(Dec. 11/13) CRFA’s fight against government’s discriminatory $275 fee for foreign performers is picking up steam. Following our protest, Citizenship and Immigration Canada hosted an industry roundtable on Dec. 6, where all participants told government this new fee – albeit unintentionally – harms the Canadian music industry and erodes career opportunities for budding artists. In recognition of the role restaurants and bars play in the development of Canadian talent, these groups supported CRFA’s call to abolish the work permit requirement imposed solely on our industry.
About the controversial fee
In July, the federal government introduced a new restaurant-only labour market opinion (LMO) fee of $275 for each individual performer and crew member. This fee is in addition to the existing requirement for Canadian restaurants and bars to obtain an LMO to allow foreign artists to perform at their venue, as well as the temporary foreign worker (TFW) permit fee of $150.
CRFA immediately pressured government to make the LMO fee applicable to the performing group as a whole, rather than each individual performer. We also lodged a complaint against the work permit because it was required only if the foreign artist performed in a restaurant/bar, and not elsewhere, like concert halls, summer festivals or private events. We stated this regulation is discriminatory to our members, and without just cause.
We continue to lobby on this issue for our members, and will keep you informed on any developments.