Telling Your Stories: CIMA’s Continued Advocacy on Fees for Touring Musicians

Live Music

CIMA is still working hard to convince the government to exempt touring musicians playing at bars and restaurants from new Labour Market Opinion fees. Just today, we submitted a letter to senior government officials in Employment and Social Development, Citizenship and Immigration, Canadian Heritage and the Prime Minister’s Office on the issue.

This letter has one purpose: to relay the stories that CIMA members have been submitting, detailing how the fee has impacted their business. The letter contains four separate stories from CIMA members and partners.

Overwhelmingly, these have been stories of lost economic potential. Touring is a business that employs thousands of professionals from a variety of industries. Artists, labels, venues, festivals, the hospitality and tour support industries, and many more have all reported that international bands have cancelled shows due the high fees, leading to thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

What must be understood clearly is that this lost revenue would have been a substantial investment in the Canadian economy. Multiple contributors detailed how revenue from international touring acts helped support their business, allowing them to hire more staff, host more events, and provide Canadian bands with more paying gigs. Given that the new fee can represent thousands of dollars in additional costs for touring artists, it is not surprising that several shows and tours have been cancelled. The aforementioned economic benefits will vanish, meaning the performance industry will create fewer jobs and contribute less to the Canadian economy.

International music industry partners, whom Canada relies on to support our music exports, have already perceived that Canada is “closed for business.” Until touring musicians playing at bars and restaurants are spared the drastic new fee, Canadian music exports will continue to suffer.

CIMA would like to thank all of you who submitted stories about the impacts of this new fee. We will not stop advocating on this issue until we see a positive change, but we still need your help. Many more stories of hardship caused by the new Labour Market Opinion Fee are out there, and we’d like to continue forwarding them to government officials who could change this unfortunate situation. If you haven’t already, please forward yours to Stuart Johnston, CIMA President, at stuart@cimamusic.ca.  

 

For background on this important issue, please click here.