Canada threw everyone for a Kamloop today when the Ministry of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism announced new legislation that spells “megabummer” for lots of Seattle’s small touring bands.
The new bill imposes a $275 application fee for bands seeking entrance to perform in the country, as well as a $425 fee per approved band member (the original fee was $150).
“This affects everyone that goes to concerts and will make bringing foreign acts, especially smaller ones prohibitive and makes no sense for the music business which it will directly affect,” wrote Tristan Orchard, a talent buyer in Vancouver B.C. for Fortune Sound Club and Winnie Cooper.
Indeed, for many small bands from Seattle that regularly book dates up in Vancouver, going to Canada instantly becomes much more problematic when the talent buyer has to shell out what amounts to $1700 for a standard four person group. One is less inclined to book your small, up and coming electro-goth funkcore group up in Canada and take a chance on you when they have to bleed heaps of cash in order to do so.
“(These rules will) ensure that owners and managers of those types of establishments look to hire Canadians first before hiring temporary foreign workers,” the Ministry of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism wrote in a statement.
Well, unfortunately, the new legislation might be highly effective at doing just that.
The legislation double hurts after a recent crackdown in Vancouver on all-ages venues, of which the city barely has anymore. B.C.s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch effectively closed most all-ages venues in an effort to prevent underage drinking, which The Globe and Mail reports is akin to “using a sledgehammer to swat a fly.”
When Godspeed! You Black Emperor comes to town next week at Showbox Sodo, let’s appeal to their anti-government/anarcho leanings and see if we can start a retaliatory campaign from the inside. In the meantime, feel free to sign the 73,000 strong petition to overturn the legislation here.
More details at the Calgary Herald .