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Spring 2024

By March 13, 2024May 15th, 2024No Comments
Your guide to what’s happening at AFM Local 571

The Sound

March 2024

President’s Report

Membership Meeting

March 26th at 7:00pm at our Local’s Office and via Zoom:

Zoom Meeting Link

AFM Local 751 Limited Hours

Monday to Friday: 10:30am-4:30pm

Tel: 902-479-2300

Dear Members of Local 571,

As we step into a new season of growth and collaboration, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation for your dedication and passion that continues to drive Local 571 forward. It’s exciting to serve as your President, and report the progress we’ve made together and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Board Updates and Initiatives:

Our Board of Directors’ is committed to advancing the local’s interests on several fronts. We’re in the process of renewing established agreements and fostering new partnerships. Our Board, embracing new and evolving roles, is keen on propelling our Local into the future.

Open Positions:

We’re actively seeking to fill the Secretary-Treasurer vacancy and have posted the position on Indeed. While we’re reviewing applications, we welcome your recommendations for this role or the office administrator position. To ensure continuity, Varun Vyas, our former Secretary-Treasurer, will maintain office operations, particularly as we prepare for the upcoming Junos—an event we’re proud to host. Please note, if you plan to visit the office to call first while we transition office and staff.

Engagement and Negotiations:

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you and discussing future plans with various partners, including Neptune Theatre and Symphony NS. These conversations are pivotal as we schedule upcoming negotiations.

Engagement with HRM:

In preparation for an exciting summer concert series, Varun will meet with representatives from the HRM on March 21st to discuss the details and budget for this year’s events. This discussion is crucial as we aim to showcase our member talent. In line with this, we are also focusing on our website’s refresh to ensure it serves as a vibrant showcase for our members. Therefore, we urge you to submit your latest promotional materials and high-quality images. Doing so will allow us to include you in the HRM considerations for the concert series and prominently feature you on our newly refreshed website, enhancing your visibility and opportunities for engagement. Deadline for receipt of promotional material to our office is March. 20th.

Furthermore, we are excited to provide updates on ongoing efforts that highlight our commitment to improving our services:

In The News

The Junos Come to Halifax

The Juno Awards, Canada’s premier celebration of musical excellence, last graced Halifax in 2006. The event’s return to our city is a significant milestone for the local music community, spotlighting our vibrant scene on a national scale. It highlights the rich musical heritage and the burgeoning talent within the Maritimes, reaffirming the East Coast as a key player in the Canadian music industry.

In preparation for the Juno Awards, our office is engaged in a variety of activities, collaborating with CBC and other partners to ensure all musicians are well represented. This is an opportune moment for Local 571, offering unparalleled exposure and recognition for our music community’s talents and achievements. Our efforts aim to leverage this platform to celebrate and promote the diverse and rich musical contributions of our community.

Hosted by singer, songwriter and pop superstar, Nelly Furtado, watch as the biggest names in Canadian music come together at Scotiabank Centre Sunday, March 24. As the excitement and momentum begins to build, we wish all the Juno nominees and performers the very best for the upcoming event as the city plays host to the 53rd Juno Awards.

For more details including list of nominees, please visit:

Member Feature

Tom Rusinak – A Musician’s Musician!

by Varun Vyas

Tom Rusinak’s journey unfolds as more than just a showcase of musical talent; it is a narrative deeply woven with kindness, humility, and an unwavering dedication to others. This is most evident in his profound commitment to education and community engagement.

Born in the mining community of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Tom faced a pivotal decision early in his life: pursue a stable career in the copper mines, which promised a good quality of life, or follow his passions for education and music. Opting for the latter was undoubtedly challenging at the time, but in retrospect, it stands as the defining choice of his life. Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Tom’s journey led him to Nova Scotia, where he pursued his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s University before attending the Teachers College in Truro. This educational pursuit marked the commencement of an extraordinary dual career path — as both a musician and a cherished educator.

His early music days in Manitoba, performing with bands like The Pas with the Tensions and The Flin-Flon Orchestra, laid the groundwork for a versatile musical career. Upon relocating to Nova Scotia, Rusinak’s musical expression found new avenues, from the Port City Concert Band to his leadership of the Dixieland group, The Thunderbolts. He performed regularly at various Halifax musical venues, where his performances at the Hotel Nova Scotia, Windsor Park, and Sullivan’s Pond became cherished weekly traditions.

During my interview with Tom, it became clear that his lifelong quest to master a range of instruments was motivated not solely by personal ambition but by a desire to enrich his future students’ learning experiences. Beginning with the trumpet at the tender age of eight and subsequently embracing the flute, clarinet, and the entire saxophone family, Tom meticulously charted a path that would maximize his contribution to education. This strategic approach and unwavering commitment to nurturing talent highlights the significant influence of his dual career as a musician and educator.

Tom is also a dedicated family man, father to Tony and Mel, who each have a daughter, adding a cherished dimension to his life. I had the privilege of meeting his wonderful wife, Kathleen, when we gathered for lunch late last year to celebrate Tom’s membership milestone and present him with his certificate. He continues to showcase his musical prowess, performing with the Global Centric Brass Band, a New Orleans-inspired seven-piece musical ensemble, and proudly participates in the Sackville Community Band, led by the esteemed Jim Forde.

It was both a pleasure and an honor to delve into Tom’s rich musical heritage and his unwavering commitment to sustaining music education in our schools. The opportunity to learn more about Tom’s many contributions to our music scene was truly wonderful. His story is a testament to the power of passion, education, and community in shaping not just a career, but a legacy that inspires students, colleagues, and fellow musicians alike. Tom Rusinak’s journey highlights the profound impact that dedication to one’s craft and to nurturing the next generation can have on both the individual and the community at large.

With support from our Atlantic Canadian Music Industry

AFM Local 571 acknowledges that our office is located on the traditional land of the Mi’kmaq Nation. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with the surrender of lands and resources but in fact, recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik title and established the rules for what was going to be an ongoing relationship.