New regulations in Canada, enacted July 31, makes it significantly harder for international artists to perform in the country. While dedicated venues are exempt, establishments with a primary business other than music will face dramatically increased fees when booking non-Canadian talent.
Read a full explanation here.
Many bar owners, booking agents and promoters are bemoaning changes to the federal regulations surrounding foreign workers entering Canada which will see them hit with heavier financial burdens that could deal a crippling blow to live music at the club level.
The new rules, which quietly came into effect July 31, will double, triple or even quadruple the cost of bringing in international artists to perform in bars, restaurants or coffee shops, affecting such local venues for music lovers as The Palomino, Ironwood, Broken City, Blues Can, and the Ship & Anchor, and their counterparts across the country.
The regulations require that any venue with a primary business other than music but which also books bands or performers must now pay an application fee of $275 per musician and those travelling with the band (tour manager, sound person, guitar tech, etc.) when it applies for a Labour Market Opinion, or LMO, to allow those outside workers to perform and work in their establishment. That’s also in addition to an extra $150 for each approved musician and crew member’s work permit.
Prior to the changes, the fee was simply $150 per band member, maxing out at $450, and that was a one-time fee for them to simply enter the country, which allowed venue owners across Canada to share the nominal cost or book them separately at no extra charge.
A Change.org petition was launched earlier this week, calling for amendments to the regulations and exemptions for artists performing at bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.