Still More on the New Bullshit Fee on Foreign Musicians Touring Through Canada

Before you go any further, you need to familiarize yourself on the situation.  Go here and then here.  I’ll wait.

Got it?  You can see why this is turning into a cultural and political war.  Even though the net effect won’t be as great as most people might think, it’s still an unfriendly and highly misguided plan that has already made Canada a bit of a joke in the eyes of the music industry.

What’s that you say?  This is supposed to help Canadian musicians find more work?  Funny how the Canadian Independent Music Association–a group that you’d think would be partial to protectionist measures for its membership–doesn’t see it that way.  

No, they hate it.  They think this whole thing is bullshit, too.

CIMA is working diligently on behalf of its members and the industry, explaining to the federal government why these new fees are wrong, and how they will affect the broader Canadian music industry. We believe that the impact of the new fees are an unintended consequence of the Government’s changes to the rules governing its Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

CIMA is also questioning the Government’s rationale on why they singled our bars and restaurants, small businesses which are breeding grounds for home-grown talent. Our position is this fee should be waived for all international artists and their professional entourage, regardless of where they will be performing (ie festival or bars).

At this stage, we feel it is important for the government to know that their new rules will not ‘protect’ Canadian artists or save jobs here at home. Rather, CIMA is emphasising that the rules will have a detrimental and cascading effect through the entire industry, and at the end of the day may result in the loss of jobs and the loss of business opportunities both in Canada and internationally.

Read CIMA’s whole position here.  Then barrage your local MP with a message that says “Stop the bullshit.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Still More on the New Bullshit Fee on Foreign Musicians Touring Through Canada

  • September 3, 2013 at 3:45 am

    There are people who don't want musicians to enter this country because it's "taking away our jobs." I beg to differ because live music, especially when it's in demand, i.e. no barriers to prevent foreigners from performing, is a very viable revenue source for local merchants due to sales of tickets, meals, alcohol, parking, babysitters, and other tourist-related spending.

    Only certain venues are affected, so this is crippling to small businesses, yet larger events such as stadium shows and festivals, who can afford it, don't have to pay those fees.

    Maybe it's just me, but I would think musicians aren't as disposable and interchangeable as, say, sandwich artists. I go to concerts because I like the songs the particular artist plays. In my very humble opinion as a biased music fan, there is only one John Lennon and there is only one Kurt Cobain. Am I wrong to think that?

    I would think an American band hopping across the border play 1.5 hours' worth of songs a night to Canadian fans is not exactly the definition of offshore outsourcing. I don't know about you, but I support supporting the arts, so let's save this misguided protectionism for the industries that actually need it.


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