Musician Eric Gales denied entry into Canada, will not perform at Bluesfest Windsor

Memphis-born blues musician Eric Gales has been denied entry into Canada, and will not perform at Bluesfest Windsor this weekend.

The musician was set to perform in Quebec Thursday, followed by a Windsor appearance Friday

In a Facebook post, Gales says he and his wife undertook efforts to enter Canada despite the musician's criminal record. (Sten Thorborg)

Memphis-born blues musician Eric Gales was denied entry into Canada, preventing him from performing in Quebec and Ontario.

Gales was set to perform in Mont-Tremblant, Que. Thursday evening, followed by an appearance Friday at Bluesfest Windsor. 

"I got to Canada and was just denied entry," wrote Gales in a Facebook post Thursday. "My wife started working on this over a year ago and I finally got connected to a company that specialized in helping people with a criminal past get here."

Gales previously served 21 months out of a three-year sentence for possession of drugs and a weapon in 2009. 

"I spent [money] and I did everything they told me to do but still was denied," said Gales. 

In a statement, Bluesfest Windsor confirmed Gales would not perform at the festival.

Instead, Laura Rain and The Caesars will occupy Gales's slot. 

Rebecca Purdy, a senior spokesperson for the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), told CBC News it's not agency practice to "confirm/deny the entry of any one person to Canada."

"All persons, including Canadian citizens, seeking entry to Canada must present to the CBSA and may be subject to a more in-depth exam," wrote Purdy, via email. "All persons must demonstrate they meet the requirements to enter and/or stay in Canada."

Purdy added that admissibility is determined on a case-by-case basis "and based on the information made available at the time of entry."

"Several factors are used in determining if an individual is admissible to Canada, including involvement in criminal activity, human rights violations, organized crime, security, health or financial reasons," she said. 


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