Inadmissibility to Canada: Performing Artists

Last updated: 28 August 2020

No matter how high profile a performing artist might be, anybody who has charges on their record is at risk of refusal when attempting to enter Canada.

Many Canadian cities, including Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, have a vibrant live music and performing arts scene. Although there is no shortage of local talent, much of the live entertainment that takes place in these cities comes from foreign nationals who are in Canada temporarily.

Crowds gather in downtown Montreal for the International Jazz Festival

Because they must cross over the Canadian border to perform, inadmissibility issues can arise and artists can be denied entry, resulting in last minute show cancellations and disappointed audiences.

While an individual’s notoriety might lend some importance to their reason for travel, fame and fortune by no means guarantees that this individual will be permitted to enter Canada. Several “A-list” celebrities have been refused entry or told they could not enter Canada in recent years. These include singers, actors, DJ’s, dancers, comedians, celebrity speakers, and any members of their supporting crew.

The short amount of time these individuals will be in the country also does not mean they will be allowed to enter. Even people who are merely transiting through Canada with a connecting flight must usually address any inadmissibility issue.

Any performer or artist, no matter where they rank along the spectrum of celebrity, and regardless of the length of time they will be spending in Canada, should be cognizant of any potential inadmissibility problems they might face.

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