What is the best way to find a good DJ for a function?
The best way to find a good DJ is by selecting a DJ you have seen perform at a previous function. You should also consider a recommendation from a friend or someone who has used a favourable DJ in the past for a similar function to yours.
The next best way is to visit www.cpdja.ca and view DJ listings for a DJ in your area that meets the criteria you are looking for. You can then request a written quote by email from any selected number of DJs listed by simply placing a check-mark in the box next to their listing. You will receive email quotes with no obligation from DJs you have checked in the selection boxes.
Get started by clicking on the "Looking For A DJ?" graphic below.
Is it important to meet your DJ first?
It is VERY important that you meet the DJ you are considering FIRST. Once you meet this DJ you should have a feel for his or her experience and professionalism.
If you do not have a “good” feel that this is the DJ for your function then you should look for someone else.
Should I visit a function to see my DJ work before I hire?
Although it is preferable that you actually see your selected DJ at work, this is not always possible unless you are a guest attending another function that your DJ is performing at.
Visiting another function that you are not invited to is not generally a good idea. How would you like prospective customers visiting your wedding day celebration unexpected? Besides, each function is “customized” by the DJ for that client and that performance may not suit your particular need.
Why is a DJ who is “insured” important?
Any damage to the hall or hall contents that occurs while a DJ is moving-in or moving-out equipment to your function would be charged to you if your DJ is not insured.
In addition, if any of your guests were hurt at the function under a wide range of circumstances, it is common that victims sue a wide range of suppliers as well as the venue itself for a settlement. Comprehensive Commercial Liability Insurance usually covers any of these occurrences.
What License does a DJ require?
Most DJs are using “compiled” music on CDs or compressed music on computers to provide music service for your function. In these cases (which are almost 100% in some form or another) the DJ requires an AVLA License. This is a copyright license to duplicate music for DJ service at your function.
You will notice many DJ services advertising “AVLA Licensed”. If an unlicensed DJ is “inspected” during your function, the inspector WILL NOT stop your function despite rumours that they will. The DJ could however be prosecuted. Most professional DJs have an AVLA license. If your DJ cannot show you their AVLA License, then you have some reason to question just how professional that DJ actually is.
What is a SOCAN License?
When you rent a hall or venue for your reception you may notice that the hall is charging you a SOCAN license fee. This is a license that the hall must obtain for each function where music is being played.
Most halls pay an ANNUAL fee for this license and it is not tied to your function specifically. This license covers much more than your function however some halls are charging an “event fee” to cover this license. The halls have actually been doing this for many years but it has been included in the “rent” you pay for the hall.
Recently some halls have been exposing this license fee separately. This fee is set by Federal law and not by the hall and has to be paid by the hall regardless of whether a DJ plays your function or not. This is NOT a “DJ License”. You can visit the consumer section of the CPDJA website and view more information on this license if you wish.
What is an acceptable deposit to pay for DJ service?
Deposits for services depend on the individual DJ service and even on the location of the event. Larger city centres usually require larger deposits by most providers that service weddings and functions.
Generally, service fees are also higher in larger centres due to parking and other considerations. An acceptable “deposit for service” should be between 25% and 35% of the fee for service.
How much do you include the DJ in your reception planning?
In many cases today, the DJ is the coordinator of the function during the day of the event. A “party plan” should be agreed upon between you and the DJ in the weeks prior to the function to ensure that all requirements (music and otherwise) and all traditions are followed and met.
Some of the larger DJ services utilize a “music programmer” who actually looks after your music requirements and a separate “party host” who handles all the master of ceremony and hosting duties during the evening. This two person “team” ensures your party goes as planned and agreed upon before hand.
Therefore, the DJ and/or Party Host should be involved as much as possible in the planning of the day of your function. They will make sure everything goes “exactly” to your plan.
Should I feed the DJ at my Reception?
Absolutely! Your music provider will be working before, during and after your event. They will be setting up and making sure that all the sound and lighting equipment is perfectly set-up for your event. After your event, they will have to pack it all up and load it out to their vehicle.
These days it's not uncommon for a DJ to work for more than 10 or 12 hours on the day of your event. I'm sure you can see why it's important that food and hydration be available to your DJ Staff. If the DJ or Party Host has to leave your function to eat then your function will not have its coordinator or music provided during that time.
Given that most celebrations are seamless with activity this is not usually a good idea. When anyone goes for an extended time without food there is the possibility of “energy loss” and dehydration during the mid-evening and that would not be good for your party either.
Caterers for these events ALWAYS prepare more food than is required for guests for obvious reasons so they should be able to look after your DJ as well. Be sure to discuss this with your caterer and ensure that the DJ is provided a meal at the same time as the guests so he or she is prepared to entertain and provide music service immediately following dinner.
If I have had a problem with a DJ at my function, what can I do and where can I go to voice my dissatisfaction?
The Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association represents professional DJs and DJ Entertainers across Canada. If you have any complaints or concerns about your DJ you can report your concern to the association in writing using the CPDJA website. All complaints are reviewed by one of our dispute officers and discussed with the DJ if the DJ is a Member of the Association.
If the DJ is NOT a member of the Association, the complaint is registered and maintained by our Association for future consideration if this DJ eventually decides to join. Such complaints on file could cause the decline of any future Membership or Licensing application of this DJ.