Bill Skolnik, AFM Vice President from Canada & CFM Chief Executive Officer To Step Down on March 9, 2012

For Immediate Release, March 6, 2012

Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) regrettably announces Bill Skolnik has resigned as AFM Vice President from Canada & CFM Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Skolnik will assume the post of CEO of the Ontario division of the Directors Guild of Canada on March 22, 2012.  Mr. Skolnik’s resignation is effective March 9, 2012; his successor will be named in a forthcoming announcement.

“I am looking forward to a new set of challenges in my commitment to bringing artists the compensation they deserve,” says Bill Skolnik.  “The success and cooperation we’ve enjoyed over the years reaffirms AFM/CFM’s position as the leading professional organization of its kind available to Canadian Musicians.  I trust my successor will continue to develop Canada’s unique and independent position within the AFM, and open the door to ongoing dialogue and resolutions on the issues that matter most to its members”. 

Mr. Skolnik has extensive experience in industrial relations and intellectual property rights and has held executive positions throughout his career.  He has been instrumental in many of AFM/CFM’s milestone successes, including the recent renewal of the Commercial Announcements Recording Contract which, for the first time, includes a  pilot-project to assess commercials made for New Media; and AFM’s official certification as a trade union in its representation of the professional musicians employed by the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.  This action was supported by more than 50% of member votes; and is notably the first time in AFM Canada’s history that the organization has been certified to represent the bargaining rights of a collective group.   In addition, during Mr. Skolnik’s tenure the organization became known as the Canadian Federation of Musicians. While CFM remains a constituent body of Canadian Locals of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, the new operating name offers a more precise recognition of the organization’s distinctly Canadian mandate which assists musicians in maintaining professional standards across the board.

Bill Skolnik first joined the AFM in 1972. In June of 2007 he was elected to the position of Vice President from Canada of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, and re-elected in June 2010.  By virtue of his elected position with AFM/CFM, he has also served as a Trustee of the Musicians Pension Fund of Canada. Previous appointments include, Treasurer of the National Radio Producers' Association; one of the founding members of The Guild of Canadian Film Composers; and he remains an active member of SOCAN.

Described by author and Globe and mail Columnist Russell Smith as a “total music dweeb” Bill Skolnik is a classically trained musician. He has worked as a musician, music director, composer, arranger, lyricist, and music producer and has explored and excelled in many forms of music making. Skolnik wrote and arranged for Sesame Street for over a decade. His work has been heard in numerous documentaries and in the award winning film My American Cousin, on stages across Canada including the Shaw Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects, Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Vancouver Playhouse. He has composed scores for over a dozen CBC radio dramas.  He helped create the CBC music service Galaxie.  As a CBC Radio Music producer he was behind such critically acclaimed specials as the late Jeff Healey’s first Jazz broadcast. In addition to this, he also toured across Canada and the United States performing live.

Building on AFM Canada’s long and successful legacy, CFM will continue furthering the particular interests and needs of professional musicians who earn their living in this country. Everyday CFM helps thousands of musicians with any number of issues related to the recording and performing of their craft.  The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada draws on the experience and strength of more than 90,000 musicians, with over 17,000 active members in Canada alone. Proudly celebrating 31 remarkable years of service, CFM is uniquely positioned to address Canadian issues, and provides vital resources for Canadian musicians, at any stage in their careers.   For more information please visit us at www.cfmusicians.org׀ CFM on twitter׀ CFM on Facebook.

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MEDIA CONTACT:   Victoria Lord, Office: 416-484-9047 / victoria@vlpr.com

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