If you’re a UK artist (or working with a UK artist) and are planning to tour in Canada, here are some quick tips to help you make a seamless border crossing.
You’ll need a carnet if you’re travelling with commercial goods. If you’re not sure what a carnet is check out our post on Carnet FAQ’s.
Every member of the band will need to have a valid passport that does not expire in the next 6 months and has at least 5 blank pages.
In some cases American citizens can cross the Canadian border by land with an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL).
Letter of Invitation
The promoter or festival where the artist is playing needs to provide you with a Letter of Invitation. This letter is presented to the custom officials at the Canadian border to verify that you are travelling as a performing artist and are contracted for these shows.
To apply for this you will need to send passport scans of all members of the touring party to your point of contact at the promoters agency or festival. They will send you the Letter of Invitation digitally once completed.
For more information on this please read the official documentation here.
Crossing the Border
Print your Letter of Invitation and a Personnel Manifest (a list of names of the band and crew with corresponding passport numbers). If members are arriving on seperate flights / transports, make sure that they each have access to a copy of both documents.
Present these documents to the customs officer at your Port of Entry. They will check the letter against their records and allow you into the country to perform.
NOTE: If crossing the border by land, not all Ports of Entry can process a carnet. Make sure to cross over the major Ports of Entries (for freight), instead of some of the smaller ones
Selling Merch in Canada
If you’re travelling with merch, declare the goods at the Canadian Border. You’ll need a list of inventory of your merchandise and the wholesale price for each item. You’ll pay a sales tax of 5% to Canadian customs.