The CNESST: Registration costs for choreographers and producers

Here is a case that will help choreographers and producers figure out how much it will cost them to register with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) as an employer.

An independent choreographer starts a creative project with four performers who are considered self-employed workers by Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency. Under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases, they are considered workers. The choreographer is therefore obliged to register as an employer with the CNESST and to declare the fees she pays to the performers participating in her project. 

Based on the total fees the choreographer pays her performers, she can easily calculate the amount to be paid to the CNESST.

Every year, the CNESST determines the premium to be paid by employers according to the activities they carry out. Employers in the dance sector who work on the creation and production of shows fall under unit 57010. In 2018, the CNESST premium for this category is $1.64 for every $100 paid in fees or salary. 

The independent choreographer who agreed to pay each performer fees of $2,000 for rehearsals and $500 for two shows. The total fees she will have to pay in 2018 to the four performers total $10,000. Since the CNESST fixed premium rate is $1.64 for every $100, the choreographer must pay $164 to the CNESST to provide coverage to the four performers during rehearsals and performances of her work.

Imagine! That’s less than $50 per performer. If one of them becomes injured during a rehearsal or performance, the CNESST will cover the costs of all treatments and medications prescribed by the performer’s doctor. For the same registration amount, the CNESST will pay the performer an income replacement benefit. The independent choreographer will not be required to pay any additional sums for the performer to have access to treatments or compensation provided by law.

Is it worth ignoring the law to save such a small amount of money? Especially since the independent choreographer could be saddled with huge costs if one of her performers suffers a serious accident during a rehearsal or performance.


Note to readers

The information above does not express the opinion of a CNESST representative regarding employer contributions. To obtain information about a specific case, please contact the CNESST at 1 844 838-0808.



If you require information or support regarding occupational health and safety, feel free to contact the following associations.

Regroupement québécois de la danse
Virginie Desloges, Finance and Administration Manager
514 849-4003, ext. 228

Dancer Transition Resource Centre
Parise Mongrain, Quebec Program Officer
514 284-1515

Union des artistes
514 288-7150, ext 1000 or 1 877 288-6682 (toll free)

Union des travailleurs et travailleuses accidentés de Montréal (UTTAM)
514 527-3661

Aide aux travailleurs accidentés (Quebec City and Eastern Quebec)
418 598-9844

Comité des travailleurs et travailleuses accidentés de l'Estrie
819 563-8178 |


Other resources to determine employer contributions to the CNESST

Producteurs du domaine artistique, La loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles, ça vous concerne! (in French)

Chapter 6 of Note 296 – Démarche de détermination d'un statut d'une personne physique aux fins de la cotisation (in French)

Amount paid by an artistic producer in the form of a fee, flat fee agreement or royalty (in French) (CNESST)


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