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Hamilton formalizes fair payment for musicians policy

Hamilton formalizes fair payment for musicians policy

Hamilton City Council has approved the Musicians Fair Payment Policy that supports and increases community awareness of the importance of paying musicians fairly for their music performances. The policy will ensure that musicians hired for City-led events are paid, at minimum, the current minimum annual rates established by the Canadian Federation of Musicians who are represented locally by the Hamilton Musicians Guild Local 293.

The policy was developed to formally and tangibly recognize the value of musicians’ work, specifically performances as they represent a significant source of a musicians’ income, by paying rates for music performances that align with music industry standards. The policy defines “City-led events” as those that are led and organized by City staff; events directed by Council or under the guidance of boards or committees; and/or when the City contracts a third party to oversee an event.

Payment of fair wages for performance has been encouraged by the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) through their guidance on the development of the Music Monday’s series and was a recommendation in the 2020 Mayor’s Task Force for Economic Recovery Report.

Quick Facts

•             Hamilton is recognized as seventh in the world for independent musicians per capita.

•             Music is identified as one of Hamilton’s leading industries for economic growth within the Creative Industries Sector with a workforce of 7,725 people; 540+ music business.

•             Hamilton ranks number one (1) as a top destination for music related occupations in Canada per the Creative Industries Sector Profile.

•             The median income of Creative Industries workers is $36K as referenced by 2016 Stats Canada data via Creative Industries Sector Profile.

•             In 2018, the City of Hamilton was recognized as the first Canadian municipality to be awarded with a special SOCAN Licensed to Play designation. This designation supports fair compensation for recorded music from musicians and music creators.

•             The policy aligns with existing City of Hamilton policies such as the Fair Wage Policy and Fair Wage Schedule on all construction contracts with the City as well as the Street Performance Policy and Guidelines allowing for “busking” on City property.

•             The policy does not apply to events that receive City funding (i.e. City Enrichment Fund); community-led events held on City property; or events where a musician or music group create their own event or clearly donate this service.

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