Category Archives: Updates

Breakout West

Dear Members:

In early December, the West Coast Music Alliance (WCMA) sent out a notice that it will start accepting submissions on January 8th, for performance opportunities at its annual festival: BreakOut West (BOW), an event which features an industry conference, an opening day concert and various live performances in public venues. 

WCMA/BOW remains on the AFM's International Unfair List for the reasons detailed below.  All members are notified now, that they are not to apply for, nor, accept any performance at BOW 2018.

Since May of last year, the union has been reporting its attempts at negotiating a successor agreement with the WCMA.  Unfortunately, the WCMA continues to refuse to bargain. Without a collective agreement in place, you, the musicians, on which the Festival is based, are not guaranteed reasonable fees and pension.  Additionally, there is no language preventing the WCMA or broadcasters from recording, broadcasting or otherwise exploiting your performances without proper remuneration.  

Despite receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in combined subsidies from government grants and corporate sponsors, WCMA have stated that musicians should not consider Breakout West a gig; they should consider it a 'networking opportunity' - however sound/stage crew receive guarantees.  Ticketed events, in public venues, are not showcases, they are gigs - if the sound person receives a guarantee, so should you!

The CFM is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), and we have simply asked the WCMA to meet the CLC's national push for "$15/hr and Fairness”, based on a 4-hour minimum call, which would see musicians earn at minimum $60 (each) for their performance, noting that certain headline musicians performing the concert portion of the festival are paid high guarantees. 

All Canadians deserve to be paid for their work and this must include professional musicians.  This is a simple matter of social justice and WCMA's continued reluctance to meet this minimum standard is unacceptable.  We continue to ask, as should you: Where is all that money going? Musicians have to eat, like everyone else.


Vice President from Canada


Calgary Community String Orchestra

Do you know of a beginner or intermediate adult string player who would love to play in an ensemble?

The Calgary Community String Orchestra will begin its next session on Tuesday, January 9.

WHO: beginner to intermediate ADULT string players who have taken lessons for at least one year.

WHAT:   The Calgary Community String Orchestra

WHEN: Tuesdays 7:30 - 9:30

             Beginning January 9

             Concert: 8pm Tuesday, March 13

WHERE: Rehearsals: St Mathew's United Church - 2035 – 26A ST SW

               March 6 dress rehearsal and March 13 concert: Temple B'nai Tikvah - 900 47th Avenue SW  

REGISTRATION: register on our website:

REHEARSAL INFORMATION: The first hour of each rehearsal is spent in sectionals and the second hour we rehearse as an orchestra. Anne Scott leads the cello sectionals and Diane Valentine works with our violinists. We are also regularly joined Rob Penner who coaches our violinists and John Thompson, who coaches our violas.

The coaching sessions provide wonderful support to those who require a little extra help learning orchestral parts or who are inexperienced in an ensemble

COACHES: In addition to Anne and Diane, we often invite guest coaches to join us. Our guest coaches have included John Thompson, Tom Megee, Heather Heron- Mykyte, Sanja Suplevska, Rob Penner, Steve Lubiarz, Shirley Wright, Eileen Kosasih, Mary Jane Vandekerehove, Barbara Smith, Jeff Faragher and Jason Erhardt.

CCSO is a unique and wonderful opportunity for adult students. We strive to create a supportive and positive environment. There are no auditions. Everyone is welcome. For more info click here.

Thank you!

Anne Scott and Diane Valentine



Opera in the 21st Century – Banff Centre

Opera in the 21st Century

Program dates: June 15 – July 11, 2018

Application deadline – Opera singers, directors, conductors, and pianists: January 10, 2018

Application deadline – Dancers, chamber and orchestra musicians: January 24, 2018

Apply online:

Opera in the 21st Century is a one-of-a-kind performance-based collaborative training experience for emerging opera professionals that truly challenges the conventions of opera performance, production, and design. Open to singers, musicians, dancers, conductors and stage directors, this is truly a unique opportunity to work with diverse artists in a multi-disciplinary program.

Applications for dancers and musicians can be found here.


AFA Grant Workshops with Jason Flammia

AFA Arts Development consultant Jason Flammia is traveling to Canmore, Calgary, and Edmonton to work with artists interested in applying for Individual Project funding.

Please note that all workshops are now full and we are only accepting registrations to be added to a wait-list.

AFA Individual Project grants can provide up to $15,000 to support the development of individual Alberta artists, arts administrators, or an ensemble of artists by providing funding for a specific artistic work, training or marketing. Jason will be providing tips and other useful information to help you develop your funding application and increase your chances of success.

All workshops are free, but space is limited. Email Jason to be added to a wait-list. More info below:

Individual Project Grant workshop (all disciplines) – Canmore

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017 - FULL
Time: 3:00 – 4:00pm
Location: 907 – 7 Avenue. Arts & Events boardroom (formerly Tourism Canmore)
To be added to a wait-list please email

Individual Project Grant workshop (all disciplines) – Calgary - FULL

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Mount Royal University. Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts. Bella Lobby, room ED 1011. (Taylor Centre for Performing Arts located between Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning Link and the Box Office.)
To be added to a wait-list please email

Individual Project Grant workshops (all disciplines) – Edmonton - FULL

Date: Tuesday, December 12 and Wednesday December 13, 2017
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: Capital Arts building. 10708 – 105 Ave
To be added to a wait-list please email

Register now!


Jason Flammia, Arts Development Consultant - Music

T: 780-415-0297





Offer open to members and their friends and family.

Lower Bowl seating available, while quantities last. Orders will be processed and emailed within three to four business days. Seats will be selected from the best available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for ticket info.

Click here to purchase.

For additional information please contact:

Nick Yates



Holiday Music Program at Calgary International Airport

For the third year in a row, The Calgary Airport Authority is thrilled to present the Holiday Music Program at YYC Calgary International Airport. We’re on the hunt for a variety of talented artists to perform holiday-inspired music at YYC during our busiest travel season. Your music will help bring cheer and enjoyment to the thousands of passengers who travel through the airport each day.

Did we captivate your attention? Submit a link to your demo using the form below by December 1. Those chosen will be contacted and scheduled to perform at YYC between December 15 and 23 (exact days and times to be determined).

We are looking for family-friendly festive music for our visitors and guests to enjoy. Artists should be prepared to play a two-hour set and to be photographed for the purpose of video or social promotional materials. We want to make your music the star of our holiday travel season!

Talent under the age of 18 must have the consent of their parental guide and please no busking. Performers will be provided with an honorarium based on a sliding scale system: $168 for individual performances, $280 for duos, $392 for trios, and $504 for groups of four or more.

Questions or comments about this program? Tweet, Facebook, or send us an email.

Performance location will be based on group availability and size. 

Fore more info and to submit visit

Universal Pharmacare

To: Members of the CLC Canadian Council

Sisters and brothers,

As part of our national campaign for universal pharmacare, we have just launched our powerful new video telling the story of Judy Pope, a Cambridge, Ontario woman forced to make an impossible choice: pay for medication that would prolong her life, or keep her family’s finances and home intact.

A cancer-fighting medication had kept Judy Pope alive for five years, but when her husband Gary’s health insurance switched to a new provider, a cap on coverage meant the Popes were faced with medication costs of more than $3,000 a month.

Our video chronicles Judy Pope’s painful choice and encourages Canadians to add their voice to our online petition.

Please help us promote this phase of our campaign by posting the video on your websites, sharing it on social media and showing it at your events.

In solidarity,

Hassan Yussuff


cc:        Federations of labour

Labour Councils

CLC Union Communicators Working Group

CLC Staff


Equal Status for Women in the Indian Act

Dear Friends and Allies,

We are Senators and Indigenous women leaders with a long history of advocating for equality for Indigenous women in Canada. We write to you today to request your support for the full and final removal of sex discrimination from the Indian Act. We ask you to sign on to this letter to Prime Minister Trudeau by November 7th. Shocking as it is, Indian women still do not enjoy the same entitlement to full Indian status and the same ability to transmit their status to their descendants as Indian men. This discrimination has existed since the Indian Act was first introduced in 1876. We believe that 141 years of sex discrimination is enough. We write to you now because the Government of Canada is poised to pass Bill S-3, a revision to the Indian Act, which will, one more time, remove discrimination for some, but leave the core of the sex discrimination in place. On June 1, 2017, the Senate of Canada unanimously passed an amendment to Bill S-3. This amendment, which has been dubbed the '6(1)(a) all the way' amendment, would, for the first time, entitle Indian women and their descendants to full 6(1)(a) Indian status on the same footing as Indian men and their descendants. The Government of Canada has rejected this equal status amendment and wants the Senate to pass Bill S-3 without eliminating all the discrimination against First Nations women and their descendants. As Indigenous women, we need you to help and support us. Indigenous women cannot be successful in this fight alone. We need the support of our non-Indigenous sisters and allies, as well as of our Indigenous brothers and communities, and we need it now. The Government of Canada wants to pass Bill S-3 before December 15, 2017. Please join us in fighting to end discrimination against women in the Indian Act. Here's what you can do:

    • Sign on to this letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada asking him to remove the sex discrimination from the Indian Act now; to sign on send us an email at with your name, if you are signing as an individual, or the name of your organization, and/or the name of all the individuals at your organization that would like to sign on. Please send your sign on by November 7th. We will keep a continuous list and post it on our website.
    • Contact your Member of Parliament directly, and ask him or her to support removal of the sex discrimination from the Indian Act now. Go to this website to find your MP’s contact information and follow this link for a sample email to send to your Member of Parliament.
    • Contact Senators from your province or territory and ask them to hold firm on their support for the '6(1)(a) all the way' amendment. Go to this website to find Senators' contact information and follow this link for a sample email to send to Senators from your province or territory.
    • Share this email with your membership lists and with your friends and allies. Ask them to sign on and call or write to their MPs and Senators.
    • Find background information on Indian Act sex discrimination and Bill S-3 here and follow this link to register and watch the webinars hosted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and FAFIA on the Indian Act.

Here's who we are:

    • Senator Lillian Dyck, Chair of the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, which heard testimony on Bill S-3 and initiated the '6(1)(a) all the way' amendment.
    • Senator Sandra Lovelace-Nicholas, Member of the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, Petitioner to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Lovelace v Canada, which resulted in the 1981 ruling that the sex discrimination in the Indian Act violates the rights of Indigenous women to their culture.
    • Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell and Yvonne Bedard, plaintiffs in Lavell, Bedard v Canada, which resulted in the now infamous 1973 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the sex discrimination in the Indian Act did not violate Canada's Bill of Rights.
    • Sharon McIvor, Plaintiff in McIvor v Canada, which resulted in the 2009 British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling that won status, or improved status, for about 35,000 previously excluded Indigenous women and their descendants.
    • Dr. Lynn Gehl, Plaintiff in Gehl v Canada, which resulted in the 2017 ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal that the unstated paternity policy of the Registrar of Indian and Northern Affairs was unreasonable.

Not one of us, to this day, is entitled to full 6(1)(a) status under the Indian Act. Please help us to achieve equal status for Indian women and their descendants now. Learn about the Famous Six and read their message here