Important Information for International Artists

Letter of Invitation

As a visiting international artist with an invitation to perform at a Festival you won’t require a Canadian Visa. Fringe Theatre will provide you with a Letter of Invitation that you can present at the border to enter the country. This will be issued in the name and address of the Primary contact unless otherwise specified.

Letters of Invitation were sent to international Artists participating in the 2023 Festival in May of this year. Please contact the Festival with any questions.

Electronic Travel Authorization

Every arts organization who makes a payment to a non-resident artist or company for services rendered in Canada must withhold and remit an amount in accordance with the requirements under the Canadian Income Tax Act. The rate of withholding is 15% of the gross amount paid. 

The only alternative to the withholding and remitting requirements is for the non-resident to obtain a waiver, or a reduction in the withholding tax. Where a non-resident can adequately demonstrate that the withholding tax normally required is in excess of their ultimate Canadian tax liability, the CRA may reduce or waive the withholding tax accordingly. 

The onus is on the non-resident to demonstrate to the CRA that a waiver or a reduction of the amount required to be withheld is justified. This may be based on the application of the treaty of their country of residence or through an estimated income and expense statement. A request for a waiver should normally be filed 30 days before the services are to begin in Canada, or 30 days before the first payment is due for these services. 

Even if the payer withholds and remits tax from the non-resident’s income or even if a waiver is granted, the non-resident will likely have to file a Canadian income tax return to get a refund of any excess amounts that were withheld or else to certify that they are exempt from paying tax in Canada 

You can fill out a Withholding Tax Waiver and submit to the CRA to see if you are eligible for an exemption. 

It is entirely up to the artist to submit a waiver application. Fringe Theatre then receives a response from the CRA and will withhold/issue full refund as instructed. 

Information on Withholding Tax (Simplified) 

The CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) has released a new, simplified r105 tax waiver form. If you have not filled out a tax waiver form, this option might be right for you. Below are some criteria that you must consider before applying with the simplified tax waiver form. 

The R105 simplified waiver process applies to individual self-employed non-resident artists or athletes who expect to earn no more than CAN$15,000 in the calendar year. The CAN$15,000 includes not only the amount paid to the artist or athlete directly for their performance, but also any expenses paid for or on their behalf or that have been reimbursed to them. It also includes any bonus, sponsorship/promotional income, residuals/participations, and amounts based on ticket sales (overages). 

  • United States (U.S.) residents: U.S. artists and athletes expecting to earn no more than CAN$15,000 in the calendar year (including expenses and benefits) may qualify for a Treaty-based waiver which eliminates the regulation 105 withholding of taxes. 
  • Other countries: An artist or athlete from any country other than the U.S. expecting to earn no more than CAN$15,000 in the calendar year (including expenses and benefits) may qualify for an income and expense waiver. If you qualify for an income and expense waiver, the payer will be authorized to withhold 23% tax only on the net income paid to you. 

You cannot use the simplified process if: 

  • you expect that your total earnings will be more than CAN$15,000; 
  • you are incorporated (not self-employed); 
  • you are a personal services or traveling corporation through which your services are provided as an artist or athlete; or 
  • you are considered an employee for the work you will do in Canada. 

You can find more information on the CRA website here. If you decide that this is the right process for you, you can find the pdf fillable form here. It is entirely up to the artists to submit a waiver form. 

Completed simplified r105 forms can be submitted through Eventotron. If you are submitting the regular r105 form, this still must be submitted to the CRA. 

Please send any questions to Victoria, Programming Administrative Coordinator, at