Virtual Discussion Panel
:: Oh Canada!
:: November 27 to December 1

Thank you for visiting this Virtual Discussion Panel. Although active discussion between panelists has ended, you are invited to post a comment to any panelist's contribution or to the discussion in general. Once submitted and approved, your comment will appear on the home page along with other recent comments to content.

About this Virtual Discussion (Click to Hide)

Ann Drinan  

Ann Drinan

Senior Editor
Discussion Moderator

The November VDP puts the spotlight on Canadian orchestras. Canadian and US symphony musicians all belong to the same union, and many Americans play in Canadian orchestras and Canadians play in American orchestras. But the nature of symphony orchestras is rather different in the two countries, in large part because of the amount of government funding available for Canadian orchestras. But such funding brings its own set of problems.

I've invited a panel of Canadians, representing all aspects of the Canadian orchestra scene, to explore a variety of topics, including the Canadian orchestra funding model; the relationships between the AFM, Orchestras Canada, and the Canada Council; Canadian outreach and community engagement initiatives; a Quebecoise perspective; and the current role of the CBC in promoting orchestras. And I'm sure the panelists will bring many more topics to the table.

Polyphonic hopes to provide a forum for Canadian symphony musicians to dialogue with each other about these and other topics, and share successes and concerns about their orchestra. And the discussion should also provide American symphony musicians with both an introduction to some of the issues that concern their northern colleagues and an opportunity to join in the discussion.

I urge you to read Mark Tetreault's article, Canadian Perlustration, for an insightful overview of the issues confronting Canadian orchestras, and how they differ from orchestras in the US. Mark is the AFM's DIrector of Symphonic Services in Canada and Principal Tubist with the Toronto Symphony, and he's one of our panelists.


Katherine Carleton's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Katherine Carleton  

Katherine Carleton

Executive Director, Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada

It's an honour to be here: I was a big fan of the work of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (does anyone else recall being especially happy the day their copy of Harmony arrived in the mail?), and I have been following and promoting since the site was launched last spring.

Ann's given our panel a few topics she'd like us to kick around this week, and rather than covering them all in one massive post, I'm going to try to pick off one at a time, AND respond to my colleagues, AND to anyone else who cares to pitch in.

This, as you'll quickly see, is my "quantitative" post - responding to Ann's question about the Canadian funding model.

I've been executive director of Orchestras Canada since July 2005. Orchestras Canada is a national membership organization for Canada's professional orchestras. We work on behalf of the Canadian orchestral community through leadership and service in advocacy, communications, networking and professional development. Our membership comprises 38 professional and semi-professional orchestras, 40 community orchestras, 49 youth orchestras, along with music schools, other music organizations, and individuals interested in our work. Compared to the American Symphony Orchestra League, we're tiny - we have about one-eighth the membership; even without adjusting for the exchange rate, our budget is less than one-twentieth that of the League; and we have about one-twenty-fifth the staffing complement. We're presently not quite two full-time staff, plus a board of 12 elected and three ex officio members (one each from AFM Canada, the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

It would seem that I'm working towards my first clear point about the differences between the Canadian and American orchestral communities: we work in a bigger landmass (9,984,670 square km in Canada vs. 9,631,418 square km in the US), there are a lot fewer of us (32,623,490 Canadians, according to Statistics Canada vs. 300,280,216 Americans, according to some reputable web source or another), and - significantly for those of us who work, or try to work, nationally - we are a bilingual country.

As well, we've historically worked within a different understanding than our US counterparts of just where the money will come from. I'm comparing statistics collected by Orchestras Canada in 2004-05 (the most recent year for which the reporting has been completed - we're hard at work on 2005-06 results now) to 2003-04 data collected by the League and available on their website at - and here's what I've come up with:


An easy observation: we have a greater expectation than our US counterparts that our governments (at the municipal, provincial and federal levels) will directly and significantly support orchestras through tax revenues, whether through an arms-length agency of government with highly-evolved funding criteria, application and peer assessment processes, like the Canada Council for the Arts and certain provincial granting agencies, or through direct government support. The system rests on the tacit understanding that we all contribute to certain public "goods" through our taxes. But it's not a level playing field: some provinces (and Quebec is the leading example) and some municipalities have traditionally been very supportive of the arts, and others less so. I also sense the potential for a shift in direction, as Canada's new federal government calls for tax cuts and a reduced role for government.

But what do the funding differences mean in the working reality of Canadian orchestras?

I don't feel that I know enough about American orchestras to venture a comprehensive comparison - but here are a few guesses:

Canadian orchestra organizations may approach the structuring and populating of their boards of directors and staff teams somewhat differently;

Canadian orchestras need to be much more aware of, and responsive to, government funders' granting criteria and assessment protocols;

Canadian orchestras have only relatively recently started to address the development of endowment funds, and many are challenged to balance fundraising for endowment purposes with the ongoing need for enhanced operating support.

Thoughts? Comments? Smart remarks? I look forward to continuing the discussion this week!

Post Reply for Katherine Carleton's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Comments for Katherine Carleton

Hi Katherine from cold Calgary! I agree that public funders seem to want to shift away from direct funding of the arts. It seems more and more that they are moving towards an American model. Unfortunately, the Federal government has not put into place the philanthropic motivation by making a donation to an NFP arts organization 100% deductible. And while it is true that organizations are increasingly being held accountable for how their funds are spent, we are seeing, at least in Alberta, a real problem with the increased "hands-on" approach. No one dare have an annual deficit; large cash contingency funds are required (500,000$ for the CPO); and if you dip into a surplus, not only do you have to pay it back but there is a likelihood of being penalized in the form of a reduced grant. In some ways the American model is looking more attractive - i.e., build up a large endowment for those rainy days because it beats being artistically black-mailed by a funder. Unfortunately, there is only so much cash around (though Canadians outside of Alberta might differ!) and there is a problem of trying to fundraise for operating versus the endowment. As Vanessa mentioned, Albertans are woefully underfunded in the arts; we are only hoping that the current Alberta political leadership race will put in someone with vision for the arts that existed in the reign of Peter Lougheed, the former premier of Alberta. But I would also add that the funders have to be responsible to the organizations as well. What good does it do to punish a struggling organization?
robohorn on November 27, 2019 at 5:27 PM
Hi Katherine - How are you? I really enjoyed meeting you earlier this year at the Uniting Our Voices conference in Ottawa. Adding to Rob's comments: It will be very interesting to see what happens in Alberta following the up-coming elections. I think this is true across Canada but especially in Alberta; we are dealing with a lot of 'new money' and a relatively new society. Alberta is all about the 'bottom line' and it is a constant struggle trying to explain the benefits of supporting and sustaining a strong and viable Arts Culture - rather than just balanced budgets. There is no real history here for large philanthropic donations to the arts. It's an up-hill battle for certain, but I do think we are making some progress.
vgoymour on November 27, 2019 at 6:38 PM

Vanessa Goymour's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Vanessa Goymour  

Vanessa Goymour

Manager, Outreach & Education, Calgary Philharmonic

I have been the Manager of Outreach and Education for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra for the past three years. I joined the CPO in its first year back after having gone through bankruptcy protection. The Outreach & Education programme had suffered serious neglect by this time and it has been an interesting, challenging, and rewarding experience to rebuild it. Through restructuring, more emphasis has been placed on outreach & education and we have come a long way. We are now happily performing education concerts to full houses, and interest in our initiatives continues to grow.

We offer a wide variety of programmes, including concerts in the Jack Singer Concert Hall for elementary schools, Open Rehearsals for secondary and post-secondary schools, school visits, school performances and family concerts. We have built formal partnerships with Mount Royal College Conservatory, the University of Calgary Music Department, and the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, offering young performers and composers opportunities to collaborate with the CPO.

Our Community Outreach concerts are designed to reach out to communities in and around Calgary. Outreach events, such as performances in Cochrane & Airdrie, have been very successful. The CPO is constantly looking at new and meaningful ways to reach out to the public. A new initiative for outreach is to team up with a town's local charity to help build visibility for both the charity and the orchestra within that community. When we perform in Cochrane later this season, we will be teaming up with the Cochrane Humane Society.

Although outreach and education are gaining success, the programmes are still faced with many challenges. Although both programmes generate some revenue, the costs to run each programme are significant, and we rely a great deal upon corporate sponsorship. As well, the outreach & education department is a department of one, yet we offer programmes on par with several of Canada's larger orchestras who have more staff assigned to these initiatives.

Funding in Alberta is a major factor. Until last February, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts had not received increases in funding since the late 1980s. In fact, Alberta's per capita support for arts and culture ranks 11th out of the thirteen provinces and territories.

The CPO's CORE committee (Community OutReach and Education) has been a strong force in the re-building of our programmes. It is made up of CPO musicians, staff, board and the community at large. Through the dedication and efforts of these volunteers, we are confident that our work still pays off for the future success of our organization. Ultimately our greatest challenge is to make sure that the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is not the best kept secret in town. We do so much and receive very little media support.

Post Reply for Vanessa Goymour's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Robert McCosh's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Robert McCosh  

Robert McCosh

Principal Horn, Calgary Philharmonic

Board or Bored?

In November, 2003 I was invited to sit on a panel at the Cultural Human Resources Council's conference in Toronto. The conference was entitled Strategy 21, Cultural Human Resources for the 21st Century. There were many panels and presentations of interest at the conference, such as: HR Problems - How Do We Solve Them; Status of the Artist - Forging Ahead; Cultural Management - Where Are We Now?, and many others over the 3 days. There was also a healthy cross-section of people from the cultural industry: artists, producers, funders, managers and board members. In fact, I would say it was the most representative group I have ever encountered at a conference. My only frustration was that I couldn't attend all the simultaneous breakout sessions!

My panel was Boards As Employers - What Are the Issues? I went with some trepidation as I was going to take what I thought would be a minority or controversial point of view - that the structure does not and never really has worked. My basic premise was that an organization's health was tied to the makeup of a board: they flavour the whole organization through their hiring decisions and their ability to open doors to both private and corporate dollars. Because of the constant turnover, both on the board and amongst the staff, today's success may be tomorrow's failure, and vice versa. Although none of the other panelists were willing to go this far, I was surprised to learn that each of them had also experienced serious problems with dysfunctional boards. The point of departure for our panel was the peril "if the lines of communication between staff and board are not open and clear." In my view the lines of communication also have to be open and clear within the board and within the staff. On a broader scale, the lines of authority also have to be open and clear within and between the two constituencies. Then there is the whole issue of open and clear communication in performing arts organizations with the performers.

Much of the attention on boards has come about through the various scandals in the for-profit business world. This has had a positive spinoff, in that the not-for-profit world is finally taking a closer look at board governance. The other panelists really feel this is where our world is lagging behind: reforming and/or instituting best practices on our not-for-profit boards. However, it is still on an ad-hoc basis, with no binding statutes for minimum standards such as the recent reforms through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US. Corporate Canada lobbied strongly not to have the same level enacted by the Toronto Stock Exchange and were somewhat successful in convincing the powers-that-be that the corporation in Canada is still more of a "family operation." This is one area where public funders at all levels could and should play a stronger role: creating and insisting upon uniform standards of reporting and behaviour in the area of board governance. However, it should not be at the expense of the other role the board has traditionally played: that of fundraising. Unfortunately, in Canada the latest mantra is not "give, get, or get off" but "govern, govern, govern." By abdicating the role of fundraiser, the board has shifted a huge burden onto the development staff - which in some organizations may be a department of one! And unfortunately public funders are telling the boards this is the way to go.

Obviously our panel had taken on a huge topic that could not be adequately covered in our hour and a half. There was also some frustration amongst the audience who wanted quick solutions and a concern that board bashing was not going to attract new blood to our organizations. There was strong anecdotal evidence connecting an organization's success with a CEO who has a background in our field. However, we all know of and have experienced exceptions to the rule, on both sides of the equation: thriving orchestras with CEOs with little or no artistic background; failing orchestras with former musicians as CEOs. Leaders who bring a high level of competence and passion combined with a strong work ethic seem to be in short supply. And the best ones are hired away by the deep pockets of the corporate world. Part of the answer may lie in increased empowerment for the performers who must have a certain level of expertise in the off-stage aspects of their organizations. However, with that empowerment comes increased responsibility and I am not entirely convinced that we have the right people in each of our organizations who are ready, willing and able to take on that role. After all, is this why we spent thousands of hours in the practise studio?

Post Reply for Robert McCosh's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Geoffrey Moull's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Geoffrey Moull  

Geoffrey Moull

Music Director, Thunder Bay Symphony

What a wealth of issues to discuss in five days....where to start? Certainly, we all enjoy balanced budgets and the efforts by all that make that possible; we would welcome efforts on the part of the CBC to give us more air time, and loudly applaud all levels of government that would increase funding to our national and provincial arts councils, thus granting us the ability to remunerate our musicians and staff justly for the hard work they do.

But through our daily struggle to stay viable, we lose track of what I consider the major issue facing Canadian orchestras: RELEVANCE! Connecting to our respective communities in a way that will ensure a strong and viable future. Developing an individual artistic identity within the fabric of Canadian society that makes us indispensable.

Through creative team-work, the TBSO (Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra) is well on that path, but first for the non-initiated (i.e., our symphonic friends south of the border), some information about us: Thunder Bay is the smallest community in Canada (pop. 109,000) to support a fully-professional symphony orchestra; the orchestra performs approx. 50 concerts in a 24-week season, offering its musicians 168 services. For two of those weeks and with the generous support of both arts councils, we tour throughout Northwestern Ontario, a vast geographical expanse roughly the size of France, bringing live symphonic music to legion halls, churches, school auditoriums, and aboriginal community centres. Despite our modest size, we're a regular feature on CBC Radio Two and our recent self-produced CD recording of all-Canadian compositions was nominated for a Juno Award.

Our strong commitment to Canadian musicians, guest artists, conductors, and music not only ensures our regular presence on the CBC, it makes us an integral part of the community, region and country. Through numerous community, ethnic and educational outreach projects, the TBSO has been successful over the past few seasons in increasing concert attendance and ticket sales. We're proud to be able to say that it's our classical music concerts in particular that have seen the most gains. The enthusiasm of our musicians, and the high quality of their playing, has been instrumental in ensuring that those who visit us for the first time become return visitors.

During the first couple of panel days I'm a guest of Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax, and thus only sporadically online. Please be patient; as of Wednesday all questions, comments, criticisms and queries will be answered!

Post Reply for Geoffrey Moull's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

John Rapson's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

John Rapson  

John Rapson

Principal Clarinet, Symphony Nova Scotia

My career since 1982 has been shaped by an event which no musician should have to experience - the demise of our orchestra. I joined the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in Halifax, Nova Scotia, along with my wife, Anne, a violinist, in 1979. The day before our first rehearsal in September, 1982, our G.M. called all players to announce that "the season is cancelled." No warning whatsoever; otherwise we might have kept our credit card balances lower over the summer layoff period!

There has been a legacy of good and bad since that time. Sadly, many friends and colleagues left town. Others, who didn't return to the orchestra, are still in Halifax, earning their living by teaching, writing, playing occasionally, becoming impresarios, etc. Some subscribers who lost their concerts for 1982-83 have refused to subscribe again. Those of us who had to audition again for our jobs also had to re-earn our tenure. And until we were tenured, our conductor brought in an audition committee from elsewhere. (Certainly feels bizarre to think of this again! And since 1982 we have been close to the same brink on more than one occasion.) There continue to be many other ramifications of that failure.

Suffice it to say, I don't recommend orchestras going bankrupt! Find a better way!

On a more positive note, when one is out of work, one gets creative - or starves. Several of us discovered our hidden entrepreneurial talents and developed them.

Symphony Nova Scotia has been "thinking" sustainability for several years. Now it is focusing even more attention on it, because the current budget is precarious. The musicians have been informed that next year might bring fewer weeks to our season. We hope that our management and board will also consider reaching audiences who are just waiting to hear us play: families (at least three generations worth!); seniors (some of whom used to come to concerts, but now don't get out at night, but do during the day, with their friends); and more education concerts. We believe that education is an easy sell and that there is more support in the community than we know. We believe that seniors, who have been our loyal audiences for years, still want to hear our music, but now require different conditions. And we believe that the family outing is still a grass roots, fundamental activity in our society.

Building up the endowment fund is also crucial to sustainability. Twenty-five years ago, if the perennial argument hadn't prevailed, that "operating costs are all we can handle, therefore endowment considerations are out of the question," our sustainability would be that much surer today. We have a small endowment today, but I wonder how things would be if 25% of our operating costs were being met by endowment earnings.

I welcome this opportunity to share with a large audience of colleagues and I look forward to your responses.

Post Reply for John Rapson's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Brian Robinson's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Brian Robinson  

Brian Robinson

Montreal Symphony, Principal Bass

Let me introduce myself: my name is Brian Robinson and I am the Principal Bass and Players Committee Chairman of l'orchestre symphonique de Montreal. I have been a member of the orchestra for 24 years.

A simple way to sum up our orchestra is the old saying: "never a dull moment"! This orchestra has experienced alternating 'highs' and 'lows' over the years that sometimes leave us shaking our heads!

Right now we are (we hope!) heading into one of our 'high' periods following the lowest - the 5 month strike of 2005. What I find amazing is the fact that we are still on our feet after such an acrimonious labour dispute, which in itself followed an equally acrimonious departure of our long time Music Director, Charles Dutoit. Perhaps the Quebec 'tradition' of labour unrest kept the public on our side!

Here is where we stand, one year after the end of the strike.

1. A new Music Director is in place Kent Nagano. Nagano is an 'American in Paris'! His home base is there and much of his career has been in Europe. He is solidly in the upper echelon of international conductors and he was truly the #1 choice to replace Dutoit. His other position, Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, is one of the most prestigious in the world. So far our relationship has been all positive, with both the musicians and the public. Montreal loves a 'star' and Nagano fills that bill. On the job he is the antithesis of Dutoit; courteous, open, respectful. His concerts are musically stimulating and the hall is full!

2. The orchestra is essentially intact, despite our problems. We have a number of positions to fill, primarily in the strings, but those are mostly as a result of being without a Music Director for 4 years. The principal solo positions of the orchestra have stayed put since the departure of Dutoit.

3. The Board of Directors has also remained essentially intact. An orchestra with our recent history might normally see its directors fleeing like mice from a sinking ship. The opposite has happened; some important local business people with strong fund raising credentials have been brought on board.

4. As with most Canadian orchestras, we still function in a hand-to-mouth fashion financially. We receive very generous funding from the provincial government, but our high rates of personal and business taxation make it difficult to fundraise compared to the US. Businesses and private individuals feel that they 'contribute' to the Arts through their taxes.

5. Our public has remained faithful. We play in an over-sized, all-purpose hall that does not reward the listener. Despite that, they have, for the most part, stuck with us. They are truly proud of the orchestra and the reputation that it has acquired internationally. The arrival of Nagano has confirmed for them that we will continue our international presence.

6. There remain some deep wounds in the relationship between the musicians and the administration, following the strike. Both sides were affected deeply by statements made during the dispute and they are wary of each other. On the positive side, we have embarked on a program of 'Mediation Preventive.' This is a government sponsored program that provides a mediator to meet with both sides to try to find long-term solutions to chronic labour problems in an organization.

7. Musically, this orchestra is truly a jewel! The pride which it takes in its level of play is incredible, and even after 24 years I am knocked out by the degree to which this ensemble is a 'money player.' The greater the occasion (or pressure!) the better it performs!

That about sums it up. Please feel free to provide any feedback, or questions.

From the moderator: You can read an interview that Robert Levine held with Brian Robinson in our Montreal Symphony Spotlight feature.

Post Reply for Brian Robinson's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Francine Schutzman's Opening Statement (Click to Hide)

Francine Schutzman  

Francine Schutzman

OCSM President, President Local 180, & Oboist with National Arts Centre Orchestra

What does it mean to play in a Canadian orchestra? We have the same musical aspirations, the same problems filing the halls (sometimes), the same feelings of exhilaration when we're in the midst of a great concert, the same successes (and/or problems) with managements as orchestras the world over, but there are some differences, particularly when we compare ourselves to orchestras in the US.

We are all members of the AFM. We have no "right-to-work" provinces. All of the fulltime Canadian orchestras, except one, are members of the Organization of Canadian Symphony Orchestra Musicians (OCSM), and all twenty of those orchestras participate in the AFM/EPW pension fund, which is a separate entity from the one in the US. The fund is quite healthy. The contribution rates of the OCSM orchestras ranges from 5 - 10%, with the average rate being 7.5%. Fourteen of the twenty OCSM orchestras contribute the same amount for subs and extras. The payouts are not indexed, but we have asked the board of directors of the EPW to look at the ramifications of indexing.

Generally (and with the exception of a few orchestras), although we are well-regarded members of society in Canada, we fall behind the US orchestras in the matter of compensation to our musicians, especially when you take into account the cost of living in Canada. Although our subsidized health care helps to close the gap a bit, this is a long-standing problem in Canada.

Another one is the question of tax status. Nine of the OCSM orchestras have employee status, which gives them access to employment insurance and, presumably, other normal benefits of employment. Musicians in the other eleven are considered self-employed, which allows them to write off the expenses of carrying on their trade when it comes to tax time. Each system has its advantages.

All of the OCSM orchestras receive support from the federal government. The National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa was created by an act of Parliament and receives direct subsidy from the government. The other OCSM orchestras get their support through the Canada Council for the Arts, which is an "arm's-length" division of the government that uses a system of so-called peer assessment to determine how much money will go to each orchestra. I believe that it is safe to say that Canadian orchestras enjoy a larger degree of federal support than do orchestras in the US. Our tax laws don't encourage private donations to the extent that we would like them to, and we need to keep working to solve this problem.

Post Reply for Francine Schutzman's Statement:

Please log in to comment:

Lost User Name?
Lost Password?
Register Now

Comments for Francine Schutzman

Hi Francine,
I need to really look at the details but I do believe that Quebec does have a 'right to work' status. In other words you do not have to belong to a union in order to work at a 'union' job, but you will still have to pay dues to the union and are not necessarily covered by any union negotiated collective agreement relating to that job.
Violalto on November 27, 2019 at 10:36 PM
Compensation of musicians is always linked to the financial health of the orchestra. I wonder if there is a way to uncouple it, to recognize that musicians are highly educated professionals, that their 'work' is only partly visible during rehearsals and concerts, and that their pay should compensate the invisible work that musicians do, the research and professional development that is a way of life for every dedicated musician. Musicians usually describe it as 'practice' but that word doesn't communicate well to non-musicians, who may imagine that practice is a low-level activity of training fingers. Is orchestral music a profession? If the answer is 'yes' then how does that change the discussion? And if symphony musicians were to earn a professional income, how would that change the way they pursue their own professional development?
tsefton on November 28, 2019 at 11:06 AM
In Canada it all has to do with the "u." Not really, but labour is treated differently from labor in the States. As Francine pointed out, our OCSM orchestras decided for themselves(and some have recently had it decided for them) that they were either employees or independent contractors. Things are different from province to province because labour in Canada is under provincial jurisdiction whereas in the States it is Federal. Some provinces are more labour-leaning than others: Quebec has one of, if not the highest percentage of unionized workers; Alberta the lowest. Add to the curious situation that the AFM is certified in the U.S. but not in Canada. We voluntarily recognize the AFM as our bargaining agent. Add to this mix the existence of Status of the Artist legislation, which in federal cultural institutions, such as the CBC, and in Quebec, allows an artist or group of artists to force an employer to come to the bargaining table. Other provinces, such as Saskatchewan, have SofA legislation in place as well but the legislation has less teeth because it is again of a voluntary nature.
This labour difference has also allowed different language or the perpetuation of different language in the AFM bylaws. For years OCSM has tried to get rid of the Canadian exclusion concerning theatre contractors on local boards(Article 5, section 43). Theatre contractors are not allowed to sit on local boards in the U.S.; they are in Canada. This has been debated over at least 3 AFM conventions and continues to be a sticking point. There are no legal inhibitions to getting rid of the Canadian exclusion; rather it is simply a desire by some Canadian locals for status quo. The reasons given have been spurious at best, but because the U.S. delegates have no frame of reference for the discussion they have to this point allowed the differentiation to stand. It has created 2 levels of unionism within the Federation. On the other hand, even though the CBC agreement is not used in the U.S., an extension to the agreement has to be passed by the IEB according to AFM bylaws(Article 5, section 33a and b). In my view, this is where language for a Canadian exclusion would be appropriate. If nothing else, our labour differences have certainly provided for some of the more interesting moments at past conventions!
robohorn on November 28, 2019 at 5:41 PM

Log In to Post a General Comment:

[back to top of page]

Day 1Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5