A proposal for getting Canadian musicians a living wage

It’s been brutal for musicians over the last 13 weeks. With no gigs and a music industry that’s slowed to a crawl, they’re running into serious financial trouble. And at this point, they have no idea when things may even approach normal again.

Yesterday, an email popped in from a group called the Canadian Musicians’ Coalition. They’ve come up with a proposal for creating a sustainable living wage for professional musicians. I quote:

“The Canadian Musicians’ Coalition has been created by music community leaders to strongly advocate for long overdue reform of how professional musicians are financially supported for their creative works and performances.

“Most professional musicians can no longer earn a sustainable living wage from music creation and performances. This is because of diminished royalties caused by music streaming, and declining performance opportunities due to music venues’ economic struggles. Now, the COVID-19 crisis has caused much sudden seemingly insurmountable hardship to an already struggling music community. As a result, professional musicians have lost their tours and local gigs for at least a year; many live music venue owners are on the verge of bankruptcy; and the future looks daunting for young musicians who have aspirations for a career in music.

“The Canadian Musicians’ Coalition is committed to advocating that our government implement a Canadian Musician Support Fund Levy that will be used to stimulate and develop our music economy to create a sustainable living wage for Canadian professional musicians from the the music that they create and perform.

“With a sustainable living wage, Canadian musicians will be able to create music with a high standard of excellence that will enhance our national arts culture and continue to provide Canadian citizens with the music recordings and performances that they enjoy and need in their daily lives for a balanced healthy lifestyle.”

If you’re interested in signing the petition or just want to learn more, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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