About

Welcome to the Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ)

For over one hundred years the GMMQ, in partnership with the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, has defended the interests of over 3 300 professional musicians throughout Quebec in every facet of the music industry. The GMMQ is also a member of the International Federation of Musicians which represents over 250,000 musicians around the world. With offices in Montreal and Quebec City, the GMMQ is established as a Professional Syndicate and certified by the Commission de reconnaissance des associations d'artistes et des associations des producteurs. If you have any questions about the GMMQ or about live music for your needs, please contact our offices.

Our Mission

The Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ) has a mission to promote the value of music as well as the vital contribution of professional musicians to society by representing and defending their artistic, social and financial interests. It represents them in every instance where it is in the general interest that it should do so and cooperates for that purpose with any organization pursuing similar ends.
The GMMQ's basic tool for defending its members is the written contract. The contract provides the musician with a document which refers to basic minimum fees set by the GMMQ as well as minimum working conditions. Included in these conditions is the producer's obligation to contribute to the musicians' pension fund.

In addition to establishing working conditions, the GMMQ also promotes the interests of its members by providing legal services and insurance plans. It also actively lobbies government agencies to ensure favourable legislation. In exchange for these services, the members pay an annual fee and work dues (3% of the minimum of their fees). All contributions to the musician's pension plan are paid by the producer exclusively.

Our History

The GMMQ was founded on September 12th, 1897 and almost immediately was chartered as local 62, the first Canadian local of the AFM . The founding President, Elward Hardy began with 25 members which increased to 98 one year later. After only three years, the 1900 AFM convention in Philadelphia revoked, for reasons unknown, the Montreal local's charter. It is thought that a rival of the American Federation of Labor, the Knights of Labor, may have urged the Montrealers to leave the AFM. The departure was short-lived as on April 29th, 1905, the Musicians' Protective Union of Montreal re-affiliated as local 406. The President of the new local was Mr. Charles Lavallée, brother of Calixa, author of the Canadian national anthem.

The Quebec Musicians' Association was granted a charter by the American Federation of Musicians on December 17, 1917. Its first President was Reese Hansen. In 1955, the Association was incorporated under the Professional Syndicates Act. This incorporation became the legal basis for the merged locals with the birth of the Guilde des musiciens et musciennes du Québec in 1988.

The GMMQ is the result of a merger on November 1st, 1988 between the Montreal Musicians' Guild, local 406 of the American Federation of Musicians and the Quebec Musicians' Association, local 119. Previously, the two locals had operated relatively independently but were encouraged to merge into a Professional Syndicate with the advent of the Law on the Status of the Artist which came into effect in December, 1997.

A glance through the minutes of both local 406 and 119 shows that human nature and the basic challenges facing artists have changed little since the turn of the century. Musicians were struggling then, as now, to make a living ($20 a week in 1914) in orchestras, clubs or theatres. The advent of new technology such as movie soundtracks in the 20's resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs. In the latter part of the century injunctions resulted in the uncontrolled use of taped music in major theatres and arenas. Throughout the century, the history of the GMMQ is a testimony to Quebec musicians having met every challenge no matter how daunting. The 21st century shall see a continuation of that proud tradition

 

Local section 406