What’s up at the IRCPA?

What’s next and how to get involved.

The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) presents
Singing Stars: The 
Next Generation,

in concert Monday, November 6, 2017

Get your concert tickets now! 

Zoomer Hall
70 Jefferson Avenue
Liberty Village, Toronto, ON, Canada

November 6, 2017, 7:00 PM

Doors open: 6:30 PM

Featuring 10 singers in a program of opera arias, with pianist Rachel Andrist.
Prices are: $30 general admission, $20 for seniors, under 30 y/o and arts workers.

The performance will feature 10 gifted opera singers who have participated in an intensive full-day Encounter with Canadian baritone Brett Polegato on October 20, 2017.

Polegato will provide valuable advice, encouraging the singers to advance their skills, offering career guidance, and preparing them for the November 6 concert. Rachel Andrist is the collaborative pianist for both the Encounter and the concert.


Launched in 2016, the Name a Scholarship campaign will enable all singers to apply without financial burden. Donors are invited to contribute a $400 scholarship in the name of an important Canadian musical artist past or present. To do so, they may email info@ircpa.net, mail a cheque payable to IRCPA to 43 Bright Street, Toronto M5A 3H5, telephone 416 362 1422 or click the blue button beside. Tax receipts will be issued.

These scholarships significantly enhance the recipients’ biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from Canada’s musical heritage.


At the conclusion of the November 6 concert, one of the 10 singers will be chosen to receive a coveted Career Blueprint. The recipient will spend three days at the National Opera America Center in New York, where new photographs, video and audio recordings, website consultation, mentoring with professionals, and more is provided.

In 2016, the inaugural year of the IRCPA’s Career Blueprint award, two singers were named by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, after the operatic superstar had worked with 10 singers in a daylong Encounter. Soprano Natalya Gennadi and Mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais are currently at or have just returned from the National Opera Center in New York. 

Thanks in large part to her award, Natalya Gennadi was selected for the title role of Tapestry Opera’s new creation, Oksana G. in spring 2017, and received wide praise for her performance. Marjorie Maltais debuts with Orchestre Metropolitan this season, sings the Christmas Oratorio with Elmer Iseler Singers, Messiah with the Milwaukee and Kitchener Symphonies and Elijah with Peterborough Symphony.

Brett Polegato
Brett Polegato
Soprano Natalya Gennadi
Soprano Natalya Gennadi
Mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais
Mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais
d65e2ee9-7070-4492-91b5-abeda031f0ea copy
Classical 96

The IRCPA continues in our mission of making career resources available to musicians, connecting them with one another, with artistic coaches and with leaders in the industry for knowledge exchange, coaching and employment opportunities   Members are independent musicians – instrumentalists, vocalists, ensembles, composers and conductors, who need resources to nurture artistic growth, training to manage the business side of their careers, and performance opportunities to keep their artistic skills sharp. The IRCPA fills these needs through its 2017-2018 series of events.  Musicians of all genres are welcome to participate also in monthly open discussions.


Proposed Schedule 2017 – 2018

Our projected schedule consists of eight events, occurring between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.
The events fall into three categories:
1) Singers Encounter Brett Polegato, October 20
2) a Public Gala Performance, November 6
3) a Series of Six Business of Music Workshops


Detailed description of activities: 

1) Singers Encounter Brett Polegato, October 20
Ten emerging opera/artsong singers, selected through audition, will hone their artistic skills, receive career guidance, and prepare a concert presentation with renowned Canadian baritone, Brett Polegato.


 2) Singing Stars – Next Generation – Public Gala Performance, November 6th, 2017, 7:00pm
The ten opera singers featured in the Encounter with Brett Polegato  perform putting into practice the ideas  assimilated from the Encounter.


3) Business of Music Workshops
These Workshops provide artists with knowledge, techniques and networking opportunities to help launch or enhance their careers as independent musicians.


a) Branding, Marketing and Social Media with Lara Harb, October 22, 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm
Social media manager and Music Theatre singer Lara Harb will provide musicians with tools and techniques for branding and social media marketing.


b) From Rags to Reasonable! Financial Management / Accounting / Planning for Artists with Chris Enns, December 2, 2017, 10:00am-5:00pm
Chris Enns, active opera tenor and certified financial planner, will introduce the basics of financial management in the morning, and will speak about advanced financial planning in the afternoon.


c) Artists New to Canada with Sonia Aimy (Nigeria) and Shahriyar Jamshidi (Kurdish Iran), December 3, 2017, 1:00pm-5:00pm
Jazz vocalist Sonia Aimy and Kamanche performer / composer Shahriyar Jamshidi, recent newcomers to Canada, will share their experiences establishing music careers in this country, providing guidance and suggestions for newcomer artists facing the same challenges they did.




d) Representation: Managers and Agents, early May 2018 (date tbd)
This workshop consists of a morning panel discussion and Q&A led by five Canadian managers/agents from diverse sectors of the music industry; and an afternoon session in which these professionals meet one-on-one with workshop participants. The managers/agents include Toronto-based Kathy Domoney (opera singers/directors/conductors), Robert Missen (music theatre/touring); Richard Flohil (Jazz/Public Relations); Ottawa-based Judith Humenick (jazz), and Laurelle Favreau (classical soloists/ ensembles), based in Connecticut.


e) Artist-Manager Working Relationships: Jazz singer Ori Dagan and Manager Carl Berger, early May 2018 (date tbd)
In this workshop, jazz singer Ori Dagan and his manager Carl Berger will discuss their working relationship as a partnership, along with a host of issues related to artist management. They will also outline the process of creation, recording and distribution of recorded music.


f) Who’s Who in the Industry: Programmers, early May 2018 (date tbd)

Robert Harris
, journalist Globe & Mail.

Derek Andrews, Luminato Festival, Hugh’s Room
Jonathan Bunce, Wavelength Festival
Loie Fallis, Toronto Symphony
Mervon Mehta, Koerner Hall
Jennifer Taylor, Music Toronto. 

How and Who determines what we hear in our clubs, festivals or concert venues?

Buy Tickets: $75 (ask about our 3 for 1 deal save $50)
Details subject to change


Workshops (d), (e) and (f) will be scheduled to pre-date or coincide with Canadian Music Week in Toronto, May 7–13


The IRCPA requires all artist participants in its events to be IRCPA members. Membership is without cost and just a click away. Check it out here.
Finally, this project serves emerging arts administration professionals, as well as developing managers and agents: the IRCPA employs them to run workshops and discussion groups, in turn giving them skills and experience they can leverage as they build their careers.

Please check your calendars and register for the fall workshops NOW.

NOVEMBER 25 and DECEMBER 2 –  special offer of 3 for 1 for colleagues to share the $75 ticket paying $25 each.  Cash at the door.
Download form for November 25
Download form for December 2

December 3rd workshop is free – but registration is required. Download form

Lara Harb
Lara Harb
Christopher Enns
Christopher Enns
Sonia Aimy
Sonia Aimy
Shahriyar Jamshidi
Shahriyar Jamshidi
Kathy Domoney
Kathy Domoney
Robert Missen
Robert Missen
Richard Flohil
Richard Flohil
Judith Humenick
Judith Humenick
Laurelle Favreau
Laurelle Favreau
Ori Dagan
Ori Dagan
Derek Andrews
Derek Andrews
Jonathan Bunce
Jonathan Bunce
Mervon Mehta
Mervon Mehta

Why Ann Summers Dossena Refuses To Let Your Music Career Down

Sara Schabas interview Ann Summer Dossena for Ludwig Van Toronto 

It’s hard to find someone with more knowledge about making it in the classical music business than Ann Summers Dossena.

“When you’re out of school and starting a career, is when you need help the most,” imparts Dossena, a former artists’ manager and concert presenter, as well as the founder of the International Resource Centre for the Performing Arts (IRCPA). “That’s why we started [the IRCPA] long ago now. Next year will be our 35th year.”

On November 6th, the IRCPA will present the second annual instalment of Singing Stars: The Next Generation. Named for a previously famed series on the CBC in the 1940s and 1950s, the Singing Stars program invites young singers from around Canada to take part in a day-long Encounter with various esteemed singers, as well as to perform a concert of the arias they have worked on. After the Encounter and Concert, one or two singers are chosen for the Career Blueprint Award, where that singer is invited to the Opera America Centre in New York City for three days of professional development workshops.

This year’s Encounter’s teaching artist, Brett Polegato, echoes Dossena’s sentiments about the difficulties of being a young singer in between young artist life and professional life.

“There’s a lot of people vying to give you their opinions — trust me, I know,” he said in a feedback session with this year’s Encounter participants. “The hardest time for a young singer is when you’re not in a young artist program, or just out of one. But I believe in the benefit of these Encounters.”

Many of the singers who have participated in these Encounters are in the midst of burgeoning careers as solo artists. The Encounters present an opportunity to work with someone with years of experience in the business, working on style, technique, acting and presentation in preparation for auditions and productions.

“You have to keep your skills sharpened,” Dossena elaborates. “I’ve listened to people who are very good in here, and they still make wrong notes!”

Ann Summers Dossena founded the IRCPA in 1983, after experiences in Italy, Israel, and New York City, along with help from the Metropolitan Opera’s prompter, Joan Dornemann, conductor Edoardo Müller and famed singer, translator of libretti and dialect coach, Nico Castel. Over the years, the IRCPA has helped singers including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Measha Brueggergosman, Adrianne Piezoncka and Colin Ainsworth, to name a few.

Ever forward-looking, the IRCPA now strives to develop a community hub, similar to the Opera America Center and the Di Menna Center for Classical Music, both in New York City. The IRCPA is currently working towards a building of their own in Toronto, complete with audition, rehearsal and performance venues, shared office space and equipment, a library, practise rooms, a cafe, a retail shop, and exhibits honouring Canadian musicians of the past and present.

“Part of our mandate is to honour our Canadian heritage,” Dossena explains of the centre’s need for a heritage centre. Each scholarship offered to young singers is named for a famed Canadian operatic professional, such as Stuart Hamilton, Jon Vickers, and Canadian-American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, who presented last year’s Encounter.  “Many of the singers will not know who the scholarships are named for.”

Dossena also hopes to offer mentoring, feedback sessions and workshops for young Canadian instrumentalists.

“We hope to be able financially to do [Encounters] for instrumentalists and especially for ensembles,” she cites of the scope of the centre. “We also help conductors learn opera scores. Nobody can hire an orchestra, so Joan [Dornemann, of the Metropolitan Opera] will spend a day with conductors. Joan explains where the action is or where somebody is on a high note and needs a moment.”

Encounters like the one being undergone with Brett Polegato are just the first step in Dossena’s plan for the IRCPA.

“You’re all very talented. I hope what we worked on today will help make you even more talented,” Brett Polegato jokingly imparted at the end of his day of sessions with the singers.

In such a competitive field, the generosity and vision of people like Ann Summers Dossena are certainly appreciated by young artists. Let’s hope the IRCPA community hub dream comes to fruition soon!

Find the interview online here.

Ann Summer Dossena
Ann Summer Dossena
Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky 2016
Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky 2016

These are letters received from the participants of THE SAVVY MUSICIAN Workshop. 2016


“Congratulations on yet another fantastic IRCPA event. You continue to inspire with the depth of presenter and participant that you are able to track. And I thank you for the honor of introducing Margaret Lioi.  She is magnificent.

I am so sorry that I have to run out before the program ended…. I feel privileged to be able to work with you and to be in your circles. I also want to express my appreciation for your recognition of the First Nations in your opening remarks.”

Ron Davis,  Jazz-Pianist,  SymphRonica


“I was honoured to be a part of the event, and glad to be able to be able to help on that day.

The Savvy Musician workshop was fantastic. The author and workshop leader David Cutler was very knowledgeable, having been in our position – an independent musician in a new era of music and a changing industry. He walked us through a very important concept, the idea that you don’t have to expect to only do one thing to make your livelihood – multiple streams of income – passive and active – can and should be used to create a real life. The artist doesn’t need to be ‘struggling’ if he uses all his talents!

 Faith Amour, jazz singer-songwriter/Volunteer

David Cutler, Ron Davis
David Cutler, Ron Davis
Margaret Lioi, Faith Amour, Robert Baird
Margaret Lioi, Faith Amour, Robert Baird

 The IRCPA wants to thank all the participants of THE SAVVY MUSICIAN Workshop, it was great to see you all.

On Sunday November 13, 2016, at the Long & Mcquade hall, the IRCPA presented The Savvy Musician Workshop, with jazz and classical pianist David Cutler plus guests from Chamber Music America, Europe’s International Art Managers Association (IAMA), and North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA).


A Life in Music: BIG Ideas on Career & Financial Success
This interactive workshop by arts entrepreneurship guru David Cutler unveiled a variety of uncommon ideas that help musicians of all disciplines to thrive. Success as a musician requires much more than talent and hard work.


For the first time in their history, members of two important international artist management organizations came together “on the road” in Toronto – IAMA, from Europe and NAPAMA. Peter Freeman of IAMA, and Tim Robinson, NAPAMA board member, described their organizations and representation for artists.

Read more

PLUS: At the invitation of the IRCPA, the CEO of Chamber Music America, Margaret Lioi, described the services and benefits available to Canadian musicians, including showcases in New York, networking with the more than 6,000 members, 25% of whom are jazz artists. Jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs is the recently elected president.

Robert Baird, author of the Crossing Borders guides, gave border crossing tips including getting visas and work permits, and dealing with customs inspections when touring.


10 am – 11:30: Introduction – workshop with David Cutler
11:30 12:00: Robert Baird discusses border-crossing issues
12:00 – 12:20 pm: Introduction of Margaret Lioi of CMA by Ron Davis
12:20 – 12:40: Introduction – Peter Freeman of IAMA

12:40 – 13:00: Introduction – Tim Robinson, NAPAMA board member
13:00 – 14:00: Free Lunch available to maximize networking
14:00 – 16:00: Workshop with David Cutler
16:00 – 16:30: Wrap/Networking

Margaret Lioi, Peter Freeman, Robert Baird, David Cutler, Tim Robinson.
Margaret Lioi, Peter Freeman, Robert Baird, David Cutler, Tim Robinson.
David Cutler’s IRCPA Savvy Musician Workshop. November 13, 2016
David Cutler’s IRCPA Savvy Musician Workshop. November 13, 2016
Tim Robinson (NAPAMA), horn player Amelia Shiels, pianist Rachel Peacock
Tim Robinson (NAPAMA), horn player Amelia Shiels, pianist Rachel Peacock

with CEO Margaret Lioi
November 13 – Toronto, Canada

What is Chamber Music?

CMA defines chamber music as music composed for small ensembles, with one musician per part, generally performed without a conductor.

The term once referred only to Western classical music for small ensembles, such as string quartets. But today chamber music encompasses myriad forms, including contemporary and traditional jazz, classical, and world genres.

Who is Chamber Music America?

Margaret M. Lioi, CEO
Margaret M. Lioi, CEO


Soprano Natalya Gennadi and mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais have been named recipients of a “Career Blueprint”, valuable and essential materials for opera singers offered by the National Opera America Center. The Center, in New York, is a colleague of the Toronto-based International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA), a service organization for Canada’s musicians.

Gennadi and Maltais will spend three days at the National Opera America Center, receiving new photographs, video and audio recordings, new promotional materials, website consultation, and mentoring with professionals – all the essential tools for artists to obtain and perform auditions with confidence.

The announcement was made by IRCPA founder and director Ann Summers Dossena at the conclusion of Singing Stars of Tomorrow, a performance of operatic arias featuring seven sopranos, two mezzos and one tenor with pianist Rachel Andrist, Saturday, October 22 at Toronto’s Alliance Française. All had taken part the previous week in a one-day Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky, one of today’s most celebrated sopranos.

The 10 singers were selected from over 30 applicants by a panel of leading vocal artists – manager Kathy Domoney, baritone Brett Polegato, and teachers Lois McDonall (retired soprano) and mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker. Ms. Radvanovsky was left to choose a Career Blueprint recipient. However, she couldn’t decide and named two. The IRCPA is taking this challenge in stride and will seek the extra funds needed. Name a Scholarship donations can be made here.

Read more

Each of the 10 singers was given a scholarship named for an important Canadian artist. Through the Name a Scholarship campaign, the Ed Mirvish Family Foundation and private donors enabled them to participate without financial burden. These scholarships will become a significant addition to their biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from celebrated artists of recent generations and benefit from their histories.

Natalya Gennadi received a scholarship honouring internationally acclaimed soprano Karina Gauvin, who is especially recognised for her interpretation of Baroque music and currently performing in Europe. Marjorie Maltais’s scholarship commemorated the late Ruby Mercer, an opera singer from the U.S. who became one of Canada’s leading advocates for the art form. In her retirement, Mercer hosted opera programs on CBC Radio, founded Opera Canada Magazine and the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus (now Canadian Children’s Opera Company), for which she commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to compose the children’s opera Chip and His Dog.

A native of Clermont, Québec, mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais received her Master of Music degree in Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario in 2015. She was also invited to the Music Academy of the West’s Marilyn Horne Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. During the past year, Ms. Maltais was a guest artist performing in Mozart’s Requiem with the Boise Philharmonic and Guelph Symphony, Messiah with the Windsor Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Orpheus Choir and Chorus Niagara. This season, Ms. Maltais will appear in Elijah with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and St. Matthew Passion with Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings.

Originally from Ukraine, soprano Natalya Gennadi began her musical studies at the University of Ottawa, continuing at the University of Toronto, where she received a Master’s degree in Operatic Performance. She has appeared in the title role in The Merry Widow with the Ottawa Savoy Theatre Society; and sung the role of Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Opera Five in Toronto and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Nuova. In 2015, Ms. Gennadi made her VoiceBox debut as Yaroslavna in Borodin’s Prince Igor. This past summer, she sang with the Brott Opera as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

The Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert was presented by the IRCPA in partnership with the Alliance Française.


“I am currently in New York for auditions…I opened both my auditions with Non piu mesta and used Sondra’s suggestions and I must say that I felt strong and confident. Thanks to you and Sondra!

Marjorie Maltais, Mezzo-Soprano


it was a magical experience and I am very grateful about receiving the Career Blueprint. For people like me, out of university for a few years, not able to afford/being too old for young artist programs, there are really not many chances to have access to  high level training…This is my third ‘big’ workshop with IRCPA and every one of them made a great impact on my professional development. Working with world-class professionals is a valuable boost to a younger singer’s resume.  Also, one of the things I high appreciated is the level of organization of IRCPA events.  No delays, high profile accompanists, convenient venues – all of these details make the experience even more enjoyable.  I’d like to express my gratitude for the Scholarships that we received for the Encounter.  I found IRCPA’s events well worth the price in the past but the extra assistance made a big difference for me personally as I am the main breadwinner for my family.”

Natalya Gennadi Matyusheva, soprano, Toronto


More comments from participants are posted here.

2016 - Singing Stars of Tomorrow
2016 - Singing Stars of Tomorrow

Thank You, Sondra!

The IRCPA and tonight’s singers are deeply grateful to soprano Sondra Radvanovsky for generously making time in her demanding schedule to share her knowledge and recommendations with us last week.

As one of the participants writes:

“I left the Encounter feeling inspired, motivated and eager to get to work in the practice room. The amount of information and knowledge I gained is quite frankly immeasurable; the technical advice I got from Sondra while working with her was literally priceless. Sondra said that it is her duty to give back to the art form and pass along the torch to the next generation of opera singers. I, too, hope that I can one day do the same.”


Name A Scholarship!

Launched in 2016, the Name a Scholarship campaign enable all singers to apply without financial burden. Donors are invited to contribute a $400 scholarship in the name of an important Canadian musical artist past and present. To do so, they may email info@ircpa.net, mail a cheque payable to IRCPA at 43 Bright St, Toronto, M5A 3H5, or by telephone 416.362.1422.

Tax receipts will be issued.

These scholarships significantly enhance the recipients’ biographies, and remind them, as well as all of us, to take pride in and draw inspiration from Canada’s musical heritage.

The vocal advisory group will select 10 (plus 1 alternate) singers for the Encounter, and select the one singer who will be awarded the Career Blueprint. The advisory group includes Adrianne Pieczonka, Kathy Domoney, Lois McDonall, Brett Polegato, Mary Morrison and Jean Edwards.

Click here to make a donation. Thanks.

blue donate

Great Memories
Listen the live streamed Canada Day concert in Rome July 2013

from the Accademia Filarmonica Romana

with soprano Jana Miller, pianist Jordan de Souza, clarinetist Kornel Wolak, violinist Guillaume Tardif and the Borealis String Quartet.

8 Canadians made Roman debuts, several Canadian composers had European and Roman premieres.


Please be advised that the programs are subject to change.

If you are not already a member, we invite you to join IRCPA, get involved and stay in the loop!

Membership is without charge

  • To get the most from membership, get involved by contributing ideas, bringing your challenges and colleagues to the table for networking, “talking shop” or sharing experiences.
  • We welcome volunteers to help with members’ news, the Round-Table Discussions, Focus Groups or Brainstorming sessions.
  • Until we have a permanent home, smaller group events (discussions etc.) are held in party rooms or living rooms of willing and able volunteers

The IRCPA serves both as a community hub for networking musicians, and as an incubator where career enhancing programs help artists meet or exceed career goals.

Keep Us Informed!

Performances, CD or DVD launches, and other important news or events by members are important. Your news will be shared on our social media, presenters, media, programmers, and friends of the IRCPA.

From League of American Orchestras

Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions

Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions


The White House has revoked the executive order concerning international travel announced on January 27, 2017 and has issued a new executive order that takes effect on March 16, 2017. While the legal and arts communities continue to study the order more fully, the League of American Orchestras’ Artists from Abroad website has been updated with information about key ways the new rules intersect with travel by artists from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. In addition to restrictions on travel by artists from those countries, global changes include immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP); all nonimmigrant visa applicants must have in-person interviews. The elimination of the VIWP option will create more demand for consular appointments, so artists should allow extra time for the visa approval process. Vetting and screening procedures will be heightened at all levels of the immigration process. Artists from Abroad provides arts-specific guidance on the immigration and taxation procedures needed to present international performing guest artists in the U.S. Click here for more information.

Posted March 9, 2017
14569215 - large group of american flags commemorating a national holiday, veterans day, independence day, 9 11, etc

Behind the US Justice Department ruling about music-licensing royalty agreements

“The American Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had concluded a two-year investigation into the complex world of music licensing and decided against making changes to the regulatory agreements that govern ASCAP and BMI, two large clearinghouses for performing rights that process about $2 billion in royalty payments each year” for composers and music publishers, writes Ben Sisario in Friday’s (8/5) New York Times. “BMI quickly said it would challenge the decision in federal court, and ASCAP said it would ‘explore legislative solutions’ to the problems of music licensing in the digital age.… Since 1941 [ASCAP and BMI] have been bound by regulatory agreements called consent decrees. Two years ago, both organizations asked the Justice Department to change these agreements … to secure fair royalty rates in the digital era…. The Justice Department [instead] added a requirement, saying that for ASCAP and BMI to comply with the existing regulations, they must offer ‘100 percent licensing’ of their songs. Many songs have multiple writers, and those writers don’t always belong to the same rights society…. The Justice Department is giving the music industry a year to comply… It is unclear how this would happen, but industry executives say it could include the creation of new databases to share data that previously was proprietary.”

Posted August 10, 2016
14569215 - large group of american flags commemorating a national holiday, veterans day, independence day, 9 11, etc

Ian Smith, Chairman of the European Music Commission, has given this statement:

Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,

I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday’s referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.

The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.

We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion.

Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC


53830889 - brexit uk eu referndum concept with flags and topical message

Visas: seeking more expedience, not expense!

This week, the League led a broad coalition of national performing arts organizations calling for immediate improvements to the U.S. visa process for international artists. Amidst lengthy processing delays, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed making it more costly to apply for the required visas for foreign guest artists, increasing the filing fee by 42% from $325 to $460. The date for implementing the proposed fee increase has not yet been set. The League has submitted comments on behalf of orchestras – and in partnership with a national nonprofit performance arts coalition including the American Federation of Musicians, Performing Arts Alliance, The Recording Academy, and many others – urging USCIS to make immediate improvements to the artist visa process.

14569215 - large group of american flags commemorating a national holiday, veterans day, independence day, 9 11, etc

Musical America Magazine offers an online marketing program.
Check out the showcase opportunities.

Make your international debut with the Musical America Artist Showcase

The Artist Showcase is an online marketing program available to performing artists all year long, with targeted reach to key performing arts decision-makers, buyers of talent, artist managers and others who can be influential in the advancement of your career.

The Artist Showcase page includes your photo, bio, audio, video, reviews, discography and more. Click here to see the full Artist Showcase Gallery. Musical America pro-actively promotes the Artist Showcase: a dedicated e-blast is sent quarterly to Musical America’s mailing list of 26,000+ industry professionals.

Find out about all that is included! Please click here for more information and affordable costs.

Contact us and we will be glad to give you a call to answer your questions.


Proposed Legislation to Help Touring Canadians Enter U.S.

April 11, 2016 – As recently reported, visa processing delays by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers have become a major problem for Canadian touring artists and U.S. presenters. In an attempt to resolve the issues, a bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the Congress.

The proposed “Bringing Entertainment Artists to the States” (BEATS) Act is intended to streamline the process of obtaining a P-2 classification for Canadian artists.

The P-2 classification is for artists and entertainers, individually or as a group (including essential support personnel), performing in the United States under a bilateral, reciprocal exchange program. The only P-2 programs at the moment are conducted under the auspices of the American Federation of Musicians (with the Canadian Federation of Musicians) and Actors’ Equity (with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association).

Read More

Under the BEATS Act, Canadian artists would be able to file a P-2 petition for admission into the United States with an immigration officer at any Class A port of entry located on the border of the United States and Canada, or at any pre-clearance station at a Canadian airport, right on their way into the US. The Act would also provide Canadian artists the flexibility to alter the dates and venues of performances listed in the original petition. The only stipulation is that the additional performances or engagements cannot be more than one third of the performances or engagements listed on the original petition.

The proposed Act however has limitations. First, it would only assist Canadian artists applying for a visa through one of the P-2 union reciprocal programs that are currently established with the American Federation of Musicians and Actors’ Equity. Second, artists choosing to process their petition at a port of entry would run the risk of seeing the petition turned down by a border official, which would result in last-minute cancellations. Third, it is unlikely that Congress will pass the Act before the November election.

In spite of this, the Beats Act, just like the Arts Require Timely Service Act, is another positive step towards raising awareness of the challenges related immigration for Canadian artists touring in the United States.

Sources: Canadian Independent Music Association and Canadian Federation of Musicians

14569215 - large group of american flags commemorating a national holiday, veterans day, independence day, 9 11, etc

New Ivory Rules Support Musical Instruments.

On July 6, 2016, new rules will take effect related to both international travel and domestic commerce with musical instruments that contain small quantities of African elephant ivory. The League played a key leadership role in national conversations with White House officials, top leadership at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Congress, and conservation organizations to successfully seek solutions that would address urgent conservation concerns while also protecting international cultural activity.

The rules broaden access to travel permits, allow for domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments containing small quantities of ivory, and very helpfully clarify that legally-crafted musical instruments are not contributing to the African elephant poaching and trafficking crisis.

Read More

In announcing the rules to reverse current travel restrictions and provide opportunities for ongoing domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments, the USFWS stated that, “We listened carefully to the legitimate concerns raised by various stakeholder groups and, as a result, are allowing commonsense, narrow exceptions for musicians, musical instrument makers and dealers…to trade items that have minimal amounts of ivory and satisfy other conditions. These items are not drivers of elephant poaching and do not provide cover for traffickers.”

What does that mean?

For international travel, the new rules remove the current prohibition on travel with musical instruments purchased after February 25, 2014 that legally contain African elephant ivory. This removal of the purchase date restriction is a significant improvement. By July 6, the USFWS will issue a revised Director’s Order clarifying the policy change, and musicians who purchased instruments after February 25, 2014 that legally contain ivory will be eligible to apply for a travel permit.

That sounds good, but there will still be problems with over-zealous Customs officials.

Under the new rules, a musical instrument that contains African elephant ivory may qualify for a travel permit if the worked African elephant ivory meets all of the following criteria:
– The African elephant ivory contained in the instrument was legally acquired and removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
– The instrument containing worked ivory is accompanied by a valid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) musical instrument certificate or equivalent CITES document;

– The instrument is securely marked or uniquely identified so that authorities can verify that the certificate corresponds to the musical instrument in question; and

– The instrument is not sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of while outside the certificate holder’s country of usual residence.
This is not over yet.

Further requests of the music community related to easing international travel restrictions will be under consideration in separate U.S. rulemaking procedures, and as CITES is renegotiated in 2016.

For more information, review the 114-page rule and the Fish and Wildlife Service’s FAQs.

elef 2

Here’s how to board Airberlin with a viola or violin

Fiona Stevens has nailed it:

I had a very pleasant conversation today with Frau Unger from Airberlin head office who has helped many of us violinists in the past. She allows me to post the following procedure for taking violins on board until the wording of Airberlin terms & conditions is changed.
Anyone wishing to take a violin/viola on board should write to medspecialrequest@airberlin.com stating their flight & booking number, and the dimensions & weight of their instrument case. They should then receive written confirmation that they will be able to take the instrument as handluggage at no extra cost.

Read More

For anyone wondering why, whilst top management has decided to change policy in favour of musicians, it is taking so long for the official wording to be changed: this is (much the same as my recent post re Eurowings) because changing the wording of general terms & conditions requires every department (including legal) to ok the new wording, and this simply takes time.

From Slipped Disc

50764576 - vintage violin and case with old steel background

Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition:

April 26 – 29, 2017 Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Application Deadline: December 5, 2016.




A new Canada-wide Music Composition Competition

McGill University’s Schulich School of Music has announced a new competition open to all Canadian composers age 35 or younger.

The competition will be funded by a $1 million donation from McGill alumnus Dr Graham Sommer.

The Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers will “shine a spotlight on the best young composers from across Canada, bringing them to the attention of the Canadian public and the international musical world,” said Schulich School of Music’s Interim Dean, Julie Cumming.

The first annual competition is slated to begin in the Spring of 2017 and will commemorate Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations. Contest details will be release later this year.