Success Attributed To Voluntarism, Community Support, And Provision Of Gigs For Local Players

This excerpt is from the October 2017 Libretto, the official newsletter of the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild, local 293 AFM. Secretary-Treasurer Brent Malseed reports:

We have been extremely busy at the Guild office much of this year with all the planning and organization involved in hosting the 2017 AFM Canadian Conference of Musicians at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel in August. The last time Hamilton hosted a Canadian Conference was in 1985. This year’s conference was a huge success and our local has received many positive accolades verbally and in writing from many of the officers, delegates and guests who attended.

Robin Moir, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Conference and Secretary-Treasurer of AFM Local 180 (Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau) penned the following in her September 2017 newsletter report to the members of Local 180 – “This year the Canadian Conference was held in the beautiful city of Hamilton, Ontario from August 11th to the 13th at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. Local 293 members worked diligently over the past year to ensure an exciting, musical, informative and friendly conference, and they succeeded! The hotel was the perfect place to host a conference; accessible and welcoming, it was the ideal location for people new to Hamilton.”

The success of this conference would not have been possible without the hard work and support from all Local 293 Executive Board members and member volunteers that worked so well together. I would like to make a special shout out to Janna Malseed who took on the responsibility to Chair the Conference Host Committee. The other committee members were Glen Brown and Ryan McKenna, Larry Feudo & Brent Malseed.

A banner that was displayed across Main Street West in front of Hamilton City Hall during the conference was greatly appreciated by all officers, delegates and guests to the city. In fact, AFM President Ray Hair and AFM Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal were so impressed with the welcome that they circled around the block to get a photo of the welcome banner before checking into the hotel. Note: A City of Hamilton Vehicle Flow Study shows the traffic at Main Street West under the banner averages over 50,000 vehicles per day. During the week of our conference, the drivers and occupants of over 350,000 vehicles would have seen our welcome banner and this does not account for number of pedestrians that travel this busy downtown location at City Hall.

When AFM President Ray Hair and many others arrived at the hotel, they were greeted by the ambiance of a String Quartet of HPO musicians performing in the lobby of the Sheraton. The promotion of live music to all delegates, guests and the general public was one of the main goals of the Host Committee. To accomplish this goal, we needed funding and the committee worked diligently to obtain sponsorships and co-funding from various sources. We published a souvenir program booklet for the conference and raised funds through advertising space to local businesses, labour organizations, politicians and many other sources.

We were amazed at the support we received from the community and were able to raise over $14,000 to cover promotion and employment of professional musicians who performed live music to the general public and guests of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel.

About the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild

The Hamilton Musicians’ Guild is a powerful collective voice representing musicians and the music profession in Hamilton. It is affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Musicians and American Federation of Musicians. At present there are 602 active members.

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