UPDATE: Whitworth here. There’s now a petition on Change.org. Back to Amber’s original post…
So, my ‘Facebook feed’ exploded with rage today after this article in the Calgary Herald shed light on some super un-cool employment regulations that went into effect on July 31st which would make it pretty much unfeasible for small venues and clubs to bring in out-of-country bands. Venues now have to pay an application of $250 for each touring member in a band, including managers and the like, on top of the $150 work permit that also needs to be secured for each individual.
Spencer Brown who books for the Palomino Smokehouse in Calgary explained it thusly:
“If I have a one four-member American band at the Palomino, I’m looking at $1,700 Canadian just to get them on the bill — and that’s on top of paying out a sound tech, paying for posters, gear rental, paying the other bands, staffing,” Brown says, explaining there have been tweaks to the LMO in the past, but nothing this drastic or, in his eyes, damaging.
“Concert promotion at this level is, in itself, a high-risk occupation. So this has just put it through the roof. There’s no way to start already $1,700 in the hole and break even. It’s impossible.”
Brown goes on to call the new regulations “anti arts and culture” and “anti small business”. Minister of Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney says that the decision was made after advance consultation with stakeholders across the country. Read the rest of the article here.