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American band playing in Canada - what's the latest?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by artvanderbilt, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. artvanderbilt


    Aug 5, 2008
    I'm in an American band that has been invited by a Canadian band to play at a venue in Montreal, and I've been trying to figure out if we need permits or not, and what to do in either situation, as we will be driving.

    We could play for free, and the venue isn't a bar or restaurant, but it still seems as though we might need some sort of exemption letter from the CFM.

    Have any American TBers played in Canada this year?
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
  3. fenderbassman40


    Apr 7, 2011
    Any suggestions? Anyone do this? I'm in upstate New York and have wondered about this pretty often. Any comments From those who have gig in Canada at this level would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Mas Fuego

    Mas Fuego There is more

    May 31, 2013
    As far as I know you don't need a permit to play an instrument in Canada. You need a permit to earn money while there.
  5. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I jammed at Jeff Healey's old place in Toronto and took my bass but I told the border guards that I was just jamming a few songs. There was no pay involved and no issue with them for permits. I never had a situation where I was offered a paying gig there and don't know how that works with permits.
  6. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
  7. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    Medium sized answer, get a letter & contract from whomever is hiring you for the limited engagement and bring that with you to Canadian customs.
  8. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC

    Unlike the reverse, where Canadians have no options for playing in the USA legally without expensive work permits, you can have the promoter or venue provide a letter that will allow you to play without buying a work permit, as long as the event meets the right criteria.
  9. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    If you're playing in Eastern Canada (Toronto, Montreal), you don't need work permits to play. Western Canada is a different story, as most of those venues are tax exempt so you're required to get work visas and (usually) pay for them upon arrival to the border. I've done several tours through each of these zones and it's always been consistently the format.