Canada 150 musicians will be poorly paid

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Re: “11-day festival to celebrate Canada’s 150th,” May 16.


 


It was a good and informative article by Mike Devlin; music is always a good choice to attract and entertain people. What the article does not address is the shameful treatment of local musicians being asked to perform.


The City of Victoria has empowered Atomique Productions and the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee to put on the show, and it is the City of Victoria that is responsible for the fair distribution of money.


The Canada 150 fund of $624,000 will presumably provide fair pay for the fireworks, the myriad electricians, carpenters, and all the other techs and labourers supporting the events. Food vendors have an opportunity to make money from their sales. The security and policing of the event will be paid; the list goes on.


That is, until you come to the local musicians who, in many cases, will be the reason that all these thousands of people will be attending. Some local bands are being offered an “honorarium” of $200 to perform. That is for the entire band.


Musicians, whether members of the Canadian Federation of Musicians Local 247 or not, cannot make anywhere near a living on that kind of pay. This is wrong, disgraceful and unacceptable, looking at it from any angle, whether from the angle of the City of Victoria really supporting local arts rather than just making a show of it, appropriate use of tax dollars, fighting poverty, or even just respect for music and musicians.


 


Gary Preston


President, Island Musicians Association, Local 247


Canadian Federation of Musicians


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