Canada's music scene may be in trouble after new laws demand double, triple or even quadruple the cost of importing international artists to perform in local venues. Venue owners, promoters and booking agents are feeling the heat with the increase in fees. Prior to the law, it cost $150 per artist or band member, along with a $450 max for booking-related fees. Now with the new law, venues must pay $275 for each artist or band member, in addition to paying that much for each extra member the artist or band brings with them – while still paying the fees prior to this new law.
Although the Canadian government cites exemptions from the fee, including “musicians in a band performing several tour dates in Canada,” and “musicians and buskers coming to Canada to perform in festivals,” these exemptions are only eligible for artists who aren't playing at a local venue and are playing at venues that solely put on concerts and large festivals.
Understandably, small businesses are upset. Spencer Brown, a booking agent for a venue affected by these changes, states these laws as “anti arts and culture” and “anti small business.” But not only that, these laws are bound to have an effect on the fans, who may be missing out on their favorite artists if a local venue is unable to pay the price.