Thinking about casting a child in your company’s next commercial? Want to feature a child on your next album? Getting ready to shoot a film with a child star? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to understand the laws concerning child performers in Canada.
The laws vary from province to province, so you’ll want to check the guidelines in your area. Typically, provincial laws dictate how long children can work and how often they get breaks, and there are often differences based on age. For instance, in Ontario, before a child’s third birthday, he can only be in front of a recording device for up to 15 minutes, and then he gets at least a 20-minute break. Recording artists between the ages of 3 and 6 can work for 30 minutes before getting a mandatory break of at least 15 minutes.
Some laws stipulate that children need to have a parent on set or have access to a tutor to complete their education. There are also rules about how early and late a child can work. In Québec, for example, you must set the schedule and take commutes into account to ensure child performers are always at home between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Even if you’re hiring your own child, you need to pay attention to these rules.
A child can be a big asset to a film, TV show, recording, or multiple other types of productions, but if your production’s success requires the use of child entertainers, you need to pay attention to the laws and respect the rights of these children.