Category Archives: Updates

Musical Instruments on Airlines

Through the lobbying efforts of the CFM, Bill C-49: The Transportation Modernization Act contains language mandating ALL Canadian airlines to implement a fair policy for musicians flying with their instruments.  The Bill has been passed through the House and is now before Senate. Once passed by Senate, we hope it will align Canadian regulations with those the already in place in the United States.

We anticipate this Bill to move quickly and receive Royal Ascent by this summer.  Thereafter, Transport Canada will be tasked with establishing the regulations, a process we expect will take most of the rest of the year.  We have already held discussions with Transport Canada to ensure CFM is involved in the regulatory process. If all goes according to plan, we might see Canadian airlines implementing musical instrument friendly policy by early 2019.

CATSA has prepared an informational pamphlet (available through the office) with regard to the security screening process. If you are concerned about taking instruments through security, the best suggestion is to ask for a private screening room. The security process will take longer, but, musicians with fragile instruments will be closer during the search process which might alleviate some anxiety of the searching of fragile musical instruments.

If you have any questions please, email Allistair Elliott, International Representative,

For more information please visit us at | CFM on Twitter|CFM on Facebook.


Here’s to Your Health!!!

As professional musicians, we all realize the importance of being in good physical shape to perform to the highest standards; not unlike professional athletes. To that end, the Canadian Federation of Musicians has struck a deal with GoodLife Fitness that affords us a discount on membership of more than 35{1d776386b9cb999ea5067fee5aa6c3c1db850fc0b970320d4605b640dd6750c1}. A benefit of the Corporate Membership Program is the ability to add up to four eligible family members to your Corporate Membership.

The enrolment is available online and requires you to enter your AFM ID Number. This ID Number can be found in your AFM Portal and is a different member number than the one assigned by the Local. If you do not know your AFM ID Number or need to update your membership to active status, please contact the office.

To register online, go to and select Canadian Federation of Musicians in the dropdown menu, then enter your AFM membership number. Follow the prompts, pay the fee and you’re in.

The annual Corporate Membership rate for us is $449.00 plus applicable taxes, per member, per year; or the bi-weekly payment will be $24.00 plus tax. Your membership gives you access to all 280+ GoodLife Fitness Clubs across the country, including the 50+ Énergie Cardio Clubs in Quebec.

For a complete list of club locations and amenities visit

Here’s to your health!!!


Happy Birthday to You, We’re 80 Years Old!!!

   We first affiliated with the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) on January 3rd, 1938 as the Calgary Musicians’ Protective Association. At the time, our jurisdiction was: North to, but not including Red Deer; East to Drumheller; South to the International Boundary and West to Field, BC. We had a membership of around 125.

   In 1940, casual/freelance engagement scales were $6 for the Leader and $4 for each sidemusician. That was the same for the Stampede, Horse Races, General Theatre Productions and General Band Engagements. Our highest scales were $15/Leader and $8/sidemusician at the Palliser Hotel and $55/week/Leader and $35/week/sidemusician for the Banff Springs Hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise. CBC was under a National scale and we had no collective agreements.

   On April 1, 1972 we officially became the Calgary Musicians Association. Scales had risen to $27/Leader and $18/sidemusician for freelance engagements; Symphony from $6/musician to $16; Local Theatre Productions to $17/musician. The Stampede Grandstand Attractions scales were $50/Leader and $25/musician for 9 performances; Seasonal Resorts including the Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise and Waterton Park rose to $150/week for the Leader and $100/week for each sidemusician. CBC and Local Broadcasts were now lumped together at $24/Leader and $12/musician for a 30-minute broadcast and Recorded Soundtracks were $40/leader and $20/ musician per hour. Master tapes were under an International scale. We had approximately 1000 members and our jurisdiction had expanded to include Red Deer south to the US border and from the Saskatchewan border to the Columbia River Valley.

   By the late 70’s, Calgary was booming at less than half of the population we now have. There were more than a dozen hotels that offered six-day employment for musicians; some of them had 2 or 3 rooms operating weekly as well. This environment attracted many travelling groups from across Canada. There were only a handful of free standing live music clubs at the time. It all came to a halt in the mid-80’s when the liquor laws in Alberta changed reducing the size and capacity of bars. That’s when the hotels got out of the business and the industry took a big hit. We had two collective agreements; one with the Calgary Philharmonic and the other with the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.

   Next, we saw the rise of ‘neighbourhood pubs’ and other stand-alone clubs that still exist today as the main source of employment for freelance bands and musicians. Even though the rooms have become smaller and the budgets for live music reduced, the Association continues to fight for fair wages and working conditions for the members. Our membership numbers aren’t near what they were during the heyday, but since that time, we’ve made in roads with local theatre organizations and we’ve also increased the number of our collective agreements to six, with more to come as the members organize.

   This brief abridged history is missing many details that undoubtedly the older members could provide, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the music industry in Calgary the next time you’re swapping stories of the road.

Happy 80th and Congratulations for your on-going support for the one organization dedicated solely to assisting you as musicians and providing the understanding, support and respect that you deserve! Keep the faith and spread the word!!!


Red Deer Symphony Orchestra Audition



The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra

Claude Lapalme, Music Director

Announces the following vacancy for the 2015-2016 season.

Section First Violin

Local Audition for this position is scheduled in Red Deer as follows:

September 14, 2015 (exact time TBD)

2015-2016 wages and conditions are as follows:

Section First Violin – 16 guaranteed services:  $118.30 per service

8.5{1d776386b9cb999ea5067fee5aa6c3c1db850fc0b970320d4605b640dd6750c1} pension will be submitted to the Musicians' Pension Fund of Canada on your behalf for all services.

The musicians in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra must be Canadian members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 547. 

Interested applicants should e-mail or mail a one-page resume to:

Dean O’Brien, Personnel Manager

3127 Breen Crescent NW, Calgary, AB  T2L 1S6

Phone: (403) 284-5686


An audition list and location will be provided ONLY upon receipt of resume.