Just in time for Canada Day festivities, there is one more reason to celebrate. Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander have announced that the “Tour Tax” is no more.
What exactly is the tour tax? It was fees for bookers and venues to bring international touring acts into Canada. The logistics were a $275 processing fee and a $150 per band member work permit for foreign acts in small Canadian venues. Needless to say after the Conservative government put this into place, the Canadian musical community was not pleased. After the protestations of business leaders and a slew of disgruntled musicians, you can now lay your head down at night knowing this “tour tax” is no longer being enforced.
Music Canada and the Canadian Independent Music Association released a joint statement expressing their glee: “Effective immediately, all foreign artists performing in time-limited engagements — so, on contract for a tour for instance — and their essential crew will no longer have to expend the time or the cost to obtain a work permit, regardless of what kind of venue they’re performing in across Canada.”