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ICSOM -- the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicans, representing American orchestral musicians.
ROPA -- the Regional Orchestra Players' Association, representing American orchestral musicians who play with smaller- budget orchestras.






AFM of the United States and Canada -- the Musician's Union.
AFM Canadian Conference -- The regional conference of AFM Locals.
Symphonic Services Division - This page has a great deal of timely information -- all you have to do is register for the AFM members-only area.
The Musicians' Pension Fund of Canada can answer any questions about your AFM Pension.



Canadian Broadcasting Corporation main site -- CBC Music and Opera at iCulture -- hear the current Arts Report or RealAudio.

Statistics Canada -- good source for numbers at negotiation time.














The Toronto Musicians' Association Self Management Career Resource Centre is an invaluable asset for Canadian performing artists.

Canadian Musicians' Employment Status Archive - offers access to specific information in regard to musicians' employment status. 

Orchestras Canada - Their site has many Professional Development ideas and resources. Jointly with OCSM, they developed an audition ethics code.

CCRA Interpretation Bulletin IT525: This bulletin discusses the criteria used by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) to distinguish a performing artist who is an employee from one who is self-employed. This distinction is important in determining the expenses that are deductible in computing the artist's income.

The Symphony Orchestra Library Centre has many resources including reference materials and audition lists.

The Canadian Cultural Web Directory is a menu-style directory of Canadian arts and cultural web sites, with connections to over two thousand Canadian sites.

Canadian Conference of the Arts- Canada's oldest and largest arts advocacy group, representing more than 200,000 Canadian artists and cultural workers from all disciplines from all across the country. Their bulletins ensure you are aware and current with developments affecting the arts and cultural sector.

In the U.S, a coalition of concerned organizations including the American Symphony Orchestra League has created a two-page "Tips for Traveling Musicians". It is available on the ASOL's government affairs website.

Health and Safety 











The effects of sound exposure in workplace settings, recommendations, and assesment tools: www.soundadvice.info

The Ontario Ministry of Labour's Safety Guidelines the Live Performance industry includes orchestra pits and sound levels.

Musicians and Injuries -- a website dedicated to printed and online resources.

The Health and Safety for Musicians seminars have interactive programs on various topics. A project of the The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Public Health and the University of Illinois-School of Public Health.

Canadian Network for Health in the Arts -- Play It Safe: A Health Resource Manual for Musicians and Health Professionals

Hearing Loss - Tinnitus resource page

The Centre for Human Performance and Health Promotion

The Ontario Ministry of Labour's "Health and Safety Advisory for Live Performance" publishes guidelines which recommend realistic procedures to protect those working in live performance.

Safety and Health in Arts Production and Entertainment (SHAPE) in British Columbia has a large collection of books, pamphlets, safety programs, manuals and other specific information aimed at the performing arts and motion picture industry. Link

The Artists’ Health Centre Foundation (AHCF) supports the work of the Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre (AHC) at Toronto Western Hospital. It is involved in outreach, education, and prevention services for the over 20,000 professional artists who live in the Toronto area.

The Musician's Survival Manual is a guide to preventing and treating injuries of musicians. You can download the book here.

 Insurance OCSM has arranged a beneficial insurance package for musical instruments through the following company. See the "Insurance" section for more information.

Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions 201-600 Empress Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3G 0R5

For more information contact Ashley Wrixon, extension 7664 at either 204-943-0331 or 1-800-665-8990 ext.7664. ashley.wrixon[at]westernfgis.ca


  • Orchestra Digest: New seasons edition

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    Deals, festivals, and a Mozart controversy

    The New York Philharmonic reached agreement on a 3-year contract with modest salary increases, the NY Times reports. This was the first negotiation involving new President/CEO Deborah Borda, with new Music Director Jaap van Zweden set to take over in the fall.  

    The Regina Symphony launched its new Forward Currents Festival this month, previewed in the Globe and Mail. Each year the festival will highlight a different social justice issue; this year's festival focused on Truth and Reconciliation, just weeks after the Gerald Stanley verdict in Colten Boushie's death sparked national outrage. 
    The Vancouver Symphony's Spring Festival is underway this weekend, highlighting musical legends including Leonard Bernstein. The Georgia Straight previews the Festival. 
    Symphony Nova Scotia has launched a new prize for women composers, the Maria Anna Mozart Award, and recently performed its first commission: Kelly-Marie Murphy's Dragon. The Chronicle Herald previewed the concert. 
    The current Canadian Opera Company production of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio reworked the text substantially to address the casual racism of the original, inserting around 30 minutes of spoken dialogue. Maclean's surveyed the critical reaction. 
    People in the news
    Among the tributes to Tommy Banks, who died of leukemia on Jan. 25th, were laudatory pieces in the Globe and MailCBC News, and Edmonton Journal. A well-attended remembrance ceremony took place Feb. 14th in Edmonton's Winspear Centre.
    Alexander Neef, the Canadian Opera Company's general director for the past 10 years, will add a new role as artistic director of Santa Fe Opera, working alongside general director Robert K. Meya and music director Harry Bicket, the New York Times reports
    The new general director of Calgary OperaKeith Cerny, has a history as a repetiteur for Richard Bradshaw, and as an innovator of opera technology in his previous post with Dallas Opera. The Globe and Mail profiled Cerny as he steps into his new role. 
    Three days after the Metropolitan Opera fired James Levine, following an investigation into abuse allegations, Levine has sued the company for defamation and breach of contract, the NY Times reports
    The Boston Symphony announced an independent investigation had found allegations against frequent guest conductor Charles Dutoit were credible, CBC News reported
    Following Levine's firing, NY Times critic Zachary Woolfe asked: Should We Rethink Maestro Worship? Reporting on Charles Dutoit's tenure with the Montreal Symphony prompted a related commentary by Globe and Mail critic Robert Everett-Green
    Many Canadian orchestra musicians (including yours truly) come via the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. The Toronto Star followed four such musicians from the TSO, Miles Jaques, Kelly Zimba, Clare Semes, and Charles Settle, as they worked with New World fellows and discussed the future of the profession.  
    New seasons 
    At the centre of the Edmonton Symphony's 2018-19 season, previewed by the Edmonton Journal, is a Sibelius mini-festival conducted by Alexander Prior. 
    The Record spoke with new Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony music director Andrei Feher to preview his first season as music director, highlighting Russian and Eastern European repertoire.
    The National Arts Centre Orchestra launched its 50th anniversary season with a bilingual YouTube video featuring music director Alexander ShelleyThe Globe and Mail also previewed the 2018-19 NAC season. 
    The National Ballet of Canada's season opens with a new Anna Karenina, co-produced with the Hamburg and Bolshoi Ballets. The Toronto Star previews the entire season. 
    As he oversees the Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin is standing by his city -- and Orchestre Métropolitain. The Montreal Gazette previewed OM's 2018-19 season, including Sibelius, Mahler, and Bartok.
    The Regina Post-Leader offered a run-down of the Regina Symphony's new season under music director Gordon Gerrard, the RSO's 110th anniversary. 
    Symphony Nova Scotia bids farewell to longtime music director Bernhard Gueller this May; resident conductor / community ambassador Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser spoke to the Chronicle Herald drumming up excitement for the upcoming season. 
    The Toronto Star's John Terauds and Globe and Mail's Jenna Simeonov agree: the Toronto Symphony's 2018-19 season will be familiar, traditional, and safe. Both critics previewed the upcoming season with interim artistic director Sir Andrew Davis, a transition year amid a music director search.
    Under music director Robert Franz, the Windsor Symphony takes a welcoming approach, inviting audience members to join the orchestra on stage in a series titled Beer and Beethoven. The Windsor Star previewedtheir 2018-19 season.
    The Winnipeg Symphony's 2018-19 season will be its first under music director Daniel RaiskinCBC posted a preview, and reported recently on the announcement of Raiskin's appointment. He grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, studying violin, viola, and conducting. 
    Notice a correction, or an orchestra news story I missed? Please email me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or post to the list yourself! (Remember to include your name and orchestra in your post.) Thank you! - Matt Heller

    Compiled by Matt Heller, with editorial assistance from Francine Schutzman. Sources include the discussion groups of ICSOM and ROPA. Visit OCSM online at: http://ocsm-omosc.org/index.php. Visit OCSM on Facebook, or tweet us @ocsm-omosc.
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