While many of us have traveled often to play in Canada, others haven’t. While many of us do it legally , others don’t.
On my first trip, as an AFM member & a part time political activist, I made sure to have all the legal permits in place, just in case. I wanted an attorney at my disposal. During these times of the Patriot Act, when you can be imprisoned for speaking your mind, I thought better to NOT take chances. (Remind me to tell you about the time I played Attica State Prison & what they found in my guitar case.:)
When I checked in with my Canadian work permit, they had no idea what to do with it. Apparently I was the first in their experience. LOL I had a feeling that would be the case. All went well after a bit of time on their part ,trying to figure it out. I phoned AFM and a live person answered the phone ready to help. I was very happy about that . It made it worth every penny of the past dues & permit fees I’ve paid.
To inject my 2 cents regarding the laws, some of the permit fees (i.e. for full bands vs solo) are a bit high for us musicians/bands working our way up. They’re made more for the already famous and making the bigger bucks. SO, I understand indie local musicians trying to evade them. However, if you group a few gigs into one time period say within 3 months its not a problem and it helps keep musicians, the unions and living/fair wages at a high standard, vs allowing pay-to-play sub standard treatment to become the norm. Then no one wins.
Here’s an article abt updates to international labor laws from American Federation of Musicians, ” International Musician Magazine.”
Join your local , get involved and help make the rules musician friendly, so we can continue to build relationships & share music with our global musical family !