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Canadian Government: Don't Ruin Live Music!

SOURCE: Published: 2013-09-12
Canadian Government: Don't ruin live music with $425.00 charge per international artist per performance in Canada

According to the Calgary Herald, many venues like bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops in Canada may pay four times more for international musicians as a new regulation says they will be required to pay “an application fee of $275 per musician and those travelling with the band (tour manager, sound person, guitar tech, etc.”) On top of that there is ”an extra $150 for each approved musician and crew member’s work permit.” And these non-refundable fees are for each venue that a musician may visit!

This means that a lot of small and medium size venues in Canada will no longer be able to afford to book international bands. That means A lot less live music in Canada.

Carlyle Doherty has worked in the music industry in Canada for several years and is outraged that the government has taken steps which will hurt musicians, venues, fans, and others in the industry. This new fee is required to be paid by talent buyers in Canada when aiming to host an international touring artist, and it will inevitably cripple small music venues and small business talent buyers.

The Canadian government didn’t consult citizens like when they decided to add hundreds of dollars in fees that will punish international musicians who want to play in Canada. This huge increase in cost hurts small artists and businesses because it has exemptions for big festivals and artists who have longer tours, but not the average up- and-coming artist just trying to build a fan base. Please sign and share to help change this regulation.

Today we take a stand for the development of culture and performance arts. The implications of allowing such additional fees will hinder the potential for talented international artists whom simply aim to perform for their fans and expand their recognition. This new regulation will impact fans of all music from electronic to punk to jazz.

Canada's introduction of such a fee should not be taken lightly, nor excused. The development of the country's culture on a global scale and the opportunity to invite talents from beyond its borders is something to be cherished and appreciated, not taxed in such a way that will only discourage Canadian talent buyers from welcoming international talent.

With this inflation of upfront fees associated to bringing an international artist to Canada, the government is taking a clear stance of desired control over a culture that blossoms with freedom and deserve support rather than increased financial responsibility.

Please sign your name to this petition and share it with those whom you feel will also stand behind challenging such a greedy and unmerited demand that will strangle local small businesses and those attempting to welcome international talent to Canada, growing our cultural diversity and global notoriety. Learn more here and be sure to contact your MP if you live in Canada.

Share this information, click here to tweet Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration., or send this letter to your local MP:
Please amend the regulation that unfairly punishes international musicians and small Canadian venues. The Canadian government should be encouraging culture and the arts, not punishing those who are trying to promote it.

Please make a new exemption that would allow performing artists to perform in bars, restaurants and coffeeshops without forcing the venue to get a Labour Market Opinion and pay for each performer and crew member.

We need a common sense way to fix this problem, and we are all here keeping an eye on this issue so we can help resolve this together.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
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