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Dusty Kelly Named Executive Director of the TMA149

Headshot of Dusty Kelly, a woman with red curly hair, in a grey and black striped top, against a black background

Dusty Kelly Named Executive Director of the Toronto Musicians’ Association

A new Executive Director began their term November 14, 2022 with a vision to improve the resiliency of Toronto’s professional musicians and lead the largest local of the Canadian Federation of Musicians to an inclusive, diverse, and supportive future.

November 18, 2022

The Board of Directors of the Toronto Musicians’ Association, Local 149 of the American Federation of Musicians (TMA149) has named Dusty Kelly Executive Director, effective November 14, 2022.

The TMA149 is the largest association in Canada, boasting more than 3000 members and functions as an advocate for fair working conditions and wages, facilitator of work visas for travelling musicians, and helps manage a robust pension fund and generous benevolent fund for the professional musician.

Covid saw a reduction in work of over 70% and reduction in working members by over 50%. membership is on track to meet or exceed pre covid levels by early 2023 and work is coming back having recovered losses by nearly 64% to date.

“The last few years have not only tested the resilience of the professional music industry, but brought it together in ways only dreamed of previously. I am extremely excited for our members to have someone with Dusty’s experience, imagination and drive to lead our organization back to full capacity and beyond,” says Andy Morris, president of the TMA149 board.

The TMA under Dusty’s leadership will continue to work toward increasing awareness and understanding with the municipal and provincial governments we operate under. We aim to improve its diversity of services and representation of the most diverse musical genre and cultural population in the country. We will also develop and nurture our membership through workshops, benefits, and labour advocacy.

Dusty shares, “Music is a vital component of Ontario’s diverse culture, an important economic driver that engages many talented musicians and artists from all walks of life and the Toronto Musicians’ Association has been representing and advocating for musicians for over 120 years.

The TMA is uniquely positioned to address the many challenges impacting musicians’ livelihoods and it is within this backdrop that I am looking forward to initiating dialogue with our many external stakeholders. Together we can develop inclusive strategies aimed at addressing inequity in our sector and bring about sustainable solutions that will lead to long-term prosperity.”



Dusty brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the arts space including 5 years as secretary and business agent with the Vancouver Musicians’ Association, Local 145, and 21 years in a variety of administrative, contractual, and organizing roles with the Vancouver International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE) Local 891.



Jaye Marsh, communications@tma149.ca