Canada Fees Spur Cancellations

Cancellations are on the way thanks to a new fee on foreign musicians in Canada.

Photo: Kevin Nixon

Hugh Cornwell, the former frontman for The Stranglers, was slated to play shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg in October, but because the Calgary venue, Broken City, was subject to the new tax of $275 per band member plus $150 for each foreign work permit, the entire outing was canceled.

“By losing that date, it made the trip through from Vancouver unviable the way the dates and routing had worked out,” Cornwell’s manager David Fagence said in a statement to the Edmonton Journal. “Please let (fans) know that Hugh is very upset and annoyed about it, but we were left with no option. We will ensure we get there next time, though, one way or the other.”

Larger music-specific venues are exempt from the fees, leaving smaller bars and restaurants that host live music seeing red.

“It makes no sense that places like the Saddledome, who rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars per show, are exempt, but places like Broken City, The Palomino, and the Ship and Anchor are not,” Broken City booker Lindsay Shedden told the paper. ”It’s heartbreaking.” Shedden added she’s already canceled several shows because of the new fees.