Let me introduce you to Margaret McGuffin who joined the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) in the newly-created executive position of Vice President, Strategy & Business Development in the fall of last year.
Before joining CMRRA, Margaret was the CEO of the Musicians’ Rights Organizations Canada (MROC). Prior to that, she worked as a member of the senior executive team at Access Copyright (another collective management organization) and as a consultant to some of Canada’s leading copyright collectives, including CMRRA. Margaret started her career at Connect Music Licensing [previously AVLA] and Music Canada [then CRIA]. She holds an MBA in Arts & Media Administration from the Schulich School of Business. Margaret also volunteers with MusiCounts (Canada’s music education charity) as a member of their Advisory Board.
“These are exciting but obviously disruptive times for music publishers and it’s a very interesting period to be coming in and seeing what role the CMRRA can play in the near term – and the far term – in working with music publishers,” says McGuffin. “My position involves working with the Board of Directors and senior management in developing strategies for CMRRA going forward that best serves our clients’ needs. A lot of things are changing quickly and CMRRA as an organization has to look at the role that we play and how we make the most of being part of the publishers’ teams. I’ll be taking on some of the communications work within the organization and also leading the strategic planning process. We’re also developing a tariff team in house at CMRRA that looks at how we deal with tariffs and with negotiations going forward.”
The unique confluence of interests and talents which have served her so well in her professional life began during her college days, first at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and then at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto.
McGuffin’s start in the music business actually came as a volunteer at the Toronto Arts Awards as she graduated from Schulich with her MBA in Arts and Media Administration. It was here that she met noted Canadian music executive Brian Robertson who would soon hire her at AVLA and CRIA. She was there for six years before reconnecting with Paul Audley, her Communications Policy professor at York University.
“I went in-house with Paul for 11 years during a period when the new collectives NRCC (now Re:Sound) and CPCC were being set up,” McGuffin recalls. “I did a lot of the work for those new collectives on their first tariffs in front of the copyright board and was personally involved in hiring the first staff and putting together the first policies.”
“During those years with Paul, we did strategic planning work for the JUNOs and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. I also worked with Paul on a couple of reports for Canadian Heritage on the music publishing industry.”
In mid 2014, McGuffin was approached to take on the new position at CMRRA. ”When Caroline Rioux took over at CMRRA as President and was putting together her new management team, she was looking for someone to help her with the strategy and business development work. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”