Friday, January 13, 2012

The Struggle for Canadian Independence

2011 was the year the Musicians' Rights Organization of Canada (MROC) and the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) cleverly achieved independence from the AFM.

The journey towards independence began at Convention 2010, where the Lee Administration and the IEB, of which Ray Hair was a member, approved the move. The vote appeared to allow an independent MROC to administer a growing $30 million record royalty disbursement fund.

The newly elected Hair Administration had second thoughts in 2011, and it attempted unsuccessfully to alter the IEB vote creating MROC's independence. A lawsuit ensued, which was settled in favor of MROC's independence.

During this turbulent time, the Hair Administration alienated officers of the Toronto Musicians Association, who were sued individually by MROC. The settlement imposed a gag order on these officers, who received no help or communication from the Hair Administration.

The newly named Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) has the necessary understanding of its government grants and subsidies to benefit professional musicians and will operate independently of the AFM. Its work on cementing positive business relationships with all professional creative groups and organizations is part of a new business plan that should grow the 21st century Canadian music industry.

The world of electronic communication influences audiences demanding to see and hear live music throughout the world. Consolidated work between AFM and CFM to diminish and abolish visa impediments on musicians could create more work for American and Canadian musicians. For example, Sting's 2010-2011 American tour opened and closed in Canada, toured America through Portland, Oregon with the "London Orchestra," employing American, Canadian and British musicians.

The best is yet to come for all musicians.