Jun 26

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Article by CFM Executive Director Alan Willaert

Why Join the CFM

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Once again, I feel compelled to write about the services and benefits of membership, fuelled by a growing number of musicians who seem unconvinced.  So to those of you who keep asking “What’s in it for me?”, here is a partial list of what you membership brings.

We are a union/association of professionals, and in large numbers we can combine strength and leverage for the betterment of our members.


Together, we can communicate and network to share ideas and prevent exploitation.

With a large number of Locals, we are there to represent and assist on the ground in your community.

The Canadian office is involved representing musicians nationally, in everything from Status of the Artist legislation to tax laws and copyright reform.  In fact, we have made a significant difference in those areas.

Internationally, we are affiliated with the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), to participate in the resolution of issues that affect musicians globally.

Internationally, we participate in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to ensure musicians’ and creators’ rights are respected around the world.

At a Local level and online, we network to connect musicians who are looking for bands.

Each Local has an active booking and referral program, to help musicians find work.

AFM Entertainment now provides international bookings, and a place to showcase your talent throughout the US and Canada.

CFM has a large number of signatory booking agents, selected because of their high standards and adherence to our agreement and bylaws.

The AFM negotiates agreements with the recording and broadcast industries to ensure high standards and a level playing field, and provide assistance with the rates and contracting.

The AFM negotiates agreements with the Motion Picture/TV Film, jingle and theatrical touring industries to ensure fair wages and benefits, pension and residuals.

We established Goprotunes.com – an exclusive site for members to sell CD’s and downloads.

We established Goprohosting.com – exclusive member website hosting for $19/year.

We established Goprolessons.com – exclusively for members to advertise their teaching skills.

Our Locals assist with negotiations for symphonic, theatrical and tour venues, allowing our members to have access to master agreements.

We provide legal assistance in the event of contract defaults.

Most Locals provide for a Contract Guarantee Fund, accessible to members (under certain conditions) in the event a gig goes south in their home Local.

There are toll-free lines to the national offices, both in the US and Canada.

Emergency Travel Assistance Programme provides help if your gig goes south on the road anywhere in Canada.

The Music Performance Trust Fund provides co-funding to bring free live music to the public.

The Special Payments Fund is a benefit to our recording artists, which provides a pro rata share of a royalty stream to those working under our Sound Recording Labour Agreement.

The Musicians' Pension Fund of Canada, a benefit only for members, ensures our retired musicians have income when the music stops (see www.mpfcanada.ca for details).

As a group benefit, CFM offers access to musical instrument and equipment insurance, as well as liability and selected health plans and out of province health insurance.

The CFM was at the centre of the lobbying that brought Neighbouring Rights Royalties for all musicians in Canada.

The CFM was at the centre of the lobbying that brought the Private Copying Levy for all musicians in Canada.

The CFM Created and launched MROC (Musicians' Rights Organization Canada), one of the 3 collectives in Canada which distribute neighbouring rights and private copying, but the only one which is focused on background musicians (that means you).

The CFM continues to help individual Locals lobby for provincial Status of the Artist.

The CFM was instrumental in the creation of FACTOR, and they continue to use our tariffs as the industry standard.

We have the Lester Petrillo Fund.

The CFM is dedicated to the collection and distribution of New Use and royalty payments, which emanate from our media agreements.

As well as a significant online presence with websites and social media, we provide both national and local publications, mailed directly to each member.

The CFM provides immigration assistance through our P2 and Cultural Exchange programmes (Canada > US; US > Canada).

The CFM has more offices (Locals) in Canada than any other music organization of any kind.

The CFM provides free, approved legal contracts for all types of engagements.  Get used to using them.

The CFM offers a MasterCard with preferred rates.

The CFM engages in strategic coalition building, establishing relationships with other unions and associations in the entertainment world.

The CFM is actively affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress, and the VPC sits as a Vice-President.

The CFM office deals with defaults and claims.

The CFM is involved in settling member to member charges, claims and appeals.

The CFM presents educational workshops at ECMA, NXNE, York University, Metalworks Studio and others.

We are engaged in co-operative efforts with the Music Industry Associations, when appropriate.

Regarded by the media as an opinion leader, the CFM creates and distributes press releases on events that impact musicians, when necessary and appropriate.

Whether our logo or seal is present on your own contract, all our agreements or in the credits of a movie, it’s a sign that professional, union musicians were used ensuring the highest caliber of musical content.

While the list is far from complete, believe I have made my point.  This is an organization that does important work on behalf of the musicians in this country.  By not being a part, you make our work more difficult.  By not being a part, you are missing out big time.  Value your membership.  I do.

#Allstage #TurnUpTheLiveMusic #CFM