To our Members,
Advocacy for Extension of the CERB and other Measures
We know the vast majority of our membership faces great uncertainty about when they will be able to return to performing and earning a living. As we indicated in my last update and as many of you have reiterated to me through direct communication, the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for musicians is the top priority in our community. Both you and TMA149 represented by the Federation joined together with a coalition of performing arts workers in asking for an extension of the CERB until at least the end of 2020 in an April 21, 2020 letter to the Federal Government. You may follow-up this letter by:
- Ensuring you and your contacts visit SaveLiveArts.ca and consider signing the petition to support the extension and other considerations; and
- Having your own conversation with your local MP about the importance of the extension. You may direct them to the April 21, 2020 letter for a comprehensive request.
Please note that TMA149 followed up the April 21, 2020 letter to the Federal Government with its own May 13, 2020 letter to the Provincial Government with requests for support in the Province’s jurisdiction. You may wish to have follow-up conversations with your elected Provincial representative, your MPP, about this letter and feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions, comments or suggested additions.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
While the extension of the CERB is our focus, considering the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has already been announced, we have decided to solicit more information on how members could become eligible for the subsidy both now and in the near future. We will share this information as we receive it. Those who are interested in the CEWS now, and who have access to accounting and legal advice, should speak directly with their accountant and/or lawyer on accessing the CEWS and what impact it may have on your business.
AFM Freelance Fund
Our Federation has launched a Musicians’ Relief Fund dedicated to freelance musicians. Please review the criteria and apply if you need assistance. Please note our members are eligible other than those that continue to receive payments under a Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the case of TMA149 this only excludes core orchestra members of TSO, COC, National Ballet and Tafelmusik, and those with ongoing work in Commercial Announcements.
Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
The Federal Government has announced how distribution of its special fund for our sector will be distributed. If you or your organization have an ongoing funding history with the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, or FACTOR, there may be support that impacts you in Phase 1 of the distribution. For details please visit this page.
Detailed List of Stage 1 Openings – Music Studios can Reopen
Safe Return to Work
As different parts of the community reopen, we are publishing our own recommendations as well as guidelines from our colleague organizations on the safe return to work in the recording and live sectors. Please visit this post for updates.
Mental Health Supports
As this crisis continues Mental Health is of greater and greater concern. Let’s support each other the best we can and know the Provincial Government has listed some great resources here.
May 22 Practice General Meeting – 11:00 AM
As a reminder if you are interested in attending the Online Annual General Meetings next week and you want to try out the technology and get a feel for the meeting style please attend today’s practice general meeting. Please note that General Meetings are quite procedural and much different from the Town Halls that we have been having for Covid-19 Updates. We will hold another Town Hall in June after the General Meetings have concluded.
Topic: TMA149 Test General Meeting
Time: May 22, 2020 11:00 AM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 942 5250 1662
Recording of May 8, 2020 Town Hall
The recording of the May 8, 2020 Town Hall may be found here.
Suspension of Dues Penalties and Reinstatement Fees, Extension of Life Member Dues Deadline
In response to the economic needs of our membership the Board of Directors of TMA149 has decided to make a motion to the membership to suspend all late fees, penalties and reinstatement fees found in Articles 14 1(c), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of theTMA149 By-Laws. This means that if you fall behind on dues you will be able to bring your membership into good standing by simply paying for missing quarters. Further to provide relief for our longest standing and most senior members the Board of Directors has extended the deadline to pay for 2020 Life Membership from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
TMA149 Health Benefits
Further, although no rule changes were required, the Board of Directors wishes to clarify that all members who have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for, Covid-19 may apply for support to the TMA149 Health Benefit and Extended Health Benefit, as well as the Federation’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians.
TMA149 and CFM Office
Our office is physically closed and we are working from home. Although we are still accepting phone calls, mail and courier delivery, we ask that you access services by email whenever possible. Those working please do continue to send contracts, reports, dues and pension contributions.
Please note the Canadian Office of the Federation is open for electronic services and accepting P2 applications by mail for those planning a post-Covid tour.
Covid-19 Update Archive
We also wanted to repeat and add to our list of additional resources:
- Canadian Federation of Musicians Covid-19 Resources Page
- SOCAN Covid-19 Resources Page
- Toronto Hydro, Ontario Energy Board, Toronto Utilities, Toronto Property Taxes, resources for bill assistance – City of Toronto has announced a 60 day grace period for taxes and other City of Toronto payments as of March 16, 2020
- Bill Payment arrangements for Rogers (also Fido), Telus, Bell, Koodo, Freedom
- Financial Assistance from the AFC
- Financial Assistance from Unison Benevolent Fund
- Province of Ontario Social Assistance
Again feel free to reach out to myself or any of our office staff with specific requests including regular business inquiries.
In Solidarity, Michael Murray, Executive Director