Canada's live music industry recently heard great
news with the announcement that the Canadian government is
scrapping the unpopular "tour tax" on international
performers performing at certain Canadian venues.
The "tour tax" was not a tax at all, but
federal government regulation that made it more difficult for
international artists to perform at small Canadian venues.
The regulation required the employer of international
performing artists who were scheduled for shows in Canadian bars or
restaurants to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA),
which verified that the artist was not taking a job that could have
gone to a Canadian artist.
The LMIA (formerly LMO) process also came with a $275
fee for the musician and each band member, roadie, or other team
member accompanying the musician on tour, which was borne by the
venue hosting the artist. The requirement that small venues
pay hefty government processing fees in order to host international
acts has been controversial since the implementation of the
regulation. In mid-June, the government announced that the
fee associated with the LMIA would be raised to $1,000 per person,
so small venues are fortunate that the LMIA requirement was lifted
before this increased fee went into effect.
With the lifting of this regulation, international
artists and the bar or restaurant they are playing no longer need
to apply for an LMIA, placing these artists on the same plane as
their counterparts who play larger concert venues.
Interestingly, international artists playing large venues
were never required to apply for an LMIA, which led to criticism
that the Canadian government was targeting small businesses with
this policy. This criticism was clearly felt by the
government, who cited "consistent treatment of foreign
artists, regardless of venue type" as one of the reasons for
the new decision.
The change in regulation is excellent news for small
venues such as bars and restaurants who want to host live
musicians. The change is also promising for live musicians,
with Music Canada, the Canadian Independent Music Association, the
Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations and the Canadian
Arts Presenting Association commending the government's
actions. In a joint statement, the four organizations said
that the lifting of the LMIA requirement will "dramatically
improve the landscape for much of the live music community in
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
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