A statement issued by A2IM today…
A2IM Supports Elimination of Visa Requirement for Canadian artists touring US
In the spirit of The North American Federal Trade Agreement (NAFTA), A2IM is voicing support for the elimination of the current Visa requirements for touring Canadian artists to enter the US. The Canadian Government eliminated both its Labor Market Opinion fees and Visa requirements in 2014, removing all barriers for American artists to tour in Canada. A2IM feels strongly that Canadian artists should be given reciprocal, preferential treatment by the US over performing artists from outside of North America.
Under current legislation, Canadian artists are only able to tour within the U.S. after securing a P Visa, a practice that is mandated to be processed in two weeks but can often stretch to six months’ time. This can stall tours and result in artists, US clubs and restaurants losing revenue. Relaxing Visa requirements would allow for an open exchange of ideas and cultural reciprocity between two neighboring countries.
A2IM’s diverse membership nationwide with Canadian artists on their roster has been impacted by this practice and support eliminating the Visa requirement. For example, labels spanning various genres, geographic locations and sizes have voiced their full support including: Compass Records’ Garry West (Nashville, TN), Ghostly International’s Jeremy Peters (Ann Arbor, MI), Secretly Label Group’s Darius Van Arman (Bloomington, IN) and Razor and Tie’s Vic Zaraya (NYC, NY).
A2IM President Rich Bengloff will be speaking on this issue during Canadian Music Week in solidarity with the organization’s Canadian counterpart Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA). Joined by industry executives including Dine Alone Records’ Founder Lisa Logutenkow and lawyer Greg Somers and moderated by CIMA President Stuart Johnston, the panel will focus on ease of access and reducing barriers for Canadian artists to tour within the US.
Image by Alex Indigo, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).