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Guilde des musiciens et des musiciennes du Québec
Montréal / 514.842.2866


Announcing the Passing of AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert

April 22, 2024

(New York, NY)  It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our colleague and friend Alan Willaert, American Federation of Musicians Vice President from Canada and Director of Canadian Affairs, on April 18, 2024.

Alan was a passionate and tenacious advocate for Canadian musicians—whether at contract negotiations or speaking about the impact of legislation before parliament.

His music career began at 15, and he was a touring musician through to the late 90s. Becoming interested in AFM internal functions, Willaert was elected to the board of Local 467 (Brantford, ON) in the 1980s. In 1990, he was asked to interview and was subsequently hired for the position of international representative by former Vice President from Canada, the late J. Alan Wood. Then, in 2007, he was appointed to the position of electronic media and intellectual property supervisor, and in 2011 was appointed executive director for Canada. Willaert held the position of executive director for Canada until being appointed by the AFM International Executive Board as vice president from Canada in March 2012.

"I first met Alan when I was a newly elected officer. At that time, he was the international representative for the Canadian locals,” says AFM International President Tino Gagliardi. "Because of his experience and knowledge of neighboring rights or any issue that affects musicians on either side of the border, not to mention his negotiating chops, we became fast friends. When he took the reins as Canadian VP, I was confident that the AFM was on the right track. And we were. We all learned from Alan; I know I did. I was so looking forward to our continued alliance and collaboration. Alan, I regret not being able to say 'Love ya, brother” one last time. You will always be in my heart and mind.”

"Alan dedicated his life to serving Canadian musicians. He was also a man of consensus who always tried the impossible, and eventually succeeded, to reconcile differences and get everyone working in harmony. He will be sorely missed. Luc Fortin, GMMQ President."

Although he had been battling cancer since last summer, his death was sudden at home. A celebration of life will be planned in the near future.

Board elections 2024-2027

March 22, 2024

Dear members,

Between now and June 2, you'll be invited to elect your organization's new Board of Directors. You'll also have the opportunity to put your knowledge at the service of the Quebec music community, by joining the Board of Directors. Here's a reminder of everything you need to know for this election, and the election calendar below.



Board members are elected for a three-year term (June 2024-June 2027).

Positions to be elected :

-Presidency (one person) (officer) *
-Vice-présidence Québec (one person) (officer). The person must reside in the Quebec City area (as defined by the former jurisdiction of local 119, east of Trois-Rivières).
-Vice-présidence Montréal (une personne) (officièr.e). Must reside in the Montreal region.
-Secretariat-Treasury (one person) (officer) *
-Administration (9 persons) (no designated title). A minimum of two people must reside in the Quebec City area (as defined by the former jurisdiction of local 119, east of Trois-Rivières).


-Candidates must be members in good standing of the Guild for a continuous period of 12 months prior to the election date (June 2, 2024);

- Anyone wishing to stand for election as secretary-treasurer or president must have completed a three-year term as a member of the Guild's Board of Directors.


Submission of applications :

Any person wishing to stand for election or nominate a candidate must complete a written nomination statement identifying the candidate and the position sought. This declaration must be supported by ten Guild members. Their signatures are required to validate the statement. Nomination papers must be delivered to the election chair in person at the nomination meeting.

At the end of the nomination period, each candidate must inform the electoral officer whether or not he or she accepts the nomination.

NB: No electronic applications will be accepted, in accordance with our rules and regulations (available in your member's area).

Documents: nomination papers

To support a candidate

You must be a member in good standing and attest to your support by hand-signing the candidate's written nomination paper, which will be submitted in person on the day of the nomination meeting.

of nomination AND supporting signature sheet (it is not necessary to add the declaration alone above)
individual signature sheet

You would like to stand for election but are unable to attend this meeting.

In this case, you can be represented by another member, who will file the nomination paper on your behalf. The person representing you must also submit a written declaration signed by you, stating that you agree to be a candidate in the election.

Document: Declaration and power of attorney (no need to add the declaration alone above)

Election campaign

It begins after the nomination meeting and ends the day before the election. During the election campaign, the candidate may solicit the support of other Guild members either orally or by mailing or otherwise distributing election literature. In this regard, the Guild will send to members in good standing, no later than thirty days before the date of the election, an electronic communication designed to introduce the candidates.


Voting takes place electronically, supervised by a recognized electronic voting firm. A letter will be sent to members in good standing by the recognized firm, at least 25 days before the election date, explaining the procedure for voting electronically. For members who do not have access to a computer, it will be possible to come to the GMMQ office in Montreal or Quebec City to vote electronically (by appointment).

Votes will be counted on election day, June 2, 2024, by the electronic voting firm.

The regulations governing the election of members of the Board of Directors are available in your member's area, on the GMMQ website, under Regulations, sections 55 to 57, then 73 to 106.

For further details, please contact Member Services, 514 842-2866, ext. 245 or membres@gmmq.com.



-April 16: Nomination meeting and start of election campaign

-May 7: Online voting begins.

-June 2 noon: Voting closes.

-June 17: The new GMMQ Board of Directors takes office.

Provincial budget: major investments in the audiovisual sector

March 13, 2024

For immediate release

Montreal, March 13, 2024 - In reaction to the provincial budget tabled yesterday by Finance Minister Éric Girard, the artists' unions are delighted, despite the context of budgetary restraint, with the various initiatives and investments aimed at the audiovisual sector. We applaud the government's willingness to review the industry's funding models and mechanisms, and are pleased that our demands have been heard. We would like to thank the Minister of Culture and Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, for his ongoing commitment to artists and artisans, and his genuine desire to promote local culture. We reiterate our full cooperation and will continue our representations to ensure the defense of our members' rights and interests.

"Quebec culture is the jewel of our collective identity. We need to ensure its continuity, which requires, among other things, a healthy distribution of public funds that trickle down to artists. We are delighted that funds have been earmarked for a review of the funding model, and eagerly await the announcement by the Minister of Culture and Communications. It is essential to guarantee fair working conditions that respect collective agreements and fair remuneration for all artists, particularly in the context of public funding," emphasizes Tania Kontoyanni, President of the UDA.

"The Quebec government has taken important steps to promote the development of audiovisual production. Not only will the recent budget improve financing for Quebec production, it will also ensure that our industry is better positioned on the world stage. We believe that these measures will contribute to improving the socio-economic conditions of our members, as well as fostering the creation of new jobs in our industry," concludes Christian Lemay, President of AQTIS 514 IATSE.

"We welcome the planned investments to support music companies and artists, especially in the digital age where international competition is fierce. However, we call for continued attention to the protection of musicians' rights and the promotion of a dynamic musical ecosystem in Quebec. The resulting policies must encourage musical creation and performance, and protect musicians' rights. We need to give ourselves the means to promote living music and French-language song, and to ensure the discoverability of our artists," explains GMMQ President Luc Fortin.

"Quebec's cultural vitality is shaped by our writers, real creators who bring our programs to life and write stories for our screens or radio. This budget recognizes the importance of Quebec's audiovisual industry, but it's also essential to maintain a focus on promoting the work of our artists in a constantly evolving digital environment," adds Chantale Cadieux, President of SARTEC.

"We welcome the initiatives in Budget 2024 aimed at strengthening our audiovisual industry, particularly with the support for Télé-Québec. We stress the importance of supporting the diversity of creative voices and adapting our funding models to ensure the sustainability of filmmaking in Quebec," says Gabriel Pelletier, President of ARRQ.

"Improving the various tax credits will have a positive impact on television and film production, and by the same token, on jobs for our members. It will breathe new life into the creation and production of home-grown content, making Quebec once again a preferred destination for foreign productions, and enabling us to shine on the international stage," explains Michèle Laliberté, interim president of the Directors' Guild.




For further information

Marie-Josée Rivard
514 844-2113 ext. 223


Association des réalisateurs et des réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)
Géraldine Piguet
514 842-7373 ext. 226


Quebec Musicians' Guild (GMMQ)
Floriane Barny
514 842-2866 ext. 229


Directors Guild of Canada - Quebec Council
Michelle d'Arvisais
514 844-4084 ext. 106

Society of Authors of Radio, Television and Cinema (SARTEC)
Isabelle Desmarais
514 602-0977


Union des artistes (UDA)
Mélodie Roy
514 887-9356

Funding issues in culture: a question of good governance

February 26, 2024

Mr. François Legault
Premier of Quebec                                

Mr. Mathieu Lacombe
Minister of Culture and Communications


The ways in which television, film and music are produced, broadcast and consumed have changed radically over the last few decades. The business model of the streaming giants has completely overturned the ecosystem of our cultural industry. Despite major investments in culture in recent years[1] , Quebec artists and artisans continue to be impoverished, generating a crisis of confidence in the various public institutions of our cultural industry ecosystem. For some, it has become impossible to practice their craft with dignity. We are calling on you today to bring together all stakeholders in the industry - producers, distributors, broadcasters and creators - to redefine the mechanisms for allocating, distributing and circulating public funds.

The importance of digital platforms has an impact not only on the discoverability of our productions, but also on their financing, whether private (advertising) or public (subsidies). Yet public funds earmarked for culture do not percolate adequately down to the end of the chain, i.e. artists and creators. We are concerned to see that there are grey areas in the distribution of public money allocated to the cultural industry. Cultural funding seems to be a lucrative manna for some, to the detriment of artists and craftspeople, who are at the heart of creation, its diversity, quality and renown, here and elsewhere. Above all, projects or companies that do not respect current collective agreements (agreements signed by associations and unions that establish minimum working conditions and remuneration for artists) should not be subsidized.

An analysis of the funding mechanisms currently in place raises a number of questions. How can production companies, which receive subsidies, sit on the boards of companies that award these subsidies themselves, when artists are absent? Why do certain large companies in both the audiovisual and music sectors receive large amounts of recurrent funding, thereby slimming down the share allocated to small companies that could be carrying out innovative projects, but are struggling to obtain funding? How can production companies that live solely on public money become so lucrative that publicly-traded consortia buy them out?

These are questions that remain unanswered, and which would benefit from being studied for the benefit of the industry as a whole, and of Quebec's public finances.

For the past fifty years, there has been no major collective reflection on these important issues. We believe it's high time we took action to redefine the best way to promote and protect Quebec culture, its artists and artisans. Our culture is at the heart of Quebecers' identity. We have a duty to safeguard it, and to ensure that younger generations have access to the wealth of our content.

Please be assured of our full cooperation in this matter. We thank you for the attention you will give to this request, and ask you to accept our most distinguished greetings.


Tania Kontoyanni, President
Union des artistes (UDA)            

Christian Lemay, President

Gabriel Pelletier, President
Association des réalisateurs et des réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ)

Michèle Laliberté, Acting President
Guilde canadienne des réalisateurs, DGC Québec

Luc Fortin, President
Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ)     

Chantal Cadieux, President
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC)

[1] Institut de la statistique du Québec. Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec. https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/fichier/depenses-culture-administration-publique-quebecoise-2020-2021.pdf


February 14, 2024

Montreal, February 14, 2024 - The Board of Directors of Local 406 of the American Federation of musicians (AFM), La Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ), is pleased to announce the appointment of Guy Bernard as CEO of the organization, effective February 27.

With a position posted on December 15, and several interviews conducted by the selection committee, Guy Bernard has been chosen to fill the position of CEO at GMMQ. Guy Bernard has been with the organization since September 11 as Senior Labour Relations Advisor.

Holder of a Premier Prix from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, an Artist Diploma from McGill University and a doctorate from the Université de Montréal, Guy Bernard spent twenty years as a trombonist with several Québec ensembles.

His background in communications led him to serve in the Public Affairs Branch of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and to help create and produce the CBC Radio 2 program Tempo.

A member of the Bar of Montreal since 2017, he has worked at Legal Aid of Montreal as a litigator in civil, family and administrative litigation.

"Guy brings undeniable expertise and energy to our team. An experienced musician and lawyer, he likes to think of himself as a 'field intellectual' who will invest himself with passion and enthusiasm in the negotiations and issues facing our members." Luc Fortin, president of the GMMQ and actual CEO.

"I'm very grateful to the Board of Directors for selecting me for this position, and for giving me the opportunity to contribute even more to representing our talented musical community in all its diversity and creativity. Together, we will pursue our mission and look after the collective interests of our more than 3,200 members." Guy Bernard, GMMQ new CEO.

The entire GMMQ administrative team is delighted with this appointment.

Luc Fortin and Guy Bernard begin a handover process that will last several weeks. Luc Fortin remains Chairman of the GMMQ Board of Directors.


Floriane Barny, Communications Manager
514 842-2866 ext. 229.

Press release: Generative artificial intelligence and copyright

December 05, 2023

Warning from artists' associations

Montreal, December 5, 2023 - As part of the consultation organized by the federal government on generative artificial intelligence in the specific context of copyright, five professional associations representing nearly 20,000 Quebec artists are calling for caution, transparency and a protective legislative framework.

ARRQ, ARTISTI, GMMQ, SARTEC and UDA are actively participating in the consultation work being carried out by the Government of Canada, while recalling that since 2017 numerous consultations surrounding a revision of the Copyright Act have been conducted, and that they now expect the work to come to a successful conclusion.

Today, the associations are sounding the alarm about the major risks that the development of AI could represent without appropriate supervision, and are reminding us of the importance of improving the protection of artists' work.

They recognize from the outset that AI will become a must-have in many fields, and that it will be an extraordinary tool for research, data mining and content generation. However, they remind us that artificial intelligence is, and must remain, a tool trained by humans.

"We call on ministers François-Philippe Champagne and Pascale St-Onge to continue their work on revising the Copyright Act, while respecting one overriding principle: to effectively protect the rights and work of creators. In this sense, no new exceptions should be created to enable artificial intelligence operators to circumvent existing rights", says Chantal Cadieux, President of SARTEC.

"Feeding the beast"

"Artificial intelligence doesn't work without training. In the cultural world, to feed it and enable its final use, i.e. to carry out text and data mining activities, the machine needs to be "fed" with existing content. In other words, we need to use original works written, produced or performed by artists: works that are often protected by copyright. This protection must be maintained, artificial intelligence or not," explains Luc Fortin, President of the GMMQ.

"It is essential that each artist be able to give his or her consent to the use of his or her work as raw material for the training of artificial intelligence. In the event of use, fair and equitable compensation must be paid," adds Tania Kontoyanni, President of the UDA.

"The use of generative AI impacts performers in a particular way, going beyond copyright because when we reproduce their performances, we often reproduce their voice and image. Deep fakes are also of great concern to them, because they make it look like an artist has done or said something when they haven't. Measures are needed to ensure that performers' authorization is obtained before any use is made of their performance, voice, image or likeness," emphasizes France D'Amour, President of ARTISTI.


No human, no work

It seems inconceivable to us that new content, generated by a well-trained artificial intelligence, could benefit from the status of works protected by the Copyright Act. We'd like to see an amendment to the law to make it clear that, in this legislative framework, an author is necessarily a human being. There is no work without a human being.

 "For a democracy like ours, is it necessary to reiterate the fundamental importance of guaranteeing the vitality of the cultural sector? In the absence of a clearly established protective framework, it's easy to imagine the possible excesses of these technologies and their owners, and their impact on the work of our artists and on the creative industries", concludes Gabriel Pelletier, President of ARRQ.


-30 -

Exclusive registration or exclusivity contracts: What should I check before signing?

July 17, 2023

For several decades, the dominant model for album production has been the exclusive recording contract, also known as the album contract, record contract, exclusivity contract or phonogram production contract. Although this model has been considerably superseded by the self-production model, it is still very common and not a document to be signed lightly. Before you even enter the studio, it's vital to reach agreement with the production company* on the terms and conditions of your recording contract.

For the sake of clarity, an "exclusive recording contract" is a contract whereby the production retains the exclusive services of one or more artists to produce a sound recording for exploitation. It is the production that assumes the financing of this sound recording.

Exclusivity clauses and options

Duration of exclusivity

Exclusivity exists to encourage productions to invest in a project where the artists, and more often the star artists, won't leave to record elsewhere. When signing such a contract, you need to be aware of the duration and scope of the commitment.

Make sure you are not already bound by another exclusivity agreement that is still in force. If this is the case, the production to which you are initially bound could invalidate the new recording contract or claim sums from you for breach of its own contract. In the case of a group, check whether any of the group members are already bound by such an agreement or, conversely, whether the agreement you are about to sign will allow the group members to record solo albums in parallel, during the exclusivity period.

Long-term exclusivity is generally to the advantage of the production company, while the opposite is to the artist's advantage. In effect, the artist sacrifices his or her freedom to record elsewhere for a given period in exchange for the production's services. If the situation turns sour, you may not be able to record for a certain period of time.


Clauses stipulating that the production may take advantage of one or more album options are also commonplace. They exist for the same reasons as exclusivity. By investing in a first album, it may be reasonable for the production company to want to be able to produce and exploit subsequent albums if the first proves successful. As an artist, you should try to limit as far as possible the number of options you agree to. Beyond one option (i.e. two albums), you are committing yourself for many years. For example, an exclusive recording contract with 4 options (i.e. a total of 5 albums) could bind you to a production for almost 12 years!

Under normal circumstances, producers have a certain number of months after the release of the first album to exercise their option. Make sure you are aware of these deadlines so that they are respected.

Artists' associations such as the Union des artistes (UDA) and the Guilde des musiciens et des musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ) have specific guidelines regarding the duration of exclusivity and album options. These are limited in time and number. Please refer to the applicable collective agreements. By requesting UDA or Guild contracts from productions, you benefit from these protections, but we encourage you to negotiate better terms than the maximums stipulated for the duration of exclusivity and the number of options.

If you have any questions about this type of contract, please do not hesitate to contact your respective artists' associations, who will be happy to answer them!

* By production we mean the producer

AFM Elects New International Leadership

June 30, 2023

The 102nd Convention of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada was held June 26 through June 29, 2023, at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme “In Unity, There Is Strength” was reflected in the various discourse among the delegates and echoed by many guest speakers.

International President Ray Hair, International Vice President Bruce Fife, and Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal announced earlier this year they would not be seeking reelection, thus opening the top three positions for new leadership.

Election results are as follows:

International President: Tino Gagliardi, Local 802 (New York City)
Vice President: Dave Pomeroy, Local 257 (Nashville, TN)
Vice President from Canada: Alan Willaert, Local 149 (Toronto, ON)
International Secretary-Treasurer: Ken Shirk, Local 99 (Portland, OR)

International Executive Board:
Luc Fortin, Local 406 (Montreal, PQ)
Ed Malaga, Local 171-610 (Washington, DC)
John Acosta, Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)
Tina Morrison, Local 105 (Spokane, WA)
Dusty Kelly, Local 149 (Toronto, ON)

AFL-CIO Delegates:
Mont Chris Hubbard, Local 99 (Portland, OR)
Tracey Whitney, Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM)

“In the wider world, collaborating with our friends and allies—inside and outside our profession—is the key to winning legislation, winning at the bargaining table, and getting us the pay and the respect we deserve at work,” says AFM International President-Elect Tino Gagliardi.

Issues presented to the delegates during the four-day convention included AI; musician replacement technology; building stronger relationships with EDM, DJ, and hip hop artists; mental health aid training for AFM officers and staff; assistance to small locals; investment in organizing and education; and growing the union.

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union representing 80,000 professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1896, the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing professional instrumental musicians playing in orchestras, bands, clubs, and theater—both on Broadway and on tour. AFM members make music for film, television, commercials, and sound recordings. The AFM negotiates fair agreements, protects ownership of recorded music, secures benefits such as health care and pension, and lobbies for musicians and the rights of workers.


Photos can be viewed at: afm.org/convention

What is a collecting society?

June 07, 2023

Often misunderstood, collective management societies are organizations that artists and craftspeople in the music industry should know about. For artists, they can be a very important source of income.

The purpose of these societies is to manage rights that would be too complicated for an artist to manage alone, even impossible. For example, it would be very difficult for a copyright-holding artist to collect payment from every radio station that has made a copy of his or her music in order to play it. And let's not forget that there may be several songs' worth of rights to manage, and that these rights are often shared by several artists (performer, accompanying musician, etc.) on the same work. In such cases, collecting societies are a great help, and even a necessity since they collect royalties on your behalf.

How do collecting societies work?

Collective societies issue licenses, i.e. they authorize the use of your works under certain conditions, to users such as concert halls, bars, businesses, radio stations or online listening platforms, who must, in return, pay to use them. The collecting societies are responsible for collecting the royalties due for these uses and distributing them to those entitled to them. 

Strictly in music, there are a considerable number of societies for different rights, all over the world. In Canada, many people have heard of SOCAN1, which generally administers copyright for songwriters.

In Quebec, the Copyright Act also confers rights on performers and producers, also known as "neighbouring rights".

For producers of sound recordings and music videos, Soproq2 administers neighboring rights, while Artisti (created by the UDA) does the same for performers.

In Canada, there are also similar societies that are generally more present in the English-speaking world: CONNECT, which is an equivalent of Soproq, while MROC3 and RACS4 are equivalents of Artisti.

While it's easy to get lost among all these acronyms, a good understanding of these organizations will help you collect the money you're owed. Better still, thanks to strength in numbers, some societies like Artisti represent the interests of their members to the industry and government, with the aim of strengthening artists' rights.

1. SOCAN: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
2. Soproq: Société de gestion collective des droits des producteurs de phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes (founded by ADISQ)
3. MROC: Musicians' Rights Organization Canada  
4. RACS: Recording Artists' Collecting Society

Résonance is a new column for artists and artisans in the music industry, covering a wide range of topics related to professional practrice and career management. Created at the request of members of the Regroupement des artisans de la musique (RAM), the column will be published monthly. 

AFM Opposes Proposed USCIS Visa Increases

March 01, 2023

We are greatly concerned with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposal to triple the fees for P (including P2’s) and O Visa applications.

If implemented, this will have a devastating impact on the mobility of Canadian and International touring musicians to perform in the US. It will also disproportionately impact the cost for indie touring bands.

We want to assure you that we are working with the CFM to develop an action plan to fight back and will have more to report in the weeks coming. Please note that any fee increases are likely not to come into effect until the fall of 2023. Meanwhile, the AFM is actively lobbying Homeland Security and US government.

See here the message of the President of the AFM

What you can do:

1) Contact the Representative of American Congress

We are asking you to reach out to your US colleagues/engagers/musicians/employers and ask them to contact their Representative of Congress. It is important that US politicians hear that the proposed increases will have a negative impact on their constituents’ businesses, and revenues. To help your US contacts to take action please feel free to cut and paste the following into an email:

Dear Representative or Senator ...,

I want to let you know about the substantive increases that United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) is proposing on musicians who tour in the US. The proposed increases are upwards of 251%, well beyond the cost of living and inflation.

USCIS imposing such heavy increases will vastly limit international touring and stifle cultural collaborations, activities that contribute significant revenue to the US economy. These also create a multiplier effect for local communities across the States – benefits dining and lodging revenues, live music venues bookings, ticket sales, transportation rentals and gas expenditures, and overall provide general employment in the performing arts sector. Furthermore, touring artists pay US and Federal state taxes on their performance earnings.

(We strongly encourage you to add a personal note here on how you or your business will be impacted)

I am calling on you to halt, or at least limit these onerous increases – increases that will hit an economy still in recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. Increases that not only impact musicians, but also dancers, actors, athletes, visual artists, and many others working in related artistic disciplines.

Yours Sincerely,

2) What else can you do ?

You can also urge your american colleagues to register their opposition online through the US Federal Register Portal (does not work from Canada). 

And do it yourself by following this procedure (the only one that works from Canada):

  • Select "An Organization" in the "Tell us about yourself" section to comment as a Canadian.
  • Select "Foreign" in the "Organization Type" section.
  • Write "Quebec Musicians Guild Federation of musicians" in "Organization Name".

Deadline for comments is March 6, 2023.

We remain at your side to defend your interests,

Luc Fortin, President of the GMMQ, Local 406 of the AFM.

P2 Visas: information on fee increases

February 13, 2023

The AFM, along with many other, US-based arts organizations and businesses are lobbying against such a high increase (upwards of 251% - from $460 to $1615). These lobbying efforts started mid-January. See here the message posted by AFM President Hair on February 10th: AFM Opposes Proposed USCIS Visa Increases - American Federation of Musicians.

At this time, the visa increases are proposed, not yet approved/implemented.  USCIS announced the proposed increases in early January, and the proposal is now open for public comment which closes March 6th.  As of March 7th, USCIS will review all comments submitted, and its after they are able to review all comments that they will make the final decision on all proposed increases.

If a fee increase of any kind is implemented, we project that won’t be until Fall at earliest.  The last couple of increases were implemented about 7-9 months after the proposal was announced. 

Aside, this is not just directed at musicians or the arts/entertainment community.  There are Service/Visa-wide increases proposed, covering many sectors of employment.  This is also International in scope, as all visa classifications, covering musicians from across the globe would be impacted.


Agreement in principle between the musicians and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec

January 18, 2023

Quebec City, January 18, 2023 - The musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec adopted an agreement in principle with the Orchestra last week by a clear majority. This negotiation process represented a turning point for the Orchestra's sustainability and future. Indeed, the musicians had been facing a virtual freeze in their salaries since their last collective agreement signed in 2015 and were hoping to obtain a salary catch-up so that they could earn a decent living. Considering that inflation alone was 6.1% for 2022 alone, it is clear that the 2015 wages were no longer sufficient for musicians to live decently. This new collective agreement allows musicians to achieve the key goals they set for themselves in this negotiation. The agreement will be retroactive to 2020 and will run through 2024.

"We are pleased with the tentative agreement that came about last week. For us, it is definitely a step in the right direction. This new collective agreement will finally bring us in line with the salary conditions of our colleagues working for other comparable organizations in Quebec City. The Orchestre symphonique de Québec understands the importance of improving musician retention in order to ensure its sustainability in the coming years.     

      -Mélanie Forget, president of the Association des musiciens et musiciennes de l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec (AMMOSQ)

"It is at the heart of our mission to support musicians so that they can benefit from respectable working conditions that reflect the time, effort and work they put into their passion, which is also their profession. We are proud to have been able to support the musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec throughout this period of negotiations to reach an agreement that will improve their working conditions.

- Luc Fortin, President of the Local 406 of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, la Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ)

A new conductor welcomed with enthusiasm

The musicians are eager to play again under the direction of the new conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Mr. Clemens Schuldt, tonight. This experienced musician is welcomed as a breath of fresh air by the musicians. The position of conductor has been vacant since the end of the 2020-2021 season.

About the Local 406 of the AFM, la Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ)
The mission of the Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ) is to recognize the value of music and the indispensable contribution of professional musicians to society by representing and defending their artistic, social and economic interests. To achieve this, it negotiates collective agreements and provides its members with a standard contract of employment. In particular, the GMMQ establishes the minimum working conditions of musicians and acts collectively on behalf of its members when it considers that their interests are affected.

For more information
Laurence Gagnon
Cell : 418-690-9716

Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ), local 406 of the Canadian Federation of Musicians

design : SYCLONE