Last week, it was announced that it’s gotten a lot more expensive to play Canada if you’re an international musician playing a bar, restaurant or coffee show. That means that any band that isn’t playing a large club or arena has to pay an application fee of $275/musician or anyone else traveling with the band, not to mention an additional $150 per person. That will add up quickly for newer and developing acts, and quite possibly change the Canadian concert industry if the recently-passed law stays the same as it is.
Canadian band Era 9, who have been touring quite a bit in America for the past few months, have weighed in on the change. Here’s what the band’s vocalist Phil Paolino has to say about it:
After reading the Calgary Herald’s article regarding the change in fees for international bands touring Canada, I am truly taken by
surprise. As a proud Canadian, I’ve always seen the country-that-I-call-home as a patron for music and art. These newly implemented regulations demonstrate the exact opposite. Building a successful career as a musician is strenuous enough. New, up and coming bands will be the first ones to feel the aftershock of these new rules, and I can sympathize with them.
My band ERA 9 and I have just concluded a 3-month U.S. tour spanning from Philadelphia to Texas. We incurred expenses for work visa applications and such; however, the entire concept of touring would have been left dead in the water if fees, such as the new ones implemented by the LMO (Labor Market Opinion), were in play.
Music is an art that unites; not one that divides. In my opinion, Canada should be welcoming international artists and promoting the greatness that is touring as a musician or band.”