Thanks for the memories!
Marie Denise Pelletier, outgoing President
In 1997, Serge Turgeon invited me to join the board of directors of Union des artistes and lobby for the interests of performing artists in Ottawa. It never crossed my mind that I would go on to get involved in creating the first Canadian collective society representing performing artists. The challenges were enormous for Artisti’s founding directors and employees as they entered unknown territory. We dealt constantly with uncertainty yet always remained hopeful that one day we would overcome and succeed in improving financial conditions for our members. Looking back after 17 years, most members of Artisti would say, “Mission accomplished!” More than $25 million have been distributed to our members so far—and that is only the beginning (see the graphs and tables below for a breakdown of royalty distributions). At a time when the music industry is undergoing dramatic change and artists are losing control of their creations, copyright is now more than ever at the heart of the fight for fair compensation.
Recent events have caused me to reconsider my involvement with UDA and Artisti. Major challenges pertaining to copyright will soon have to be faced head on through lobbying, which will demand considerable time and energy. A number of upcoming personal projects, including the 30th anniversary of my singing career, have led me to reassess my priorities. The time has come for me to pass on the torch.
I have therefore decided to leave my position as a director of UDA and President of Artisti after 17 years’ involvement with the two organizations, including 14 years as President of Artisti. Working with colleagues to improve socioeconomic conditions and defend the rights of artists has been an incredible experience. It is with a sense of accomplishment that I leave my position.
My thanks go out to everyone who has been part of this experience over the years, especially to the wonderful team at Artisti who performed small miracles day after day so that as much money as possible could be distributed to our members. Thanks also to the directors who worked with me all these years to ensure the success of Artisti: they taught me a great deal and were a source of inspiration. With them at my side, I came to appreciate the true meaning of solidarity.
I wish Richard Petit, Artisti’s new President, all the success in the world.
I consider myself fortunate to have lived such a remarkable adventure!