SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE APRIL 2013

So I thought this month I would talk about our dear ol’ Government’s border crossing policy…. What is needed for a non Canadian band to play in Canada is a minimum 5 page form called an LMO… A ‘Labour Market Opinion’ …. You can google ‘CRA LMO’ and it will take you to a Service Canada website where you can download the PDF to print out the forms….

Now the trick to these, is making sure you just keep your answers to the 69 questions simple….YES / NO is good! … I use the terms ‘original band’ and ‘job retention’ a lot!

You will also need to submit a list of the band members on an Immigration form… This basically looks like an informational organized Excel document…. Ironically, the normal standard Government of Canada Immigration form is missing a few items that are required to be attached to the LMO… You will need their city of residence, not just the state and what citizenship the band members are…. You will also need to include what sex a band member is…. These are important features along with the standard date of birth, full given names that match their I.D., Identification / passport serial numbers and position in the band….

Another important fact is that if a band has a merch person, they will need a separate LMO….. A real nightmare and they must be making an exorbitant amount of money to work in Canada…In reality, it is more like an unattainable wage based on a local gig budget …… You might want to tell your band to include that person as a triangle player / backup singer in the band’s LMO just to make things easier…

Band members must make a minimum of 33 dollars per hour, per day, per person to work in Canada…. Make sure that calculation is included in the contract amount to avoid complications… So the minimum guarantee for those doing door deals must be $33.00 x the number of band members in the group…. Don’t say their set is longer than an hour in the LMO as that changes the calculations… In reality, it usually isn’t longer than an hour for a set anyhow, unless you’re a rockstar playing arenas…

The contract must be signed by both the booking agent / band and you, the talent buyer… The money parameters I outlined above have to be in play to be approved… Make sure you also include with your expenses in your agreement with the band, the amount of tax payable to the government you need to withhold…. You have until the 15th of the following month after the gig to remit the tax…

Now you will need both a City Business License for your promotion company /D.I.Y. Venue and a Canada Revenue Agency number [C.R.A.#] to even submit the LMO and then again, the C.R.A. number after the gig to make the tax remittance…

So now we’re ready to file the forms with the C.R.A., who are also in the technological darkages …. To recap…. You need the 5 page LMO…. The Immigration info form…. The dual signed contract… A copy of your Business License…. So here we have a minimum total of 8 pages to fax to the C.R.A….. The fax number is 604-666-7731… If you have questions, you can call them at 1-888-246-7712…. And be really polite…. These are civil servants and if you piss them off, your desired band may never get their LMO approved…. Within the week, they will contact you so they can fax you an approval letter….

Now, even with paperwork, just cross your fingers that they cross the border smoothly!