@AirCanada receives #FIMAirlineOfChoice Award – Press Release

On 11 May 2017, the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), which represents professional musicians and their trade unions in more than 60 countries, awarded the newly created FIM Airline of Choice award to Air Canada. The ceremony took place during the opening evening of the 4th FIM International Orchestra Conference hosted by the Quebec Musicians Guild (local 406 of the AFM).

FIM President John Smith, Senior Vice Presdient Air Canada Craig Landry, FIM Vice-President Deborah Cheyne

FIM and its member unions have been campaigning for several years with the aim of improving airlines’ policies so that musicians traveling with their instrument are treated fairly and are fully informed about regulations governing the transportation of musical instruments. The international jury set-up by FIM established that the Canadian company was clearly ahead of its competitors in this respect.

According to Benoît Machuel, FIM General Secretary, “Air Canada goes clearly beyond the requirements of the FAA regulation in the US – which today is the benchmark – by offering a 50% discount on a second seat for an instrument when necessary, as well as giving priority boarding to musicians and their instruments. Air Canada’s policy towards musicians is in our view exemplary.”

The FIM President, John Smith, declared: “It is satisfying to see that the air transport sector is gradually adapting itself to musicians’ needs. Unfortunately, too many companies still have unthought out policies that are often applied in an erratic and unpredictable manner. This is incompatible with a profession that, by its very nature, involves frequent travelling.”

“The Canadian Federation of Musicians has been working with our airlines for some time”, said AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert. ‘We are very pleased that Air Canada listened, and have taken steps to greatly enhance the travel experience for musicians and their very valuable tools of trade.”

“For over 35 years Air Canada has been a long-time supporter of orchestral music in Canada. As official airline of eight major symphony orchestras in Canada from coast to coast, we have proudly flown them and their talented musicians around the world from China to Europe and the U.S. on many tours and to world famous concert halls including Carnegie Hall,” said Craig Landry, Senior Vice President, Revenue Optimization at Air Canada. “Our dedication to orchestras and music extends much further than being Official airline of these outstanding organizations. In 2015 we implemented industry leading enhancements designed to support the specific needs of all musicians travelling with carry-on instruments, including pre-boarding benefits and a generous discount when purchasing an additional seat for their instrument.”

The FIM Airline of Choice award 2017 was received on behalf of Air Canada by Senior Vice President Mr Craig Landry, in the presence of 200 international FIM delegates.

Information

Benoît Machuel, FIM General Secretary

Mobile: +33 660 625 494

office@fim-musicians.org

https://www.fim-musicians.org/

 

4th International Orchestra Conference in Montreal is on the way

From May 11 to 14 the international orchestra community is gathering in Montreal. 300 delegates from more than 40 countries will discuss cutting edge topics of the industry.

International Orchestra Conference

Created in 2008 by FIM (International Federation of Musicians), the International Orchestra Conference takes place every three years. The previous editions took place in Berlin (2008), Amsterdam (2011) and Oslo (2014). The aim of this dedicated conference is to give symphony orchestra or opera musicians down to the smallest ensemble orchestras the opportunity to share their experiences, concerns and initiatives on issues such as improving working conditions, consolidating employment, risk prevention where health and safety are concerned, developing audiences or public or private financial perpetuation.

A place of exchange for musicians and managers

Since its first edition in 2008, the International Orchestra Conference has invited administrators to take part in panels alongside musicians’ representatives. This open approach enables us to address issues of common interest together, without excluding controversy.

Financing methods, the impact of digital on the way orchestras operate and their relationship with the public, taking risks into account where occupational health is concerned, the involvement of musicians in elaborating artistic projects – these are but a few examples of the numerous issues which musicians and managers address. We need to take up issues and submit them for debate.

Orchestras: an essential cultural mission

In February 2014, musicians’ representatives meeting at the 3rd International Orchestra Conference stated: “Support for symphony and opera music, which are a precious and fragile part of our cultural heritage, is a prime responsibility of national, regional and local governments“. In what has become known as the Oslo Call, they also called on political decision makers “to honour this responsibility, by providing orchestras with the means that are necessary to pursue their missions and thus contribute to, and enhance artistic, social and economic life“.

This public service mission for orchestras reaffirmed here fulfils our societies’ need for culture, providing them with both artistic excellence and social bonding.

Find programme here.

Upcoming International Conferences

The arts and orchestra conferences circus is taking speed again in 2017.

International Orchestra Conference

The IAMA (International Artist Managers Association) 27th International Conference takes place in the Paris Philharmony from April 5 to 7.

Find more information on this event here.

The international orchestra community will meet in Montreal (Canada) for the 4th FIM International Orchestra Conference from May 11 to 14. Experts from orchestras around the globe will discuss topic issues and developments in the  orchestra sector.

More information

The latest edition of the Classical:NEXT Fair takes place in Rotterdam (Netherlands) from May 17 to 20.

More information

Time marches on. Make you conference choice!

Help sacked MPO players to fight their case at court!

A Malaysian court has tweaked the law to deny basic rights to seven foreign players who were summarily dismissed by the Malaysian Philharmonic, as reported earlier. The orchestra remains under an international musicians boycott.

This appeal comes from one of the disenfranchised seven. Please support this appeal if you can and forward this message.

“I am one of the seven musicians fired three years ago by the Malaysian Philharmonic. After an interminably long wait, the judge has finally delivered her verdict: despite our many years of dedicated work with the orchestra, including long service bonuses and contractual retirement clauses, and despite our unblemished employment records, we were all in fact fixed-term, temporary employees, and had no right to expect continued employment. She decided that the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra had every right to terminate our employment at the end of our current contracts, without giving any notice or reason.

From all the legal advice we have since received, and the case readings we have done, this decision goes completely against the Malaysian Industrial Relations Act, and against just about every precedent that has been set by previous cases. If allowed to stand unchallenged, it will affect every current and future employee of the Malaysian Philharmonic, and seems to give Malaysian employers the right to terminate any employee at will as long as they have implied their “intention” to use a fixed-term contract. Up until this case, under Malaysian law, the burden of proof was always on the employer to establish that the recourse to the fixed-term engagement of the workers was genuinely related to their establishment or undertaking. That appears to be the case no longer.

We believe that an injustice has been done, and are determined to exhaust all of our options to make it right. The legal fees involved are substantial, however, and all of us have had our future earning potential severely affected by our dismissals. To that end, we have established a fundraising campaign to help our supporters contribute, and would like to invite your readers to participate.

Donations can be made anonymously, and we pledge to be completely transparent with the use of those funds, and with our progress. Everything we receive will go to our legal fund, and at the end of the case, if we win a monetary award, we will either return your donation to you in full (if you wish), or make a lump sum donation of the full amount collected to a worthy youth orchestra.”

To support, please visit: www.gofundme.com/MPO7LegalFund