Information for entertainers wishing to come to Canada

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Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/20/10 07:27 PM

This is really for the rather rude Tim Ellis but may be useful to anyone who wishes to come as an entertainer to work in Canada. It will not work for the United States and is not a reciprocal arrangement for Canadians who wish to work in America. In other words Americans can come here and work but Canadians can't go down there without a lot of major red tape and hassle. This situation has caused resentment among some Canadian entertainers.

Foreign entertainers are allowed to work in Canada for a short period providing they don't perform in a restaurant or bar for some reason. In other words Christopher Lyle will have to stay in Texas since foreign restaurant magicians aren't allowed to work here.

Furthermore you are not allowed to perform on broadcast media. Anyway here you are: ... sp#artists

Be aware that many individual immigration officers at the port of entry have no idea that entertainers are allowed to enter so I would suggest printing out this website so you can show the relevant section to those who guard our shores.

Another thing you may have to watch out for is that I understand that the people who book you are supposed to deduct 15% witholding tax from your fee and send it on to the Canadian government. You will get a tax credit in your own country.

There. Now you know.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/20/10 08:48 PM

Mark, that is very interesting and could be quite helpful to some, thanks! I wonder what legal interpretation the term "limited period of time" has? Since few of us are immortal, we are all performing for a "limited period of time"...
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Postby Mark.Lewis » 01/20/10 10:14 PM

No doubt the immigration fellow will ask how long you are going to be performing in Canada. I expect if you say three years he may well show some negativity. I think I would be nervous of saying a period of more than a few weeks or so. At any rate you are not allowed to stay more than 6 months as a visitor whether you are an entertainer or not. And if they don't like the look of you they can limit that period of time even further.
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Postby Shawn Farquhar » 01/26/10 07:20 AM

This information will actually be helpful with regards to lecturer's coming to Canada. Thanks for the tip ...

Shawn Farquhar

"if you can't laugh at yourself, you're just not getting the joke."
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Postby Yeeri » 06/17/10 02:01 AM

Friend of mine has an interesting line he uses at the borders that usually that stops more questions from the immigration - "What do you do for a living?" "I bury people ..." OK!
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Postby Cane and Able » 07/10/10 06:57 PM

Is anything being done by the Canadian Gov't to level the field in this?

Have a great day everyone!
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