PWAC member and CMG Freelance Vice-President George Butters, left, set the agenda and guided everyone through the organizational meetings.

It took two days of intensive discussion in the first week of February to hammer together the framework for the new Canadian Freelance Guild (CFG) that’s due to launch April 1.

“Multiple tasks are ahead of us, but we’ve broken out the various chores into ‘right now’ and ‘take care of later’ and assigned teams in various areas such as budget, governance, and digital assets,” said Don Genova. “We’re already at our second draft of bylaws, are working on a new logo and branding, and creating a basic website to present to members in early  March.”

Genova was instrumental in the merger of two groups of independent freelancers to create the new organization within CWA Canada. Members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) had voted in January to join up with their colleagues who are departing the Canadian Media Guild’s Freelance branch, of which Genova has been president for two decades.

The agenda for the Toronto meeting was heavy, but was well organized and driven by longtime PWAC member and CMG Freelance Vice-President George Butters.

The benefits of the two organizations were reviewed by a joint task force with the intent of keeping the best offerings from both in place and an increasing emphasis on webinars for training and professional development delivered in a timely fashion.

“We all left with a feeling of optimism, convinced we’re doing the best thing for our memberships,” said PWAC President Doreen Pendgracs. “The spirit of collaboration helped keep us focused on getting things done and creating this new organization that will better serve the changing needs of freelance media and communications professionals across Canada.”

The nearly 400 members of the CFG will include writers, photographers, podcasters, videographers, graphic designers and more.

Genova said The Story Board blog and social media channels will all remain with the CMG Freelance brand during the transition; the PWAC accounts will do the same.

Members of the PWAC and CMG Freelance Transition Committee at the CMG Toronto office Feb. 6, 2020.