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Update: Artists react to proposal to extend the term for copyright of sound recordings in Canada to 70 years

Budget 2015, announced on April 21, 2015, committed to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70 years from 50 years. This is what some artists have had to say in reaction to the news:

“I applaud the efforts of our Government to extend the copyright protection term for our recording artists. It is only fair that they continue to reap the rewards of their creative works well into their dotage, when they need it most.”
– Anne Murray


“Thank you for recognizing all that the performers and producers put into creating music and their continued need to be recognized for that effort 70 years later. The government’s Budget 2015 amending the term of copyright is very much appreciated in the music community.”
– Alex Lifeson (Rush)


“As a Canadian band, we appreciate that our government recognizes the cultural and economic value in musical recordings, and has protected that value by extending the copyright term of those involved in producing these records.”
– Arkells


“The extension of the copyright protection for sound recordings has been long overdue in Canada. I beseech the Canadian government to do the right thing by their recording artists and bring our country up to the seventy year rule that most of the world has adopted. Why should Canada be the only country among our trading partners to lag behind? Our music has enriched the cultural landscape both here and abroad, and we the copyright holders of our albums should be fairly compensated. Thank you!”
– Liona Boyd


“I’ve been making music since the early 1970s. Term extension is a huge relief – in just a few short years I thought I would start to see copies of my work and no revenue. Not anymore, thank you PM Harper.”
– Myles Goodwyn


“It’s great that Canada has extended the copyright term to align with our international trading partners. This will allow labels to continue to invest in new Canadian artists.”
– Ladies of the Canyon


“Thank you PM Harper for recognizing the importance of extending copyright protection to recordings to 70 years, which will allow continued re-investment in the next generation of artists.”
– Brett Kissel

“Term extension is music to my ears and the ears of so many creators in Canada. Thank you.”

– Kim Mitchell


“By extending the term of copyright to match our major trading partners, the Canadian government is adding incentive for companies to invest in more Canadian recordings, which will help artists, and everyone in the recording ecosystem.”
– Miranda Mulholland

“Thank you to the federal government for encouraging more investment in Canadian artists and recordings by extending our term of copyright.”

– Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies)


“We’re glad to see Canada extend our length of copyright protection to terms consistent with other artists in other countries.”
– The Sheepdogs

“Canadian artists create music that is world-renowned and stacks up next to our counterparts from around the world – I’m thankful to the government that our Copyright laws now also stack up to our global counterparts.”

– The Tenors


“It is great to see Canada extend our copyright term to match our international counterparts, thank you for caring about the economic contribution music makes to Canada.”
– Tom Cochrane

“I’m still releasing albums but my fans love my older songs. Thanks to the federal government for the recent legislation. Its passage will make sure the sun doesn’t go down on my early songs.”

– Gordon Lightfoot

“As a member of the vast community of Canadian recording artists and labels, I am deeply grateful to this government for taking the initiative to bring even more of our copyright regulations in line with the rest of the world and other cultural industries such as publishing. The creativity which goes into a given performance and the recording process and arrangements should not be undervalued in the ultimate success of a composition. The copyright principle is an essential ingredient in a business model which should allow all creative participants to see a fair return on their investment of time, money, experience and education in the development of their career and product.”

– Loreena McKennitt

“PM Harper – you’ve made Canada’s music, and music industry, competitive with the rest of the world, thank you.”

– Toronto Symphony Orchestra


“As artists, ownership of our music is almost like a retirement plan. It is great to see that by extending Canada’s copyright term, the government is protecting that investment”
– Triumph

“Thanks for term extension PM Harper, you really are taking care of business.”

– Randy Bachman


“The world has changed since our original copyright laws were drafted. Every piece of music is, at least theoretically, with us forever. Extending the copyright term is an eminently sensible response to this new situation, and a welcome one!”
– Bruce Cockburn


“In just a few short years, songs we recorded in the late 1960s will no longer have copyright protection in Canada. Many of us in our 70’s and 80’s depend on income from these songs for our livelihood. We would deeply appreciate any adjustment that would avert a financial disaster in our lives.”
– Leonard Cohen


“We are thankful to the government for extending the commercial life of our music.”
– Cowboy Junkies


“I support extending the length of copyright for sound recordings in Canada to 70 years.  The copyright of a creative work should not expire in the lifetime of an author.”
– Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo)


“I’m glad that Canada has extended our copyright term, so we can continue to use the proceeds from classic Canadian recordings to invest in great Canadian talent.”
– Kardinal Offishall

“It is great to hear that Canada has extended our length of copyright for music recordings, which will help our songs maintain their value for years to come.”

– Serena Ryder


Record Store Day 2015

On the morning of Saturday April 18, vinyl lovers across the globe will rise early in hopes to snag some great deals and exclusive titles from their local independent record shops. Now in its 8th year, Record Store Day is an annual tradition for the modern vinyl fanatic and record shop appreciator who understand the importance these stores have for the neighbourhoods they reside in.

“I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial,” says Dave Grohl, 2015 Record Story Day Ambassador.

While it remains a niche part of the global recording industry, vinyl sales continue to rise as more music listeners become invested once again in the format. According to a new IFPI report, the Canadian vinyl market grew by 30.4% in 2014, generating over $9.2 Million (US) and placing Canada 7th on the list of Top 10 markets.

A list of Canadian record stores participating in Record Store Day can be found their website, as well as the full list of the exclusive titles you can try to get your hands on. Some Canadian titles that are exclusive to Record Store Day include:

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (LP)

Comeback Kid – Rain City Sessions (10″ Coloured LP)

Death From Above 1979 – Trainwreck (10-inch picture disc, 500 copies)

Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – Cocaine Cat (10″ Picture Disc)

Sloan – Alternates (12″ Coloured Vinyl)

Happy hunting!


Digital Music Report 2015 released by IFPI

Today, the IFPI released the Digital Music Report 2015, which provides an extensive overview of the global digital music sector, including international market figures, market trends, and worldwide bestsellers information. The report notes that globally, digital music revenues matched physical format sales for the first time in 2014. Digital revenues rose 6.9% to US $6.9 Billion, representing 46% of all global music sales and underlying the industry’s transition over recent years. Overall global revenues fell slightly (0.4%) in 2014, to US $14.97 Billion.

Digital-Music-Report-2015The IFPI says the Digital Music Report shows an industry in continued transition, with consumers embracing music streaming and subscription models. Subscription revenues rose sharply in 2014, growing by 39%, which offset an 8% decline in digital download sales to grow overall digital revenues to US$6.85 billion. The number of paying users of subscription services increased by 46.4%, to an estimated 41 million people worldwide. Subscription services are now a major part of the industry’s portfolio of businesses, making up 23% of the digital market and generating US$1.6 Billion in trade revenues.

“The recorded music business has always led the way for creative industries in the digital world,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “That leadership continues today as the music industry’s digital revolution continues through new phases, driven by the consumer’s desire for access to, rather than ownership of, music. It is a reflection of how much we have adapted that digital revenues today are, for the first time, on a par with physical. The headline statistics of 2014 speak for themselves, with overall revenues still largely flat, down by 0.4 per cent. Music companies are charting a path to sustainable year-on-year growth. That path was never going to be straight, but we are making great strides along it, embracing new models, licensing, investing and improving consumer choice.”

Key trends highlighted in the report includes the increased consumer engagement with licensed digital services, based on a new research study undertaken by Ipsos across 13 of the world’s leading music markets, including Canada. The Ipsos research found that the rise of streaming is driven in large part by young consumers, and that there is substantial untapped potential for growth in paid subscriptions.

The report also notes that bundling partnerships between telecom and digital music companies are becoming standard in markets across the globe, and are playing a significant role in the growth in emerging markets. The report notes that services are also increasingly tailoring their payment models to reach various segments of the market, citing MTV Trax, which offers users in the UK access to 100 songs for £1 per week, ranging to Deezer Elite, which specializes in high quality audio for $20 per month.

The report also addresses the “value gap” in the digital music market, noting the market distortion caused by the way some digital services circumvent normal music licensing rules. The IFPI illustrates this by comparing the share of revenue rightsholders derive from services like Spotify and Deezer to those derived from platforms like YouTube and Dailymotion. The report estimates that music subscription services have 41 million paying subscribers and more than 100 million “freemium” users globally, which generated US$1.6 Billion in rightsholder revenues in 2014. By comparison, YouTube alone has more than one billion monthly users and is considered one of the most popular access routes to music, and yet generated just US$641 million for rightsholders in the same time period.

“The value gap is a fundamental flaw in our industry’s landscape which sees digital platforms such as Dailymotion and YouTube taking advantage of exemptions from copyright laws that simply should not apply to them,” said the IFPI’s Frances Moore. “Laws that were designed to exempt passive hosting companies from liability in the early days of the internet – so-called ‘safe harbours’ – should never be allowed to exempt active digital music services from having to fairly negotiate licences with rights holders. There should be clarification of the application of ‘safe harbours’ to make it explicit that services that distribute and monetise music should not benefit from them.”

The Digital Music Report also covers plans for Global Release Day, which is the industry’s decision to synchronize the release schedule for all markets, allowing consumers to access new music on the same day worldwide. Beginning July 10, 2015, Friday will become the new release day, reducing the risk of piracy by shortening the release gap between markets, and providing new marketing opportunities for record labels over the weekend.

The report also examines music’s impact in the wider economy, with data illustrating the effect of record companies’ investment in artists. The recording industry invested US$4.3 billion in 2013, which, at more than 15% of industry revenues, is a larger share than other sectors like leisure (6.3%) and automobiles (4.2%). This investment is a catalyst for economic activity, said Max Lousada, chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK. “As an industry we make financial investments in our arts that have a ripple effect on the wider economy, whether that is driving new and innovative businesses or creating work for all the specialists that work to develop and sustain artists’ careers from producers, graphic designers and stylists to lawyers and accountants.”

The report looks at the role of music in driving tourism, citing the experience from Austin, Texas, and research from Toronto and the United Kingdom. Music is also a major driver of activity on social media, as the report notes that seven of the ten most-followed people on Twitter are musicians, and nine of the top ten most-watched YouTube videos are music related.

The report also profiles industry efforts to counter piracy, which continues to be a massive problem for the music industry. Research by Ipsos shows that most consumers recognize digital piracy is harmful and should be addressed by governments and intermediaries. 52% of respondents in Ipsos’ survey agreed that downloading or streaming without the copyright owner’s permission was theft. 53% of respondents agreed that licensed services should appear above pirate sites in search engine results, and 52% agreed that companies should not advertise on pirate sites. The report identifies major brands found to be continuing to advertise on egregious pirate sites, which drives revenue for the pirate site and advertisers, but while those who create the music involved receive nothing.

In the global charts, the soundtrack to the motion picture Frozen was the top-selling album internationally, while Pharrell Williams’ Happy was the top-selling digital single. Taylor Swift received the IFPI’s Global Recording Artist Award in 2014, as the most popular artist across formats ranging from CD sales to YouTube views.

To view the full report, visit


Ontario Government announces recipients of the second year of the Ontario Music Fund

Today, the Hon. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the 2014-15 Ontario Music Fund recipients, with 123 recipients receiving more than $14 million in grants in the second year of the program. The fund, which is administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), supports music entrepreneurs, record labels, managers, agents, industry trade associations, and training institutions across Ontario.

Premier Wynne made the announcement at Coalition Music in Scarborough, where she highlighted the music sector’s value to the Ontario economy and stated “music makes the earth move for Ontario.” The press release notes that the recorded music industry generates more than $429 million in revenue in Ontario annually, and that support from the first year of the Ontario Music Fund helped create or retain 2,000 jobs and produced $24 million in additional revenue for music-related businesses in Ontario.

“By establishing Ontario as one of the leading destinations in North America to record and perform, we are supporting the music companies, artists and cultural institutions that bring our sound to the world, boosting a vibrant and important industry, and helping to create good jobs,” said Premier Wynne in the release.

The Hon. Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and The Hon. Brad Duguid, Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, also spoke at the event, which featured music performances by The Good Lovelies and Myles Castello.

“By investing in the music sector through initiatives like the Ontario Music Fund, our government has ensured that Ontario remains Canada’s top jurisdiction for making, producing and performing music, said Minister Coteau. “I’m proud that Ontario continues to be one of the most diverse music sectors in the world and a place where artists can grow and thrive right here at home.”

“The Ontario Music Fund has positively changed the landscape for music, and signals that the Government of Ontario agrees that music is a good investment for this province; in fact, that it is one of our competitive advantages,” said Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. “We commend the Government of Ontario for creating the conditions that encourage the private sector to invest in music in order to create jobs and stimulate growth.”

For further information on the Ontario Music Fund, visit the OMDC’s website at


Canada’s Walk Of Fame Announces Return Of Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Program

Canada’s Walk Of Fame has announced the return of the successful Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Program, supported by RBC, as part of Canada’s Walk Of Fame Emerging Artists Programs and Scholarships. Now in its third year, the program calls for submissions from aspiring Canadian musicians (ages 10-35) for a chance at the Grand Prize consisting of private recording studio time, industry mentorship opportunities and a $25,000 cash prize. Six additional winners will also be chosen for a smaller cash prize and performance opportunities of Canada’s Walk Of Fame Events.

All winners will also be invited to participate in a private Music Industry Career Development Information Session with Q&A. The approximate value of the prizing in total is more than $100,000.00 CDN.

“Canada’s Walk of Fame is a celebration of everything that makes our nation great, and the mentorship program ensures that the next generation of artists achieve this greatness,“ said Randy Lennox, President/CEO of Universal Music Canada. “Universal is honoured to be attached to such a wonderful mentorship program with RBC, and we look forward helping the next bumper crop of talented Canadians reach their goals both at home and abroad. As we have seen with last year’s winner NEFE, who signed with Universal Music for the world, the campaign is helping Canadian artists grow into the stars of the future.”

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015.

For more information, see the program’s tool kit on the Canada’s Walk of Fame website.



Calgary To Host The 2016 JUNOS

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS) has announced that Calgary, Alberta will play host to the 45th annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week celebrations in 2016. Calgary first hosted to JUNOs in 2008 and after a successful community-based bid led by Tourism Calgary, the city will again welcome Juno Week March 28 – April 3, 2016.

“We’re delighted that the JUNO Awards will be returning to Calgary for the first time in eight years,” said Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary. “2016 will be a great year for music in Calgary as we highlight Canada’s best musical talents during JUNO Week, followed by the opening of the highly anticipated National Music Centre later in the year.”

Hosting a major national event like the JUNO Awards falls in line with the Alberta Music Cities Initiative (AMCI) and the Fertile Ground 2014 report, which outlines several recommendations on how music can be positioned as a vehicle for the diversification of Alberta’s economy and a tool that municipalities can use to stimulate economic growth, increase investment, retain youth, and drive tourism.

In 2008, the Juno Awards generated a total economic impact of $11.3 million for the city of Calgary. From 2007 to 2014 the JUNO Awards have created a total economic impact of almost $88 million combined from its hosting cities like Toronto ($14 million), Regina ($10 million) and Calgary.

“To bring the industry to Calgary and let them see the NMC is just too good of an opportunity to have go by,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO of CARAS/The JUNO Awards, when speaking with The Calgary Herald. “It just feels like such a great opportunity to be in Calgary around the time to help them launch that.”

When it is completed, the new 160,000-square-foot facility will house the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as community and education programs.

“I’m thrilled Calgarians will once again be hosting the JUNO Awards,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who will be in attendance at next month’s JUNO Awards in Hamilton, ON. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Calgary and our music and culture scene.”

The 45th annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast on CTV from The Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday, April 3, 2016.


2015 JUNO Award Nominees Announced

Congratulations to the 2015 JUNO Award nominees, which were announced by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) yesterday at a press conference at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. The full list of nominees is now available on the JUNOs website. Of the 179 nominees across 41 categories, 89 are receiving the first nomination of their career. Music from the nominees is available in the new JUNO Room on iTunes.

Music Canada is proud to return as the sponsor of the Album of the Year Award category. Nominees in that category include:

  • Where I Belong Bobby Bazini Universal
  • Wild Life Hedley Universal
  • Popular Problems Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony
  • No Fixed Address Nickelback Nickelback II Productions*Universal
  • Serge Fiori Serge Fiori GSI*eOne

The awards will be presented during JUNO Week in Hamilton, which runs March 9th-15th, culminating with the JUNO Awards Broadcast, which will air on CTV from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre. Tickets for the JUNO Awards 2015 are on sale now at Ticketmaster. The JUNOs also announced that Hamilton’s own Arkells will perform at the Broadcast show, joining previously announced performers Hedley, Kiesza, MAGIC!, and Shawn Mendes. A number of events for JUNO Week have also been announced, including JUNO Cup, JUNO Fan Fare, JUNOfest, and JUNO Songwriters’ Circle. Additionally, the JUNO Photography Exhibition and the JUNO Tour of Canadian Art are on now through late April at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Hamilton is “is positively amped about hosting the 2015 JUNOS,” said Tim Potocic, Chair of the 2015 JUNO Awards Host Committee earlier this year. This will be the first time since 2001 that Hamilton has hosted the awards, which also hosted the awards in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999. As Potocic notes, the City of Hamilton has embraced the music sector as an economic driver, with the creation of Hamilton Music Strategy and the establishment of the City’s Music and Film Office late last year.

It is estimated that the JUNOs will generate an economic impact of more than $10 million for Hamilton. Each city that has hosted the JUNO Awards has seen an economic impact of more than $10 million, said CARAS President & CEO Allan Reid at a Canadian Heritage Committee earlier this year, with more than $100 million in economic impact seen across Canada over the past 10 years.


National Music Centre releases Fertile Ground, a new report exploring economic opportunities in Alberta’s music industry

Today, the National Music Centre (NMC) released Fertile Ground: Alberta Music Cities Initiative, a new report on Alberta’s music sector that outlines the economic benefits of a strong provincial music industry. The report identifies the unique opportunity for the development of Alberta’s music sector and provides four key recommendations for further growth.

The NMC commissioned Music Canada to author the report, which was supported by funding from the Scotlyn Foundation. In a release, NMC President and CEO Andrew Mosker said the report was inspired by Music Canada’s success in demonstrating the value of provincial and municipal live music strategies in Ontario.

“Graham and Paul Lessard with the Scotlyn Foundation approached us, eager to do something meaningful for Alberta’s music industry,” said Mosker. “I was very aware of the incredible work Music Canada had done in Ontario, and wondered if the same strategic business approach could work in Alberta.”

The report notes that Alberta is already home to a number of key music assets, and that a strategic initiative to develop the music cluster would create the opportunity for diversification of the Alberta economy.

“This report is about breaking music out of the cultural box, and into the general consciousness of Alberta’s economic leaders, demonstrating its value and ability to attract and retain creative talent, support tourism and inspire investment across a variety of economic sectors, thereby supporting efforts to diversify Alberta’s economy,” said Amy Terrill, VP of Public Affairs at Music Canada and author of the Fertile Ground report.

Music Canada and NMC consulted a variety of stakeholders across Alberta in researching the report, including Alberta Music, tourism agencies, arts and culture organizations, and Alberta Chambers of Commerce. The report found that a strategic music initiative would “closely align with the priorities of numerous agencies and commissions involved in economic development, tourism and related fields, suggesting that it will be well received throughout the province.”

The four key recommendations to government and other sector partners are:

  • Develop a comprehensive understating of the economic profile of Alberta’s music cluster, with regional breakouts for Calgary and Edmonton as well as other smaller cities as appropriate.
  • Position music as a key economic sector, a vehicle for the diversification of Alberta’s economy, and a tool that municipalities can use to stimulate economic growth, increase investment, retain youth, and drive tourism.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to build the business capacity of the music industry in Alberta.
  • Develop and implement a live music strategy for Alberta to improve the live music product offering in Alberta and generate increased music tourism.

To view the full Fertile Ground report, visit the NMC site at


IFPI’s ‘Investing in Music’ report shows record labels invest US $4.3 Billion in A&R and marketing

Today, the IFPI, in association with WIN, have released Investing in Music, a new report that highlights the investment that record companies make in artists and repertoire (A&R) and marketing.

The report shows that record companies remain the primary investors in artists, investing 27% of their revenues in A&R and marketing, an increase from 26% in 2011. The report estimates that record companies worldwide have invested more than US$20 Billion in A&R and marketing over the past five years.

Investing in Music highlights the multi-billion dollar investment in artists made every year by major and independent record labels.  It is estimated that the investment in A&R and marketing over the last five years has totalled more than US$20 billion”, said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “That is an impressive measure of the qualities that define the music industry, and which give it its unique value.”

The report also reveals that more than 7,500 artists were signed to major labels’ rosters in 2013, with tens of thousands more signed to independent labels. One in five artists on a labels’ roster is a new signing, which illustrates that fresh talent is the lifeblood of the industry, says the IFPI.

“Most artists who want to make a career from their music still seek a recording deal,” said Alison Wenham, chair of WIN. “They want to be introduced to the best producers, sound engineers and session musicians in the business. They need financial support and professional help to develop marketing and promotional campaigns.”

The report shows that record companies invest a greater proportion of their global revenues into A&R than most other sectors do into research and development (R&D). The music industry’s investment of 16% of revenues in A&R exceeds the R&D investment of industries such as the pharmaceutical and biology (14.4%), software and computing (9.9%), or technology hardware and equipment (7.9%) sectors.

The report includes data from record companies around the world, and features case studies on Ed Sheeran, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lorde, MKTO, Negramaro, Nico & Vinz, Pharrell Williams, and Wei Li-An.

The full report is now available via the IFPI website.


Toronto Music Policy Survey – 2014 Mayoral Candidates

Music Canada is a passionate advocate for music and those who create it, identifying ways to strengthen Canada’s music sector.

Our research shows that Toronto has the potential to be the greatest music city in the world. It is the third biggest music market in North America, and is home to a vibrant music scene. This is why Music Canada has also led the 4479 Toronto Music City initiative, and why this survey has been created. Music Canada has surveyed Toronto’s mayoral candidates in order to raise awareness of music issues in Toronto, and to secure music friendly commitments.

We asked Olivia Chow, Doug Ford, and John Tory three questions on key music policies as identified by Music Canada. We have listed their responses alphabetically below, and encourage Torontonians to consider a candidate’s positions on music policy when casting their ballot. Voting day is Monday, October 27, 2014, and Advance Polls are open now through October 19th. For information on how or where to cast your vote, visit the City of Toronto’s Election Services site.


Toronto Music Policy Survey – 2014 Mayoral Candidates

Toronto’s live music venues, concert promoters, and studio owners have all revealed that regulations and red tape at City Hall are creating an impediment to business growth. Based on best practices from Austin, Texas, Music Canada has recommended that the City of Toronto create a Music Office within its Economic Development & Culture Division. With a modest budget, this office would assist Toronto’s music community in navigating city infrastructure and regulations, and in stimulating business development opportunities, all of which will lead to greater investment and employment in the music sector.
We asked: How will you support the creation of a Toronto Music Office?
Olivia ChowOlivia Chow “As an artist herself, Olivia has a history of championing the arts. Olivia will create the Toronto Music Office, which could be paid for with increased revenue from the billboard tax. Like the Film Office already does to support film in our city, the Music Office will create an even more attractive environment for music and culture in our city.Olivia supports making city services work for people, from small business tax cuts to ensuring that economic development agencies in the city streamline their processes. Austin, Texas is a leader on the music front and we can do the same here in Toronto with a much larger population and pool of artists. This will build on the incredible musical talent in our city, and the music festivals and awards shows that already attract so many to our city.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“I believe in the power of the music industry to stimulate our economy, bring jobs to our city and create a vibrant cultural scene. In the past four years we have supported the arts and we have supported Toronto’s music industry. We increased arts funding by $22 million to support arts and culture in Toronto. I am also very proud of our work in partnership with Music Canada to help advance the music industry by travelling to Austin Texas on Toronto’s first music industry business mission. In Austin we signed the world’s first Music Cities Alliance between Toronto and Austin. We have also helped fund a new position at City Hall to liaise with the music industry to help them do business with the City of Toronto. We want to replicate the success we have seen with Toronto’s Film Office and apply that same approach to the Music Industry. I will work with stakeholders like Music Canada to make sure we expand on this and create fully functional Music Office at the City of Toronto.”
John Tory
John Tory
“John Tory’s “Music City” policy is an important part of his larger Arts and Culture policy which acknowledges the vital contribution the creative sector makes to the city. The creative sector creates the conditions for the city to thrive – it builds our international reputation, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and contributes billions to our GDP. It is important that the city creates the conditions for our creative sector to thrive.In May during Canadian Music Week, John announced his plan to support the growth of the music industry in Toronto. Included in his “Music City” program is the commitment to establish a new stand–‐alone Music Office which will act as a one stop shop for the music community.The City of Toronto can learn from its efficient and collaborative work with the film and television community. The city’s film office has succeeded in improving customer service has helped to increase the level of activity in Toronto in this important creative sector. Based on this success story, and a similar experience in Austin Texas in the music sector, the City of Toronto will benefit from the creation of a Music Office. The Music Office will be established within the Economic Development department and will open in 2015. The Music Office will be expected to accomplish two main goals: reduce red tape and stimulate greater economic activity in the music community. Both of these activities will help to reduce the impediments to business growth currently being faced by the music community in Toronto. Targets will be set and progress measured over a 5 year term. Expected results will include greater activity in the music sector, increased employment and private sector investment, and greater efficiency at City Hall.The Music Office will be supported in its work by the Toronto Music Advisory Council which was established in December 2013 and reports to the Economic Development Committee. John commits to extending the mandate of the Music Advisory Council.”


Tourism is an important part of Toronto’s economy, with almost ten million overnight visitors in 2010, generating over four million in city revenue. The specific impact of music tourism on Toronto’s economy has yet to be measured, though given the concentration of the music industry in the GTA, it could be significant. Working with the music community, the City of Toronto and Tourism Toronto could quantify existing music tourism revenues and develop targeted initiatives to further increase its impact.
We asked: How will you champion the development of a music tourism strategy for Toronto?
Olivia Chow
Olivia Chow
“Olivia has committed to seeing the city invest more in the arts, bringing our investment from $22.5 per capita to $25 per capita. With worldclass awards shows like Polaris Music Prize and the MMVAs, and festivals like Pride Toronto and the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, Toronto is a cultural capital unlike any other. Our commitment to investing in parks and green space in our city will reduce red tape surrounding large events and help support street festivals and open streets initiatives. Through strategies like this, we can continue to make our city a vibrant and dynamic cultural centre.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“When we went down to Austin, Texas, last year I saw the power of the music industry first hand. Austin is a City one third the size of Toronto, yet they have created a thriving music industry that generates three times the economic activity of Toronto’s. I learned a lot in Austin, I learned the potential of the music industry to drive tourism and stimulate economic development. I will support Toronto’s music industry to help it thrive. A vibrant cultural scene makes a City more attractive to visitors, investors and businesses alike. I will drive a music tourism plan through the Economic Development Committee to ensure we are doing everything we can at the City of Toronto to attract more music tourism to our city.”
John Tory
John Tory
“John Tory believes our creative sector is one of our best tourism assets. Addressing the barriers to growth in music activity by establishing a Music Office will, in itself, help to further boost the opportunity to attract music tourists. Festivals, concerts and other music events, staged throughout the city, will position Toronto as a key destination for music tourists. John is also committed to facilitating greater connectivity for tourists to Toronto’s creative hotspots through the SmartTrack line. This will improve the overall tourist experience, as well as benefit Toronto residents who want to access music events. Increasing the audience, whether drawn from afar or here at home, will create greater demand for live performances and therefore, generating more opportunities for artists and musicians to perform.Toronto’s destination marketing organization, Tourism Toronto, should work with the music community in order to further incorporate Toronto’s music story into our tourism marketing.”


Toronto has an active and culturally vibrant live music scene, but red tape at City Hall has made it difficult for new and existing festivals and events to put on live music in Toronto’s parks and squares.
The application process is ambiguous and unclear, and can be overwhelming for people who are unfamiliar with it. If City Council were to place a higher priority on live music there would be a greater impetus to overcome these barriers.
We asked: How will you support the growth and development of live music in Toronto?
Olivia Chow
Olivia Chow
“At the beginning of this year the Fords went after Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in our city and tried to prevent any EDM on city property, especially on the Exhibition grounds. Olivia has been a long-time supporter of safe EDM events on public property. As a city councillor, she worked to reverse an ill-conceived ban on raves in public spaces and bring in protocols to ensure the events were safe and fun.The city has a vital role to play in facilitating great music in our city. The Toronto Music Office will lead this effort and we need to make sure that there are places, throughout our city, that can easily serve the needs of music artists. Fort York, for example, has become a musical and event destination in our city. Olivia has pledged to reduce the red tape and process in getting permits on public space.4479 is a great initiative that will help move our city’s cultural sector ever more forward. Olivia looks forward to working with 4479, Music Canada, other partners, and the new Toronto Music Office to make our city even better.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“I will support the creation of a music office to make it easier for the music industry to operate in Toronto, especially the live music scene. Toronto already has an amazing live music scene, we have amazing festivals like NXNE. I believe what we need to make Toronto’s live music scene even better is more cohesion between the industry and the City and a concerted effort from the City of Toronto to make it easier to get permits for live music events. In Austin we attended the ACL music festival, a live music events that attracts thousands of visitors and generates over $100 million in economic activity each year. I want to bring a live music festival to match ACL to Toronto, while still supporting our existing music events and helping them grow. I am also committed to exploring the creation of a music industry incubator to support new music industry startups.”
John Tory
John Tory
“The importance of the music community and the broader creative sector cannot be understated. In addition to the direct economic benefits that result from a vibrant music sector, live music also serves as a magnet for tourism, investment and talent (both inside and outside the creative community). In order to ensure greater communication with the creative community, John will appoint a Creative Economic Advocate within the Mayor’s office who will act as a liaison to the Mayor. This measure will, along with other initiatives, ensure that the creative community and its benefits, including music, are better understood and appreciated by City Council and staff.In regards to presenting music in particular, the establishment of a Music Office will help to eliminate the barriers facing music presenters who wish to program Toronto’s underutilized spaces, and help to stimulate greater activity in the music community through business outreach efforts. A large international festival, for instance, is a missing critical component in Toronto’s music infrastructure. Whether growing an existing festival, or attracting the creation of a new festival, John will support efforts to fill this gap.”

For more information on Toronto’s municipal election, visit the City of Toronto’s Election Services page.


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