carrière de musicien au pays. « Durant les 25 années où j’ai été une fière membre de la section locale 820 du syndicat des musiciens, j’ai pu constater de mes yeux une baisse constante du niveau de vie des personnes qui ont choisi de faire de la musique leur profession », a indiqué Mme Doyle. « Nous sommes frappés de tous les côtés, que ce soit le piratage, la diffusion en continu, les revenus perdus des musiciens à cause des exemptions accordées aux diffuseurs ou encore les pertes de droits d’auteur pour le travail dans des films et à la télévision en raison de la définition de ce qu’est un “enregistrement sonore” – définition qui doit être revue. Pendant ce temps, nos collègues aux États-Unis sont, eux, rémunérés pour leur travail. Il ne faut pas oublier aussi l’augmentation continuelle du coût de la vie, et le fait que la classe moyenne au pays est pour ainsi dire réduite à néant. »


Dear Members:

Since December 2014, the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) has been lobbying to ensure safe carriage of musical instruments on Canadian airline carriers.

On Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Canadian Transportation Act (CTA) received Royal Assent, and, the Canadian Transport Agency have since announced the dates for public consultations, as part of the process to develop regulations in air passenger protection, including musical instruments.

The CFM was effective in ensuring that this legislation passed in the House of Commons and the Senate, and will make a formal submission in Ottawa July 4, 2018, but, comments from our professional musicians are also vital to ensure that the regulations truly reflect the needs of all musicians. We encourage you to send in thoughts and experiences through the CTA website . If you do join this effort by sending your individual submission, we ask that you also mention that you are an AFM/CFM member who supports the CFM’s initiative being that “the musical instruments as carry-on’s regulations for Canada harmonize with the similar regulations in the United States”. Alternatively, if you feel more comfortable in doing so, please feel free to instead send your thoughts to AFM/CFM International Representative, Allistair Elliott (, who will be presenting the submissions for CFM and who will be appearing in the interests of all Canadian musicians.

You may also visit their website for more information

Sincerely and fraternally,

Vice President from Canada


Chers membres

La nouvelle Loi sur les transports au Canada (LTC) a reçu la sanction royale le jeudi 24 mai 2018. L’Office des transports du Canada a annoncé depuis les dates prévues pour la consultation publique dans le cadre du processus visant à l’élaboration des règlements pour la protection des passagers aériens, ce qui comprend les dispositions régissant le transport des instruments de musique.

La FCM a déployé beaucoup d’efforts afin de veiller à ce que la législation soit adoptée à la Chambre des communes et au Sénat. Pour la suite des choses, nous présenterons un mémoire officiel le 4 juillet 2018 à Ottawa. À cet égard, les commentaires des musiciens professionnels joueront un rôle crucial afin de faire en sorte que les règlements adoptés répondent vraiment aux besoins de tous les musiciens. Nous vous encourageons par conséquent à faire part de vos idées, commentaires et expériences par le biais du site Web de l’Office des transports du Canada :

Si vous décidez de vous joindre à cet effort et d’envoyer une soumission écrite à l’OTC, nous vous demandons de mentionner que vous êtes membre de la FCM/FAM et que vous appuyez l’initiative de la FCM pour que « les règlements du Canada concernant le transport des instruments de musique comme bagage de cabine soient harmonisés avec ceux des États-Unis ». Si cela vous convient mieux, vous pouvez plutôt envoyer vos idées et commentaires à notre représentant international Allistair Elliott (, qui déposera les soumissions pour le compte de la FCM et qui fera les représentations au nom de tous les musiciens.

Pour plus de renseignements, vous pouvez consulter le site Web de l’OTC à ce sujet :

Sincères salutations,

Alan Willaert

Fédération Canadienne des Musiciens





May 23, 2018

Dear AFM Members, 

Please be advised the Vancouver Musicians’ Association (VMA) does not have an agreement in place with the Kamloops Symphony Society (KSS) for the Kamloops Orchestra Symphony (KSO) 2018-19 Season. Preparations are underway to negotiate a collective agreement covering working terms and conditions with the KSS.  Meanwhile, we are requesting all VMA musicians to refrain from signing any engagement contract with the KSS that does not conform to the Tariff of Fees or until a member ratified collective agreement is in place. Please note the following applicable bylaws:


Article 5 Section 27(a) 

All AFM members, by virtue of their membership, authorize the AFM and its Locals to act as their exclusive bargaining representative with full and exclusive power to execute agreements with employers governing terms and conditions of employment.  The AFM, by entering into CBAs, does so for the benefit of all AFM members, and each member is bound by the CBA’s terms.



(1) No member shall work, agree to work or solicit other members or non-members to work on an engagement for less than the minimum compensation applicable to the engagements, as set out in the Tariff, unless permission is obtained in advance from the Board.

KSO Musicians,  PLEASE hold the following applicable meeting dates in your calendars:

VANCOUVER: May 31, 11:00 am and June 2 1:00 pm at the VMA Office 100-925 W.8th Avenue, Vancouver

Vernon: June 4th  11:00 am VENUE TBD.

In Solidarity,

Secretary and Business Agent Dusty Kelly

Vancouver Musicians Association, Local 145 of the AFM

Suite 100 – 925 West 8th Avenue

Vancouver, BC   V5Z 1E4



Phone: 604-737-1110

Toll Free in Canada: 1-800-644-2899

Mobile: 604-961-5594