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Toronto Music Advisory Council highlights key milestones at last meeting of the term

The Toronto Music Advisory Council’s (TMAC) final meeting of the year took place on June 20th, 2018. Committee members discussed a variety of critical issues and developments, with the Working Groups providing progress updates on a number of their agenda items.

TMAC Co-Chairs City Councillor Josh Colle and Spencer Sutherland also presented a written summary of TMAC’s key milestones during the meeting, emphasizing the accomplishments that helped achieve the committee’s priority items.

Key highlights of the summary document are featured below.

Creating opportunities to support local musicians: major accomplishments include initiatives like Arts/Music in the Parks; the Toronto Music Directory; the YYZ Live series; and City Hall Live. Several pilot programs are still yet to be launched, as they are pending official Council approval. Some of the most notable include a pilot program regarding musician loading zones, tour bus parking, and an entertainment zone study.

Addressing regulatory burdens of music venues: this includes policies that aim to streamline regulations and permit processes or remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for venues and spaces.  One of the early major accomplishments was eliminating the enforcement against music venues for illegal postering in 2015. Additionally, TMAC has played an important role in the development of various ongoing noise bylaw-related initiatives at the City of Toronto, such as the development of a Terms of Reference for Noise Impact Studies for new developments within 120 metres of existing live music venues.

Measures to protect music venues: TMAC has long advocated for the development of policies that protect existing music venues, such as the establishment of a live music venue certification program and the proposed creation of tax benefits for local live venues.

However, one of TMAC’s major accomplishments was its role in endorsing the adoption of a version of the “Agent of Change” principle in Toronto. This principle has now been adopted and is a culmination of several recent decisions at City Hall.

Arising from PG29.4 TO Core: Downtown Plan Official Plan Amendment, the proposed measures are intended to encourage the retention of live music venues, by:

  • Ensuring that live music venues can continue to function without noise-related impact on new residential development, meaning that:
    • New live music venues located within Mixed Use Areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and Regeneration Areas will be designed and constructed to minimize noise from the premises and provide acoustic attenuation measures that would protect residential uses; and
    • New mixed-use developments located within Mixed Use Areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and Regeneration Areas will be designed and constructed to include acoustic attenuation measures on-site, or within the building design, to mitigate noise levels from adjacent indoor live music venues and from outdoor live music venues.
  • Requring an advisory to be implemented for newly developed residential units within 120 meters of a live music venue.

Supporting the development of a robust night-time economy: TMAC has advocated for the City of Toronto to take steps towards establishing measures to support live venues and other night-time operators. One of the major accomplishments is the implementation of an 18-month nightlife economy study, led by the Responsible Hospitality Institute.

Promoting Toronto internationally and fostering alliances with global music cities: notable accomplishments in this arena include the successful development of recurring initiatives, such as the Tale of Two Cities event series; an Austin-Toronto Music Business Summit that took place in 2016, with a new summit in development for late 2018; a series of SXSW activations between 2015 to 2018, and more.

 

The full summary document of TMAC’s accomplishments can be found here.

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies’

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps from the summit.

The last panel of the day was Making Space in the Public Realm: How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies. It examined how cities are utilizing publicly-owned buildings to create partnerships and develop initiatives with the music community. Business and community leaders from Denver, Seattle, Vancouver and Montreal discussed how public facilities can work in collaboration with their local music scene, and touched on issues like how to avoid competition with the private sector.

The panel was moderated by Farzaneh Hemmasi, Assistant Professor of Music & Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. Panelists included: Catherine Planet, Artist & Founder of La Chasse-Balcon; Dawn Ibey, Vancouver Public Library; Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority, and; Tom Mara, Executive Director, KEXP.

The discussion kicked off with Catherine Planet providing some background on La Chasse-Balcon (founded in 2014), a series of music events with the mission of bringing neighbours together in residential areas. She discussed how her time spent living in Louisiana had a profound impact and inspired her to create an initiative that celebrates the musical vivacity of her hometown of Montreal once she returned.

Planet also touched on how these types of events help blur the lines between what is perceived as solely public and private spaces, and highlighted how a balcony can act as a symbolic bridge that enables these two spaces to become connected. Through La Chasse Balcon, free outdoor concerts are staged on balconies in different neighborhoods and have the surrounding community and crowds join in the festivities.

The panel then moved on to Dawn Ibey, who spoke about the role that libraries can play in building a vibrant Music City. She discussed how one of the core business activities of the Vancouver Public Library is to ensure free public programming for adults and children, with programs that support music creation, music education, as well as the staging of performances.

Ibey highlighted some of the major accomplishments of the Vancouver Public Library, such as the partnership with Sun Life Financial in 2016 to establish the city’s first musical instrument lending library. She discussed how public libraries should be included in the development of music strategies, as they contribute towards achieving some of the essential elements featured in The Mastering of a Music City report.

Next, Ismael Guerrero spoke about the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and the impact that arts and music can have in addressing community justice issues. Through partnerships with community organizations as well as private sector initiatives, the DHA has taken steps to rebuild neighborhoods and modernize housing with a focus on building vibrant, mixed-income communities.

Guerrero touched on some of the other social entrepreneurial ventures the DHA has undertaken in recent years that are guided by a community-led, and sometimes, arts-centric framework and priorities. With investments supporting community organizations like Youth on Record, the establishment of community hubs have helped establish spaces where marginalized youth can create art and music.

The final panelist Tom Mara spoke about KEXP, a public radio, listener-supported station and non-profit arts organization in Seattle. Mara discussed the ‘music discovery-centred’ mission of KEXP to design their programming and initiatives in a way that supports music lovers, artists, and the wider arts community.

Mara touched on how one of the key commitments of KEXP is to support live music in Seattle, and highlighted how the organization stages around 300 live music performances every year at their facility. This exciting achievement was partly made possible through a partnership with the City of Seattle that enables KEXP to receive a favorable lease rate on their property, and is a key example of the different kinds of cross-sector collaboration that can exist.

The panelists went on to discuss several different topics and reflected on the unique opportunities that public facilities can provide, and that are currently not being leveraged.

To listen to the full discussion, you can watch the video below.

 

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘A Case Study On Cultural Heritage, Economic Development and Audience Development in New Orleans’ Panel Discussion

Grant W. Martin Photography

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps from the summit. 

The New Orleans: A Case Study on Cultural Heritage, Economic Development and Audience Development in NOLA panel examined the role that non-profit institutions have played in promoting historical and cultural preservation within the city. Panelists discussed how their organizations work to support the broader cultural ecosystem in New Orleans and advocate for a dynamic, creative city.

The panel was moderated by Ashlye Keaton, co-founder of The ELLA Project. Panelists included: Chief Howard Miller, President of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council; Jordan Hirsch, A Closer Walk with the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation; and Melanie Merz, WWOZ 90.7 FM.

The discussion kicked off with a presentation from Melanie Merz on the significance of the non-profit community radio station WWOZ to New Orleans and the city’s vast musical community. Merz touched on the history of the station and its development into a cultural institution within NOLA.

She discussed how WWOZ came to specialize in music that represents the city’s cultural heritage, and detailed how the station became known for its support of local artists and musicians. Merz also touched on how WWOZ has become praised for its location broadcasts of live music events within the city, such as the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The panel then moved on to the next speaker Chief Howard Miller, who spoke about the history of the Mardi Gras Indians and their impact on the city’s Mardi Gras rituals and celebrations. Chief Miller recounted his experience growing up in the tribe, and detailed the extensive nine-month long process of creating hand-sewn, intricate suits for the parade each year.

Chief Miller went on to discuss the challenges faced by the Mardi Gras Indians in their fight to have their intellectual and creative ownership of their suits be legally recognized. Every year at the parade, photographs are taken of the Indians in their elaborate suits, which are then commercially sold in the forms of images, posters, as well as in magazines, books or art galleries. The heart of the issue is that these individuals are profiting off the community’s cultural and artistic creations without the Mardi Gras Indians being financially compensated for the use of their likeness.

Along with the legal assistance of Ashlye Keaton, Chief Miller successfully registered the first Indian Mardi Gras suit with the United States Copyright Office in 2010, under the basis of it being recognized as an artistic work (a sculpture), and not a piece of clothing.

The final panelist Jordan Hirsch discussed the significance of the project  A Closer Walk, an interactive map of New Orleans’ music history sites. A Closer Walk (ACW) project and site is presented by WWOZ New Orleans, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, along with 3 other sponsors. The project aims to highlight the numerous musical sites that the city has to offer, and in particular, bring to light some of the sites that have remained unmarked or unrecognized.

Hirsch highlighted how ACW is a first-of-its-kind collaboration that features historical experts and music specialists drawing from extensive archival footage and chronicles, from both privately and publicly owned collections. The website currently has features on 104 landmarks, but the ultimate goal is to present 300 landmarks on the map in honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial in 2018.

The panelists went on to discuss several different topics and reflect on the city’s rich musical history, and how this musical legacy can be protected and promoted to a wider audience.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Celebrity Music Cities’ Panel Recap

On Saturday, May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. Conference delegates, policy-makers, urban planners, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning featured a panel entitled Celebrity Music Cities: How Cities With Global Reputations Tackle Challenge and Leverage Noteworthiness. The panel examined how cities with a rich musical history approach the current challenges facing their music ecosystems, and how that reputation can either be a benefit or a hindrance.

The discussion was moderated by Lynn Ross, who works as a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Panelists included: Adrian Tonon, City of Detroit; Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle; Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, Owner/Manager of a prominent record label in Memphis, Tennessee; Omar Lozano from Visit Austin, Austin Tourism.

The conversation kicked off with a discussion of some of the major challenges facing each of the panelists’ cities. Councillor Josh Colle touched on the exciting growth of Toronto as a Music City, but highlighted how this rapid growth puts pressure on every aspect of the music industry – particularly for venue owners and artists who face barriers to affordability and livability.

Adrian Tonon went on to discuss how the economic crisis that plagued the City of Detroit for the last several decades meant that music, film, and other cultural services were delegated to lesser priorities. But the city has been making recent steps towards a strong recovery, and Tonon described how his work leading the Mayor’s Film, Music and Night Time Economy initiatives have helped contribute to the development of the city’s thriving arts and culture scene.

The panel also touched on the role celebrity artists can play in building up and promoting their city on a global stage. Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell highlighted the deep, rich musical history of Memphis that produced legendary icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Mitchell discussed the importance of not just promoting the biggest names, but to instead use that as a foundation and work towards embracing some of the newer artists whose musical catalogue could also put Memphis on the map.

Councillor Colle went on to reflect on the importance of artists like Drake and The Weeknd, who have become de-facto Toronto ambassadors, and whose success shined a light on youth hip hop scenes that were quietly thriving in cities across Canada.

Another major topic of discussion was the important relationship between city government and music stakeholder groups in the journey to develop their Music City. Detroit’s Adrian Tonon highlighted how critical it was from the city side to ensure all the key players who had been previously working in silos were brought together to have a seat at the table, and in turn, collectively strive towards implementing the city’s strategic music priorities.

Omar Lozano also touched on the uniquely important role that non-profits play in Austin. Organizations like Austin Music People and the Austin Music Venue Alliance have worked with the municipal government on various initiatives, and more broadly, are continuing to make important strides towards progressive change.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another panel from the summit.

 

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Smithers Chamber of Commerce and local arts council work to develop music strategy

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce and the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council, located in British Columbia, have begun working to create the town’s first comprehensive music strategy. The group hosted a social on May 30th to bring together key stakeholders in the local music industry, and help secure their involvement in the strategy development.

The impetus to begin this project arose out of a Music Cities Toolkit that Music Canada custom-built last spring for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade. The Toolkit was designed to provide Canadian chambers of commerce with a roadmap and guide to activate the power of music in their city.

“We as a group decided we need a music strategy, and we need to understand how music contributes to our economy here in the Bulkley Valley before we can start marketing ourselves as ‘Smithers: the Music City,’” Project Coordinator Liliana Dragowska told The Interior News.

The group received funding through Creative B.C’s Industry Initiatives Program. As Dragowska described, the group began working on the early stages of the strategy that was introduced to attendees at the May 30th event.

A Smithers District Chamber of Commerce release from March 2018 listed the key goals of the Smithers music strategy as:

  1. Gather information to assemble a Smithers music sector inventory that will inform a website. The website will be developed through the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Marketing Community Development Fund.
  2. Gather preliminary economic information that will create a baseline for all things music.
  3. Conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats analysis of the music sector in Smithers.
  4. Draft focused recommendations on how to strengthen and grow the music sector in the Smithers area.

According to Chamber Manager Heather Gallagher, the music strategy will include 16 total recommendations aimed at three types of stakeholders: the local government, Chamber of Commerce, and those within the local music community.

The final version of the music strategy will be presented to the Smithers town council on June 26th, 2018.

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Music Officers Meet their Match’ Panel Recap

Grant W. Martin Photography

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities Summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning kicked off with a panel discussion between Seattle, WA’s Kate Becker and London, ON’s Cory Crossman, two Music Officers doing exciting work to build up their Music City. The topic centered around exploring their methods of turning music strategies into concrete results, and learning about different approaches they used to address common barriers and problems.

The Music Officers began the conversation discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive music strategy that allows for flexible planning and policy-making. Cory Crossman, London’s Music Industry Development Officer, touched on the importance of branding when developing a profile as a Music City. He highlighted how the city’s path to promoting a ‘rock and roll revitalization’ in London was a key component of their approach and direction.

Crossman also discussed the growing economic and cultural impact of music tourism for a city. Events like the Jack Richardson London Music Week, Jack Richardson Music Hall Of Fame, and the upcoming 2019 JUNO Awards have greatly contributed towards elevating London’s brand as a Music City attraction.

Kate Becker, Director of Seattle’s Office of Film and Music followed up with touching on some of Seattle’s major music accomplishments. Some of the most notable milestones include an annual City of Music Career Day (now in its seventh year) and the Sea-Tac Airport “Experience the City of Music” initiative, a public-private partnership that features local musicians playing throughout the airport and exciting overhead announcements by renowned Seattle artists, such as Macklemore.

The Music Officers also discussed the importance of ensuring an adherence to safety principles and conditions at music venues or events. Becker reflected on an example in 2015 where the city was faced with a troubling spike in incidences of drug-related issues at Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals and clubs. To address this, she implemented an approach that incorporated the input and participation of all the important players in this issue: promoters, venue owners, medics, harm-reduction experts, and more.

In particular, the Office of Film + Music collaborated with the city to host an annual ‘Music Safety Summit’ (now in its 4th year) that serves as a crucial public forum for key actors to work together towards progressive and effective solutions. Becker highlighted how this collaborative approach serves as a model that her office tries to utilize to address different situations that arise.

Becker and Crossman also touched on the critical importance of demonstrating the economic value of music to a city. Crossman credited the London Live Music Census as a major factor in gaining city and political support for the music strategy, and mentioned taking inspiration from Becker’s approach by ensuring that economic impact was measured and incorporated into policy-making. Becker agreed, and discussed how a 2008 economic impact study on Seattle’s music scene was the driving force behind the Office of Film + Music being established.

Prior to taking questions from audience members, Becker and Crossman ended their discussion with a reflection on the importance of audience development, and ensuring that the fans and public are properly engaged and connected.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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Video: Amy Terrill’s Opening Remarks at 2018 Music Cities Summit

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada launched its new report Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards and Night Mayors at the third annual Mastering of a Music City Music Cities Summit during Canadian Music Week.

Executive Vice President Amy Terrill discussed the report during her opening remarks at the summit, and touched on some key highlights and takeaways.

This report serves as a follow-up to Music Canada’s groundbreaking 2015 study The Mastering of a Music City, which the summit was named after. Keys to a Music City draws on in-depth interviews with practitioners in 17 cities globally, and analyzes some of the most common structures utilized by municipalities to develop and implement their music strategies and policies.

The report examines the various ways that music officers, music advisory boards, arms-length music organizations, and Night Mayors are used in different jurisdictions, and provides important insights into the functions, advantages, and limitations of these models.

In her remarks, Terrill highlighted how Keys to a Music City offers a guide to both city officials and community members on how they can play an important role in building their Music City. The report also provides insights and answers to some of their most pressing and relevant questions.

Watch Amy Terrill’s full opening remarks below, and stay tuned to our blog for more coverage from the Music Cities Summit in the coming weeks.

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Music Canada EVP Amy Terrill’s remarks at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs

This morning, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill participated in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs and Cultural Districts in Canada.

Her remarks, which pulled from Terrill’s extensive Music Cities research, including The Mastering of a Music City report, are included below.

Remarks (check against delivery): 

Chair MP Dabrusin,

Distinguished members of the committee,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I’d like to commend you on your study as it is an active topic of discussion currently across the country.

My interest stems from my work on Music Cities which we began at Music Canada in 2011.

We define Music Cities as a municipality of any size that has a vibrant music economy which is intentionally supported and promoted.

Since 2014 I’ve led our study of close to 30 international cities and become one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic.   I’ve advised cities on every continent and spoken at countless events.  I’m an active member of music city committees in Vancouver and Toronto.

Music Canada published a roadmap for the development of a Music City in 2015 and since then about a dozen Canadian cities or regions have taken that roadmap and begun to develop music strategies – including most recently Ottawa which released a strategy just two weeks ago.

 

One of the most important components of a Music City is the availability of spaces and places – to rehearse, record, perform – It’s also likely the top issue identified in Canadian communities.

Some of the common concerns that arise in public surveys and focus groups relating to music are:

  1. Lack of affordable rehearsal spaces; live-work spaces – and housing in general
  2. Pressure on small grassroots venues – affordability pressures – and pressures that come about from mixed use areas – venue closures are creating gaps in what we call the venue ladder which is needed to adequately incubate artists
  3. Heavy red tape is also cited
  4. The need for greater audience engagement
  5. And greater opportunities to collaborate – to connect with other professionals – both within music – and also across the cultural sectors

Creative hubs and cultural districts can, in their own ways, respond to these commonly identified needs and in so doing accomplish larger policy, economic, or cultural goals.

 

In our Music City investigation – we have identified three typical formats for creative hubs:

  • Hubs that are artist-centric with recording facilities, rehearsal and performance spaces, workshops, access to professional services like lawyers or accountants. The Kitchener Public Library is emerging as a cultural hub of this kind.
  • A music business incubator like you might see for other industries providing hot desks, networking events, business development support and training.
  • Or a combination of the two; The Music District in Fort Collins Colorado is a great example. 4000 square feet with programming aimed at both of the two groups, plus outreach to the broader community.

Cultural districts, on the other hand, allow municipalities, in particular, the flexibility to design rules and regulations that can be used to nurture creative activities and organizations in a set geographic area.

Both of these tools are ultimately about creating spaces and places for cultural uses.

 

As you consider this topic and how best the federal government can support them there are two key things I’d like you to remember:

Music spaces are sometimes not what you might expect.

A large portion are not buildings built specifically for a music purpose.  Likely half of the inventory is made up of multi-use, repurposed or unusual spaces.  Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, retail spaces, micro-breweries, repurposed industrial properties – to name a few.

In large cities and small towns – places for musical creation and performance are emerging from unique raw materials.

Similarly creative hubs do not fit a tight definition – I encourage you to think in broad terms about what qualifies as a creative hub.

And secondly this network of cultural spaces is composed of a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit– both are critical for the sustenance of our cultural sector.

The same artists who perform at not-for-profit venues, perform at for-profit venues – it really makes no difference.

Our cultural districts are also made up of this mix.

Commercial entities – as an example music venues or music studios – are important tenants in cultural districts and struggle with some of the same challenges facing their non-profit cousins, but typically do not qualify for federal funding programs.

Queen Street West was mentioned in the department’s testimony.  One of Queen West’s most iconic and longest-serving operators – the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – is only able to maintain its space thanks to the generosity of the building’s owners.  Should the landlord choose to charge market rent – the Horseshoe could not remain.

Other jurisdictions have recognized the important contributions of the commercial sector – and that they too face affordability pressures – and heightened demands from nearby residents to mitigate sound – and have made loans or grants available to venues to upgrade their facilities or acquire specialized equipment.

This is something that could be considered in an enhanced funding program.

Again – I applaud you for your study.

Thank you and I look forward to expanding on some of these issues in the Q&A.

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Ottawa City Council approves City’s first Music Strategy

Earlier today, Ottawa City Council officially adopted the Ottawa Music Strategy, a three-year roadmap to strengthen Ottawa’s music industry and establish Ottawa as a global music city. On April 3, 2018, Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee approved the three-year strategy, which was then brought to Council for consideration this morning.

Developed in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), the Ottawa Music Strategy would make more City-owned spaces available for music, promote safer spaces for music and integrate music in strategies for economic development and tourism.

The Ottawa Music Strategy was first announced by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in March 2017, leading up to Ottawa’s role as the host city for the 2017 JUNO Awards. Following this announcement, OMIC assembled a group of music industry representatives and local business and community leaders, known as the Ottawa Music Strategy Task Force. The 15-member group was asked to envision what Ottawa might look like in 2030 following the implementation of a successful music strategy, and to develop a series of practical recommendations that can be implemented.

The Task Force has set six Phase 1 recommendations for the City to implement in 2018, including:

  1. Establish a Music Development Officer Position
  2. Provide multi-year operational funding to OMIC
  3. Promote a music-friendly regulatory environment
  4. Integrate music into economic development and tourism strategies
  5. Make more City-owned space available for music
  6. Contract more local musicians

Furthermore, to mobilize the local music industry through its association, the Task Force has set the following 2018 recommendations for OMIC:

  1. Run a campaign to broaden membership
  2. Organize regular industry forums
  3. Develop a long-term strategy for undeserved communities

In November 2017, the City’s Draft Budget 2018 committed $100,000 to support the Ottawa Music Strategy, which the Task Force, subject to approvals by City Council through its annual budget processes, hopes to see matched through 2020 with Phase 2 of the Strategy’s recommendations.

The full Ottawa Music Strategy can be viewed on the OMIC website.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson shares new details on the Vancouver Music Strategy during JUNOs Week in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Mayor, Gregor Robertson, announced this morning at the JUNO Host Committee’s Music Cities Forum that the Vancouver Music Strategy will be presented to council in summer of 2018. The strategy has been in development since mid-2016, led by the Vancouver Music City Steering Committee with input from an Advisory Committee.

“There’s no doubt we have enormous potential in music and sound, particularly given the scale of our creative industries,” Robertson told the Music Cities Forum crowd.

In a City of Vancouver release, Robertson expanded on the Strategy’s goals: “Vancouver is home to a growing number of world-class artists who are building a vibrant and diverse music scene in our city. The Vancouver Music Strategy will help our artists to thrive—not just survive—by boosting our creative economy and seizing opportunities to grow our local music industry.”

The Strategy will be informed by two concurrent studies that received support from the BC Music Fund’s Research Program: Music BC’s City of Vancouver Music Ecosystem study, also funded by FACTOR and conducted by Sound Diplomacy, and Music Canada Live’s Economic Impact Assessment of Live Music in BC, facilitated by Nordicity. Both studies are expected to be completed in spring of 2018.

“This is a pivotal time for the City of Vancouver and British Columbia as we look to safeguard the long-term viability of the music sector within the creative economy. Music BC and the [Vancouver] Music City Steering Committee are committed to ensuring that these findings are used to reach our common goals of a vibrant and sustainable industry that will allow our artists and music industry professionals to thrive on the global stage,” said Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC and Co-chair of the Vancouver Music City Steering Committee, in the City release. “This will be a benchmark for Music BC to work with other cities and municipalities across the province to implement like-minded strategies.  Music BC would like to thank the City of Vancouver, the Province of BC, FACTOR and all of our stakeholders for your continued support.”

It is a thrilling day for music in Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, as the Government of BC also announced a new music fund this morning called AMPLIFY BC. The excitement over the two announcements was palpable at the Music Cites Forum.

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