Music PEI is concerned a new federal fee for non-Canadian musicians will mean fewer international acts coming to the Island, and financial trouble for local music venues.
Venues such as bars and clubs now have to pay the federal government $275 for international artists and crew members to present a single performance. It's called an application fee, and it's a requirement for any Canadian business hiring international workers.
'You know, there is not a lot of money in this business to begin with.' — Rob Oakie, Music PEI
Music venues had not been included, until July 31 of this year.
Rob Oakie, executive director of Music PEI, is concerned about what this will mean for venues and Island artists.
"We are just not sure what the government was thinking when they put this into place," said Oakie.
"I think it will have an impact on local venues. They certainly won't be able to have that Australian artist or English artist play, just because there is no way that they could ever afford it. I mean it's just impossible. You know, there is not a lot of money in this business to begin with."
Oakie said Island artists won't have as many opportunities for co-operative work with musicians from other countries. He also fears the extra financial strain on venues will mean some won't be able to stay open.
Oakie said a lobby has begun to get Ottawa to reverse the decision.