Magazine article International Musician

Military Musicians Must Consult CFM Locals for Some Off-Base Performances

Magazine article International Musician

Military Musicians Must Consult CFM Locals for Some Off-Base Performances

Article excerpt

Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) has historically employed a substantial number of musicians on a full-time basis, providing music for the various military functions. Occasionally, there is a crossover when these bands are required to perform off base in the community, to highlight the presence of the Forces and engage with the general population. The Canadian Federation of Musicians has no objection to these performances, as they are generally for a military objective or to underscore our Armed Forces.

However, when these performances take on a more competitive nature, and when they would normally be done by civilian musicians, the Forces must obtain permission from the AFM local with jurisdiction over the engagement location. This is a requirement found within the Forces' internal regulations, and is also contained within a memorandum of understanding between the DND and the CFM. Locals have been accommodating in this regard, and do not unreasonably withhold permission when these requests are made.

For whatever reason, the process fell off the rails, and at least one military band was discovered to be accepting civilian (competitive) engagements. The local involved sent many letters, over a period of four years, attempting to resolve the issue, to no avail. The Canadian Offices requests for a resolution were also met with resistance and rhetoric. In September, we were able to secure a meeting with Lieutenant-Colonel Murray, the Supervisor of Music at the Directorate of History and Heritage, within the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. The Colonel was joined by two of his staff, while I was accompanied by Cornelius Godri, president of Local 190 (Winnipeg, MB). …

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