AFM Canada History and CFM

As early as 1897, the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) invited the Montreal Musicians' Protective Union and the Toronto Orchestral Association to join the union. Montreal accepted immediately and was designated as Local 62 (although it only survived a few years and was rechartered as Local 406 in 1905). Toronto joined in 1901.

By 1900 the union changed its name to the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada and was actively organizing on both sides of the border. In 1937 a position was created to provide for an initial level of Canadian representation, as Walter Murdoch was elected International Executive Officer for Canada. However, as the music industry changed, becoming less a local business and more a national and international industry, the union faced two challenges: first, the laws that govern union activities in each country are fundamentally different in certain areas. Second, the Canadian members were seeking ways to preserve their own identity.

With the election of J. Alan Wood in 1965, the Canadian leadership role evolved into the office of "AFM Vice President from Canada". In 1979, after nearly 75 years of part-time representation, the AFM Convention designated that the Vice President from Canada would become a full-time officer supervising a full-time Canadian Office.The Canadian office remained under the leadership of J. Alan Wood until the election of Ray Petch in 1991, followed by David Jandrisch in 1997, Bobby Herriot in 2003, and Bill Skolnik, who was first elected to that position in 2007, and reelected in 2010. He had previously served as the Executive Director of Local 149, Toronto, Ontario. The Canadian Office continued to achieved greater autonomy over solely Canadian matters. At the AFM's 98th Convention, in June 2010, when the Convention Delegates adopted a Resolution which changed AFM's operating name within Canada, to "Canadian Federation of Musicians/Federation canadienne des musiciens (CFM/FCM)".  This change in name is the AFM's next natural step in its commitment to best represent the needs of Canadian members. 

Alan Willaert was appointed to the position in 2012. He had previously served as the Executive Director for Canada, AFM.


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