The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) announced a policy amendment that allows minors to perform in licensed venues such as bars and pubs. Underage musicians are once again allowed to apply for performance approval from AGLC after being prohibited for nearly ten years.
This policy change has been supported by many musicians and locals throughout the city, most notably Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd, who consulted with artists and music industries to support the cause. As a musician himself, Shepherd was very much in support of the movement and passionately spearheaded the campaign. Shepherd talked about his career as young performer and how much valuable experience playing in those venues provided him and other up-and-coming members of the musical community.
“Talking with a lot of musicians, talking about how thats how I got my start, that’s how I learned, it’s the opportunity for apprenticeship and to get out there and play.”
He also mentioned that he doesn’t believe its just the musicians benefiting, as live music in the city seems to be on the decline.
“It’s a no harm, no foul really, it’s giving young people a chance to get better at their craft and it’s also then bringing out friends, family, parents and all sorts of folks to come out and watch them play, so that helps add some vitality back into our music scene as well.”
In order for bars to allow minors to perform, they need a special permit that is awarded on a case by case basis, as well as insurance that once the performance is finished they must pack their equipment and leave the establishment. The AGLC also stated that liquor and gaming establishments such as casinos are still off limits.