With the increasing focus on border control by our southern neighbours, craft artists travelling to the United States for business purposes must be vigilant in their preparations. It is an unfortunate reality that the complexity of cross-border activity has caused delays and denials for artists, particularly those attending events with the intention of conducting sales.
A recent CBC article highlighted the story of Heather Breadner, owner of a small wool-dying business in Lindsay, Ontario, was recently denied entry to the U.S. after border officials claimed she didn’t have the proper work visa to sell her yarn at a festival in Maryland. Breadner says: “There was no difference whether I had a truck full of heroin or whether I had a truck full of yarn.”
In missing the festival, Breadner claims her small business is out approx. $25K, in broker fees, booth fees, hotel charges and raw material costs. To read the full article (in English), visit here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/knitters-detained-at-border-visa-confusion-1.4703016
The CCF/FCMA is aware of many craft artists experiencing delays and denials at the US-Canada border. The system is difficult to navigate and very open to interpretation by border officials, as this article suggests. If you have experienced similar struggles with your craft business, please let us know by sharing your story. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.