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Tim Harwill resigns from the AMIA in protest against protest!


I authorized the release of the statement below to the press this morning to announce my decision to resign from the AMIA. I share it with you here in order to encourage you to join me in protesting this unprovoked and mean-spirited attack against Canadian musicians trying to earn a living inside of our own borders by the so-called ‘music industry associations’ across the country. Thanks for contacting your provincial MLA and your federal MP to raise your voice in protest against this vicious and unprecedented attack upon working Canadians today!


Thorsby, Alberta, independent recording artist and performing songwriter Tim Harwill, one of Canada’s few remaining touring professional musicians and entertainers, has officially resigned his membership in the AMIA (Alberta Music Industry Association) in protest against the AMIA’s publicly announced opposition to the ‘Temporary Foreign Workers Program’ legislation, enacted July 30, 2013, by the Canadian Federal government. In the statement issued below the Metis-Canadian performing songwriter explains his position and invites all Canadians’ to join him in contacting their local MP to support the recent ‘Canada First’ legislation.

Mr. Harwill’s public statement follows.

“As one of my country’s few remaining touring professional singer/songwriters and entertainers it’s a legal necessity that I apply for a date-specific working Visa costing a couple of thousand dollars each time that I’m interested in entering the USA (a foreign country) on tour. So it is that I find this ‘Hiring Temporary Foreign Worker’ program legislation to be entirely fair and absolutely appropriate during these most competitive times in the history of the music business. Incidentally my use of the term ‘touring professional’ is to indicate that I earn my living by performing my music while touring, often in clubs and bars, and as this is a rare thing in Canada today it does make me somewhat of an anomaly and perhaps even something that the AMIA has little contact with.

The idea that foreign workers, in this case musicians, be they part-timers on holiday (often the case) and club-and-bar level professional alike, have been able to take advantage of loop-holes that exist in our immigration law in order to take jobs away from Canadian musicians is repugnant. The notion that (primarily urban) bar-and-restaurant owners should be allowed to continue to take advantage of both Canadian musicians and the Canadian tax-payer in pursuit of greater profits from their privately-owned businesses is despicable.

Shame on both of those groups for their highly unethical and patently self-serving and now rightly-illegal activities.

The fact that the AMIA, together with ‘music industry associations’ from provinces across Canada have decided to take a well-publicized stand against this legislation and in support of both of these unethical-and-now-illegal activities without prior consultation with their memberships however seems both high-handed and undemocratic. The fact that the AMIA, as well as ‘music industry associations’ from provinces across Canada, has declared support for the use of foreign musicians at a time when opportunities for musicians in Canada is at a historic low is frankly shocking. The fact that the AMIA and ‘music industry associations’ from provinces across Canada have chosen to align itself with a private industry group that has historically pitted musician-against-musician in a rate-based ‘race to the bottom’ while flaunting the minimum-wage guarantees of legitimate labor organizations working on behalf of professional musicians everywhere such as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) calls into question the legitimacy of these ‘music industry associations’ themselves in addition to raising the specter of nation-wide collusion.

Shame on the AMIA and the ‘music industry associations’ from across the country on both counts for asking its’ own membership to take a position that is directly opposed to the best interests of the members themselves as well as Alberta and Canadian musicians across the country.

I invite all Albertans and Canadians everywhere to join me in contacting their local MLA and their local MP to let them know that they agree with this legislation and support the working Canadian musician.

Thanks very much for your support and see you at the show.”

For additional information please contact Sterling Management Services.

Thanks for your support of Canadian musicians everywhere and see you at the show!

– TH, 09/07/2013