Recap of CIMA Border Report, Launch and Consultations

Report Event 1

On Monday, April 18, 2016, CIMA released a new policy report on border issues that affect independent Canadian musicians. The purpose of Over the Border and into the Clubs: Canada’s Music Industry and the US Market is to examine barriers that Canadians face when performing and doing business in the United States.

Among its key findings are that 35% of music businesses expect to double their U.S. market share over the next five years. At the same time, 60% of Canadian firms say they are negatively affected by the cost, delays and red tape associated with existing border-crossing procedures.

The report was produced in conjunction with the Centre for Trade Policy and Law at Carleton University, along with the participation of hundreds of CIMA members and other music industry professionals. It concludes with a series of policy recommendations for the government, including that more reciprocity should be promoted between Canada and the United States regarding visa and withholding tax issues, and that Ottawa’s reactivated Trade Routes program (Showcasing Canada’s Cultural Industries to the World) should dedicate targeted funding to music industry exporters.

CIMA launched the report at a special event hosted by Toronto music venue the Hideout on April 18. Following introductory comments by CIMA President Stuart Johnston on the value that U.S. audiences can have for Canadian artists, Canadian Federation of Musicians Executive Director Liana White affirmed the importance of policies that will ease the entry of Canadians into U.S. markets, and vice versa.

Canadian recording artist and label owner Miranda Mulholland spoke about her personal experience as a musician who is often challenged by U.S. border issues, and also performed as part of her Canadian folk group, Harrow Fair.

The Toronto report launch was followed by a series of formal consultations with stakeholders and government officials in Ottawa, to discuss policy implications and next steps associated with CIMA’s research. CIMA spoke to representatives from the Canadian Senate, House of Commons and Prime Minister’s Office, the United States Embassy, as well as departments including Heritage, Finance and Global Affairs Canada.

In addition to consultations with various Ontario ministries and the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto, CIMA received decidedly positive and enthusiastic responses to its meetings. This was despite the admittedly challenging, long-term nature of the advocacy project it is pursuing, which involves recommending substantial changes to border policies in both Canada and the United States.

Click the following link to read a digital copy of Over the Border and into the Clubs – Canada’s Music Industry and the US Market.