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Announcing the Passing of American Federation of Musicians Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our colleague and friend Alan Willaert, American Federation of Musicians Vice President from Canada and Director of Canadian Affairs, on April 18, 2024.

Alan was a passionate and tenacious advocate for Canadian musicians—whether at contract negotiations or speaking about the impact of legislation before parliament.

His music career began at 15, and he was a touring musician through to the late 90s. Becoming interested in AFM internal functions, Willaert was elected to the board of Local 467 (Brantford, ON) in the 1980s. In 1990, he was asked to interview and was subsequently hired for the position of international representative by former Vice President from Canada, the late J. Alan Wood. Then, in 2007, he was appointed to the position of electronic media and intellectual property supervisor, and in 2011 was appointed executive director for Canada. Willaert held the position of executive director for Canada until being appointed by the AFM International Executive Board as vice president from Canada in March 2012.

“I first met Alan when I was a newly elected officer. At that time, he was the international representative for the Canadian locals,” says AFM International President Tino Gagliardi. “Because of his experience and knowledge of neighboring rights or any issue that affects musicians on either side of the border, not to mention his negotiating chops, we became fast friends. When he took the reins as Canadian VP, I was confident that the AFM was on the right track. And we were. We all learned from Alan; I know I did. I was so looking forward to our continued alliance and collaboration. Alan, I regret not being able to say ‘Love ya, brother” one last time. You will always be in my heart and mind.”

Although he had been battling cancer since last summer, his death was sudden at home. A celebration of life will be planned in the near future.