Highlights from the 2015 OCSM Conference in Windsor

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More information about many of the items and presentations listed here are available from your OCSM Delegate on request. Thank you for reading!


  1. 40th Anniversary Conference dedicated to Jim Biros. OCSM held its first-ever Conference in 1975. This year, we remembered the former Executive Director of the Toronto Musicians Association, a great friend to all musicians and an active participant in many OCSM Conferences. Jim passed away last September; he will be missed.

  2. Unity Day with Canadian Conference. In a tradition Jim helped revive, Saturday was devoted to joint sessions with CanCon, the Conference of CFM Locals. The day included round table discussions, AFM officer reports, and a detailed presentation from the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada.

  3. Spotlight on Windsor and Detroit. This was OCSM’s first conference held in Windsor; we benefitted from a tour of the historic Capitol Theatre home of the WSO. We also heard presentations on the Detroit Symphony’s recovery from DSO Committee Chair (and Windsor resident) Haden McKay; and on Classical Revolution Detroit, from former DSO bassist Rick Robinson.

  4. Update from London: #WePlayOn. Thea Boyd, a former Orchestra London musician, reported on her colleagues’ efforts to present concerts, campaign for public support, and form a newly branded orchestra, currently known by its hashtag, #WePlayOn.

  5. Communications workshop with Randall Whatley, who shared successful media strategies used by many US orchestras, and encouraged Canadian orchestra Musicians’ Associations to establish their own website and social media presences.

  6. Musicians’ health workshop with Christine Guptill, who spoke about the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada and OCSM’s key role in getting it established. She also shared research on hearing protection, injury prevention, and other issues facing musicians.

  7. “Bargaining in the new new new economy.” OCSM Legal Counsel Michael Wright’s presentation addressed some economic arguments frequently heard in negotiations, with strategies for effectively responding.

  8. New and revised Media Guidelines. The OCSM Media Committee developed a new set of guidelines for studio recordings, and revised the existing guidelines for streaming of concert performances. Both documents are being finalized, and will be made available following CFM approval.

  9. Wage charts moving online. SSD Communications and Data Coordinator Laurence Hoffman introduced Delegates to the new entry system, and demonstrated how the information can be accessed and searched through a password-protected portal in the AFM website, wagechart.afm.org.

  10. Advocacy as Federal election approaches. Orchestras Canada Executive Director Katherine Carleton gave an overview of the symphonic sector’s advocacy materials and goals, as well as recent policy signals from the Canada Council.

  11. 2016 Conference to be held in Calgary. The Conference Committee recommended a site “in or around” Calgary, which OCSM last visited in 2000; dates are still TBD. They also put forward Ottawa as a tentative site for 2017.

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