In October 2015 the Hamilton Musicians Guild elected a new executive for a two-year term beginning in January 2016. Vacancies had arisen due to the decisions of Lorne Lozinski and Steve Sobolewski to not seek re-election after many years of service.
Brenda Brown and Glen Brown were elected as Directors by acclamation. Ron Palangio was elected as Marshall by acclamation, and Janna Malseed was elected as 2nd Vice President by acclamation. Continuing are Larry Fuedo as President, Brent Malseed as Secretary-Treasurer, Reg Denis as 1st Vice President, Paul Panchezak as Sergeant-at-Arms, and John Balogh as Director.
The Hamilton Musicians Guild is one of the fastest-growing locals of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents the professional interests and rights of more than 90,000 musicians across North America. The AFM is the largest organization representing musicians anywhere in the world.
In Hamilton, the commitment and integrity of each HMG Executive member will be the key to engaging and serving the needs of over 600 local members. The Local’s astounding growth over the past two years is a direct result of the commitment and vision of the HMG Executive.
Recent local initiatives are helping to build respect and trust within the organization: More paid shows supported by the Music Performance Trust Fund, advocating for musicians and solving the problem of non-payment of musicians from Opera Hamilton, public workshops that address the challenges of working as a professional musician, improved communication and showcasing of local news through the Libretto publication, outreach into the community through scholarships and programs supporting music education, being active on social media, liaising with the City of Hamilton’s Live Music Strategy Committee, and for the first time in many years, identifying with and supporting other local labour groups by participating in the Labour Day Parade and being actively involved in the Hamilton District Labour Council.
Benefits of being in the Musicians Union:
- Contracts/collective bargaining. The AFM negotiates wages and working conditions in order to maintain minimum standards for its members involved in recording, TV shows, music videos, commercials, films, video games and traveling theatrical productions. The AFM also can provide a legally binding contract for any type of engagement, and when properly executed and filed with the local union, they allow the local officer to help collect payments in the case of a default.
- Pension and Health. AFM members may earn credits toward retirement and, under certain conditions, health care each time they work. The AFM pension plan allows contributions for all working AFM members.
- Insurance Programs You Can Rely On. The AFM is here to protect you and your valuable instruments by offering a number of low-cost options.
- Referral Programs/GoPro. The AFM provides a host of referral programs and access to licensed signatory booking agents to help, including:
- www.GoProMusic.com. List your band on the AFM live music referral site.
- www.GoProLessons.com. List your services on the AFM music instructor referral service. This online resource enables consumers to easily locate and engage AFM member music instructors.
- www.GoProHosting.com. Professional web hosting services to help you develop the perfect web site.