Thank you Marie Denise for passing me the torch…
01On April 5, I became Artisti’s new President: it is with honour, pride and humility that I shall try to fill Marie Denise Pelletier’s rather large shoes. She recruited me in the fall of 2004, and I still remember her presentation of the organization: although the sound of her voice was enchanting, what she had to say was all Greek to me! I had never heard the terms “private copying” and “equitable remuneration.” Add to that the array of acronyms (most quite long) for the various collective societies Artisti deals with, and I thought that it would probably take me 10 years just to remember them!
Once I got my feet wet, however, I learned quickly! How could I have done otherwise working alongside talented mentors such as Marie Denise Pelletier, Manuel Tadros, Judi Richards, Mario Chenart, Pierre Curzi, Raymond Legault, Monique Fauteux, Marie-Claude Arpin and the late Georges Hamel, to name but a few?
My progress was slow but sure. After starting out as a director of Artisti, I became the organization’s Secretary in 2009. Then in 2010, I became a director of Union des artistes. Since then, my involvement has continued to grow: I became a member of the negotiations committee, the committee for the 75th anniversary of UDA and the audit committee, in addition to forming a special “song and variety entertainment” committee to get the membership involved.
Everyone who has known me for some time is aware of my commitment and determination to defend every aspect of performer rights. The industry is constantly changing and models for the remuneration of performers need to be updated. New tariffs and new broadcast platforms must become the focal point for lobbying by performing artists. It is my personal conviction that this is a critical time to get involved, to play a role in redesigning the model and to join the group of architects who will reshape the music industry by giving a key role to the artists who bring the music we love to life.
Moreover, Artisti is being given a facelift through a series of measures designed to get members involved in leadership so that it becomes the kind of collective society you want it to be. For the first time ever, singers, musicians, accompanists and soloists from the French and English cultural communities are all invited to submit their candidacy for a position on the board of directors of Artisti!
Since its creation, Artisti has grown and evolved into a mature society that now faces several new challenges.
A highly skilled and dedicated team is already in place to serve members and rights holders. It is an honour for me to join them as President.
In this role, I hope to be able to unite you in a strong common front so that the voice of performers resonates not only in the hearts of listeners and over the airwaves, but also in the halls where political issues involving your fundamental rights are decided.
Once again, I tip my hat to Marie Denise Pelletier. Thank you for bringing me on board! In the words of John McRae famously displayed in the dressing room of the Montréal Canadiens: “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.”