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New report calls for development of an Atlantic Canada Music Strategy

A new report unveiled during the 2017 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference today calls for the need to develop an Atlantic Canadian Music Strategy in an effort to strengthen the future of the region’s music sector.

Striking A New A-Chord, a report spearheaded by the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), Music Canada, and Music Canada Live, emphasizes that concentrated investment in the music industry is beneficial not only for those who work in the sector, but ultimately for the region as a whole.

“Music is fundamentally linked to Atlantic Canadian culture,” says Andy McLean, Executive Director of the ECMA. “This report clearly shows that – in addition to bolstering that identity – supporting this sector means helping small businesses, creating opportunities to attract and retain youth employment, and developing our artists to compete at an international level. The first step to harnessing these opportunities is creating a pan-Atlantic strategy.”

Delivered during a presentation at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre this afternoon titled Stronger Together, the report also marks a landmark partnership between all five music industry associations – Musique/Music NB, Music Nova Scotia, Music NL, Music PEI, and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative – who have committed to working with the ECMA, Music Canada, and Music Canada Live to establish this regional strategy.

“Atlantic Canada has one of the richest, most important – but fragile – music scenes in the country. Creating and executing a region-wide strategy will ensure the true economic, social and cultural potential of the industry, and its countless benefits for cities and towns, can be realized,” says Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live. “This is an historic moment in the timeline of East Coast music, and huge milestone for all of the associations involved. Congratulations, Music Canada Live looks forward to supporting the hard work ahead.”

The report, which was officially commissioned at last year’s ECMAs in Sydney, NS, underscores a number of challenges facing musicians and industry professionals in Atlantic Canada including stringent liquor laws, changing business models in the industry, restrictions on live venues, and lack of industry infrastructure. The latter is a key focus for the proposed strategy, calling the shortage of music publishing companies, agents, publicists, bookers, and artist managers in the region “alarming.”

Among other recommendations, Striking A New A-Chord also calls for the development of an Atlantic Canadian Music Fund that would seek to provide resources to complement existing programs, attract investment, and develop and incentivize musicians and music related businesses to reinvest in Atlantic Canada.

“Targeted investments in other parts of Canada have strengthened those music communities and stimulated additional private spending as well, leading to increased activity in the sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “We look forward to working with government and industry stakeholders to find ways to complement the existing programs available to the music community in Atlantic Canada in order to create a stronger, more sustainable Atlantic music sector.”

The entire Striking A New A-Chord report is available to read HERE.

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The Mastering of a Music City Summit: Recap

Last Friday, policymakers, city planners and global music industry representatives took part in Music Canada’s and Canadian Music Week’s international music cities summit, “The Mastering of a Music City.”

The summit was based on Music Canada’s 2015 report of the same name, which set out a roadmap for cities to become Music Cities—by supporting the music sector and realizing the often-huge economic dividends from the creation, performance, and reception of music. The Mastering of a Music City Summit was curated and hosted by Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill.

In its second year, the event was a remarkable success, attended by a cross section of people from all over the world—from Canada and the United States to Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Jamaica, Columbia, and more. While the summit was attended in person by nearly 200 entrepreneurs, city planners, music industry executives, artists, and musicians, over 5,000 people from around the world tuned in to watch the livestream of the event.

One of the many highlights of the day was an opening address from Toronto Mayor John Tory which functioned as a ‘state of the music industry’ for the Music City. The mayor highlighted the strength of the music scene and the progress the city has made so far, including: creating the music in parks permit, changes to musician loading/unloading zones, the mayor’s evening for the arts, and attaching local music to city services like 311.

In his speech, the mayor articulated his vision and goals for the city’s music industry in 2017.

  • The city will aim to lead more live music events, including showcases, abroad and at home, and will create over 200 city-led opportunities for artists over the next year.
  • The city will make music part of the planning process at city hall by putting a motion to council that would notify new developments of existing nearby music venues. The mayor will also classify music as an eligible activity in the city’s employment lands.
  • The city will support music tourism by bringing local musicians to the city’s airports, and programming a Winterlicious-style music event to boost activity in the off-season.

“The creativity, the joy, the talent that music brings to a big city lies at the heart of what makes Toronto dynamic and innovative,” Tory said. “I am absolutely committed to the music industry and playing the part city hall is meant to play.”

The Role of Advocates

Helen Marcou, owner of Bakehouse Studio in Melbourne, Australia, delivered the opening keynote presentation on The Role of Advocates: A Story of Successfully Fighting for Your Music City.

When stringent and high cost regulations forced a storied punk rock venue in Melbourne to close, and another 126 venues to reduce their programming, Marcou began a movement called Save Live Australia’s Music, or SLAM.

The campaign had a simple but effective message, “don’t kill live music,” was inclusive and non-partisan, and brought over 20,000 supporters out to the steps of the legislature. When the campaign was over, laws were amended and a permanent voice for the music community created in the form of a music advisory body.

Marcou continues to advocate for live music, but spoke about her more recent efforts to combat sexual assault and harassment of women in live music venues and at music festivals. When Marcou penned a letter to government calling for action, the state created a taskforce to combat sexual harassment at live music venues.

Music City Leaders

The Music City Leaders Panel asked key questions of elected officials who have identified music as a key strategy or economic sector in their cities. Panelists included Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville; John Tory, Mayor of Toronto; Filippo del Corno, Assessore alla Cultura, City of Milan; Maria Claudia Lopez Sorzano, Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports, City of Bogota; Delroy Williams, Mayor of Kingston, Jamaica; and Manon Gauthier, Member of the City of Montreal Executive Committee, City of Montreal.

The panelists gave critical advice to would-be Music City advocates, and industry cooperation and collaboration emerged as a key theme. Tory said that advocates must focus on the issue, and speak with one voice if they want to be heard. This sentiment was echoed by Gauthier and del Corno.

Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville, remarked upon his work establishing affordable housing specifically for artists. Music Cities, according to Dean, are strong and thrive because of the creative people that they attract. He pointed to music education and raising creative audiences and creative people as key principles.

Music Ecosystem

Following a presentation on the need for restoration and protection of Detroit’s music venues, moderator Vel Omazic, Executive Director of Canada’s Music Incubator, led the Music Ecosystem Panel. The panel discussed how cities should go about identifying and solving gaps in their Music City ecosystems.

Omazic was joined by Andreas Kalogiannides, a business entertainment lawyer and co-chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC); Christina Fitzgerald, CIND-FM (Indie 88); Didier Zerath, Artist Mgmt & Music Industry Consultant; Dino Lupelli, CEO of Linecheck Music Meeting & Festival; and Jesse Elliot, Director of The Music District.

One of the key themes that emerged from this panel was the importance of the grassroots music community driving change. According to Elliot, community engagement for The Music District—a Fort Collins music hub for musicians and music related businesses—lasted over one and a half years and was a key reason for the success of the program.

Andreas spoke to the results of the widely responded to survey that TMAC used to identify issues when formulating the Toronto Music Strategy. The survey, which was answered by over 6,000 individuals, emphasized the city’s need for livability and affordability for its creative class and a need for accessible rehearsal and performance spaces.

The Music Ecosystem Panel was followed by a series of presentations on the value of the UNESCO Cities of Music. The presentations were delivered by representatives of member cities, Kingston, Jamaica, Bogota, Columbia, and Katowice, Poland.

Music Tourism

The Mastering of a Music City report touted music tourism as a key part of the equation for cities looking to generate economic benefits from live music. Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live, led the Music Tourism Panel along with:

  • Andras Berta, International Relations Director, Sziget Festival, Hungary
  • Del Rollo, Senior Director, Gov’t Relations & Estates, Constellation Brands Canada, Canada
  • Jason Beukema, Owner, Whet Travel, USA
  • Michael Crockatt, President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism, Canada

The panel talked about how music can be a powerful motivator for travel, especially when associated with powerful and memorable experiences. Rollo spoke to the opportunities that music provides. Artists and musicians are able to create experiences for their fans that no other sector can provide, and it can be a significant draw for visitors. Furthermore, music tourists spend significantly more on travel and associated expenses than other types of tourists, according to Beukema’s experience.

A presentation from Molly Neuman, Head of Music at Kickstarter, followed the panel. Neuman spoke to the crowd-funding company’s desire to support the creative independence of artists and music communities.

Working with the Development Community

The conference closed with a panel moderated by Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle which asked panelists to investigate the competition for space between developers and music venues—an issue that developing cities around the world, including Toronto, are dealing with. The panel included members of the music industry, city officials, and a representative of a US development company.

Shain Shapiro, Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy, and Jocelyn Kane, Executive Director of San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission, told the conference about their cities’ experiences with the ‘Agent of Change’ policy. In San Francisco, this means that new developments must do acoustic tests and implement sound mitigation if they are built within 300 ft. of a music venue. The Entertainment Commission also ensures that new tenants cannot sue nearby venues for noise issues.

Shapiro put forward that many developers want to support music and that the industry and government’s role is to facilitate that. As new developments in London are mandated to have cultural space components, Shapiro’s organization has created guides for developers on how to make those components music-related.

Watch the live recording of the How to Work with the Development Community panel (part 1 and part 2).

 

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The Mastering of a Music City: Music Cities Summit returns to Canadian Music Week

Once again, global city planners and the music industry will take part in Music Canada’s and Canadian Music Week’s international creative-economy summit “The Mastering of a Music City.” The day-long summit will take place during Canadian Music Week on Friday, April 21, 2017.

This will be the second year of the summit which last year brought close to 200 entrepreneurs, industry executives, tourism experts, artists, and musicians from all over the world together to talk about Music Cities—the shared realization that cities across the globe enjoy an often-huge economic dividend from the creation, performance, and reception of music.

The summit will begin with opening remarks from Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week, and Amy Terrill, EVP, Music Canada, and author of “The Mastering of a Music City” report, and Mayor of Toronto John Tory.

Helen Marcou, owner of Bakehouse Studio in Melbourne Australia, will deliver the opening keynote on The Role of Advocates: A Story of Successfully Fighting for Your Music City. When an iconic Melbourne venue was threatened with closure, Helen started a movement called Save Live Australia’s Music, or SLAM. Before she was done, 20,000 had marched on the steps of the legislature, laws were amended, and a permanent voice for music was created. Helen continues to be one of Melbourne’s strongest music advocates. Helen will share her story of fighting for her Music City.

Other notable events include:

  • A keynote presentation by Molly Neuman, Head of Music at Kickstarter How to Prevent Monoculture from Killing Our Music Cities. Neuman will speak to the future of culture sustainability.
  • A presentation and panel session on UNESCO Cities of Music that asks whether it is time for a North American member.

And four panel discussions:

  • The Music City Leaders Panel will ask key questions of elected officials who have identified music as a key strategy or economic sector in their cities. Panelists include Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville; John Tory, Mayor of Toronto; Filippo del Corno, Assessore alla Cultura, City of Milan; Maria Claudia Lopez Sorzano, Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports, City of Bogota; and Manon Gauthier, Member of the City of Montreal Executive Committee, City of Montreal.
  • The Music Ecosystem Panel will discuss how to identify gaps in a city’s music ecosystem—which supports the development of artists—which gaps are critical and what to do to address them.
  • The Music Tourism Panel will talk about how music is a powerful motivator for travel. Attendees will hear from some of the most successful properties that incorporate music into their offerings, and how it attracts music tourists.
  • The How to Work with the Development Community panel will be moderated by Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle, and will include Shain Shapiro, Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy and Co-Founder of the Music Cities Convention. The panel will investigate the competition for space between development and cultural spaces.

Individual tickets are available to the summit or you can gain access with the CMW VIP pass.

Music Canada will livestream the opening remarks and the following panels: The Role of Advocates: A Story of Successfully Fighting For Your Music City, The Music City Leader’s Panel, and How To Work With The Development Community. You can watch these discussions live on Music Canada’s Facebook feed.

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New music advisory council for Windsor-Essex

A new music advisory council for the region of Windsor-Essex will advocate for the local music community following the recommendations of the Windsor-Essex Music Strategy Report. The report and the advisory council were organized by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC) and the Small Business Centre (SBC) in their efforts to foster growth and collaboration in the region’s music sector.

The new music advisory council will be made up of musicians, producers, managers, and representatives from other local arts groups, according to WE EDC. One of the council’s goals will be to bolster local artist development and assist musicians with the business side of their careers. The music advisory council will also seek to increase communication between all players in the local music scene.

“There’s some amazing things going on in our city, but they are happening in silos and so we really want to make sure that everyone is getting the information, everyone is communicating so we can make those things bigger and leverage them,” said Adam Castle, Economic Development Coordinator at WE EDC.

The music strategy is based on Music Canada’s groundbreaking report: The Mastering of a Music City, which highlighted music as an economic driver and outlined a roadmap for municipalities to leverage and support music in their communities.

And in September 2016, Music Canada’s Amy Terrill facilitated a live research symposium with the WE EDC, the SBC, and individuals from the local music industry. The data collected from this event and other industry roundtables formed the basis for the region’s new music strategy, which highlights the vibrancy and diversity of the region’s artist community, strategic opportunities for local artists, award-winning local venues and events, and well respected post-secondary music institutions within the region.

The music strategy report proposes 8 key goals, including the creation of a music advisory council. They are as follows:

  1. Increase opportunities for local music artists to develop and succeed.
  2. Provide artist-entrepreneurs with development tools necessary to create a sustainable music business that is commercially viable and export-ready. This will create long-term economic growth within the local music ecosystem in both jobs and investment.
  3. Support the development of the larger regional music ecosystem through the creation of a music advisory council that will advocate for music-friendly municipal policy, and act as a planning body for local music initiatives.
  4. Work with local partners and organizations to collaborate and promote available resources.
  5. Strengthen our local music industry’s relationship with funding providers at provincial and federal levels.
  6. Attract and retain a young and dynamic workforce whose quality of life will be enhanced through living, working and playing in a community with a strong arts culture.
  7. Leverage partnerships nationally and internationally that will connect Windsor-Essex artists to broader markets.
  8. Embrace and showcase the Windsor-Essex Region’s diversity and multicultural talent.

Read more about the music advisory council.

Read more about the Windsor-Essex Music Strategy.

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City of Ottawa to develop Music Strategy

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced today that the City of Ottawa will develop a Music Strategy, designed to strengthen and grow the city’s music industry.

The city will work with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) and a newly created task force—composed of stakeholders from the music industry and connected sectors like film and tourism—to develop a plan to make Ottawa a Music City, help grow the city’s talent base, and provide opportunities for local artists.

“Live music is a growth industry in Ottawa. It shapes our identity and who we are as a city. In addition to the cultural benefits, a thriving music industry helps to level the playing field for our homegrown companies who are competing to attract talent from around the world,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This music strategy will be part of the legacy of the 2017 JUNOs happening in Ottawa.”

The announcement included a $30,000 funding commitment, a sign that the mayor truly recognizes the economic and social power of music, that will allow OMIC to conduct the research and consultation required to develop a world-class Music City strategy.

“Music is one of Ottawa’s great assets,” said Andrew Vincent, Executive Director of OMIC. “We have incredible music talent, dedicated music entrepreneurs, and vibrant music scenes. Developing a municipal music strategy is about bringing together industry and government to create an environment that nurtures music’s transformative potential. As a representative of Ottawa’s music industry, OMIC is excited and proud to have the opportunity to work with the City and business leaders from connected sectors on this important step for the growth of our music industry and for the growth of our city.”

The announcement was made during the mayor’s address at the “Ottawa as a Music City” panel discussion at the Innovation Centre, organized by the Ottawa 2017 Juno Host Committee. Watson was joined by City Councillor Jeff Leiper, Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre) Catherine McKenna, and Member of Provincial Parliament (Ottawa South) John Fraser, each of whom also spoke at the event.

The panel discussion following the announcement focused on the many opportunities for the city to leverage its music community to attract business, professional talent, create enviable quality of life, and generate economic activity. The event featured speakers Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada, Scott May of Bar Robo, Kelly Symes (General Manager – Festival of Small Halls Ontario), artist/entrepreneur Kathleen Edwards (Quitters Coffee) and Lixar’s Shelley Fraser.

You can read more about the Mayor’s announcement here and more about OMIC here.

And here are some highlights from the “Ottawa as a Music City” panel:

 

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Music ignites Ottawa for the 2017 JUNO Awards

JUNO Week 2017 is officially underway in the city of Ottawa, hosting the awards and festivities for the first time since 2012. Beginning today, bars, clubs and theatres across the city will be taken over by JUNOs programming, with many events open to the public and appropriate for the whole family.

This is the third time Ottawa has hosted the JUNO Awards, and Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation adds even more excitement to the 2017 edition. In the fourteen years the awards show has been presented in cities across Canada, the impact has be felt to the tune of $135 million, with each city showing an economic impact of around $10 million.

On Wednesday evening, Mayor Jim Watson helped officially kick off JUNO Week with the lighting of the five metre tall cauldron outside City Hall with Allan Reid, President & CEO of the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS), and Ward 18 Councillor Jean Cloutier.

The 2017 JUNO Awards, hosted by Russel Peters and Bryan Adams, will broadcast live from the Canadian Tire Centre on CTV on Sunday, April 2. Performers this year include Alessia Cara, Arkells, A Tribe Called Red, Billy Talent, Dallas Smith, July Talk, Ruth B., Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes, and The Strumbellas. Grammy Award-winning DJ Zedd will join Alessia Cara for her performance, and Feist will perform a special tribute to legendary songwriter and JUNO winner Leonard Cohen.

Many events have already begun across the city, like Art Is Art, which showcases JUNO nominees and Canadian recording artists’ artwork, The JUNO Photography Exhibition, and the JUNO House: R·Evolutions exhibition.

Below is a listing of events occurring across Ottawa leading up to Canadian music’s biggest night.

THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2017

JUNO Week 2017 will kick off with the second annual JUNO Cup Jam, featuring collaborations and covers by Jim Cuddy, Gord Bamford, Devin Cuddy Band, and members of Billy Talent, Hollerado, Monkeyjunk, The Strumbellas, Walk Off The Earth, Wintersleep and more. The JUNO Cup will take place the following night at TD Place, with rock stars hitting the ice against NHL superstars and alumni like Daniel Alfredsson, Gary Roberts, and Paul Coffey.

Earlier on Thursday evening, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill will take part in a conversation with JUNO Award winning singer-songwriter Lynn Miles and interviewer Samantha Slattery, Founder and Chair of Women in Music Canada. The event takes place at Otto’s Club, located in TD Place (1015 Bank Street).

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

As artists, industry folk, and contest winners step aboard the JUNO Express trains leaving from Toronto and Montreal, Friday morning’s programming will feature Amy Terrill joining the Ottawa As A Music City panel hosted by the Ottawa 2017 Juno Host Committee. The panel will also feature Scott May of Bar Robo, Kelly Symes (General Manager – Festival of Small Halls Ontario), artist/entrepreneur Kathleen Edwards (Quitters Coffee) and Shelley Fraser of Lixar – advocates for the role that music industries can play in building sustainable, vibrant cities.

Later in the evening, Music Canada is proud to sponsor this year’s JUNO Welcome Reception, a private event welcoming industry VIPs to the festivities. Music Canada is thrilled to be a sponsor of Welcome Reception, and we look forward to sharing our activity from the event through Twitter and our blog.

Following the reception, JUNOfest will be put in full gear, with over 100 artists performing across the two-night schedule. This year’s lineup features more than 35 JUNO nominees, including The Strumbellas, Silla + Rise, The Dirty Nil, Whitehorse, Tasha The Amazon, Holy Fuck, Bit Funk, Cold Creek County, Exco Levi, and more. Wristbands ($30) are still available and provide priority access to all venues participating in JUNOfest for both nights.

SATURDAY APRIL 1, 2017

Saturday’s programming gets underway bright and early with family fun at Junior JUNOs at KIDSFEST, the city’s biggest children’s show and expo. 2017 Children’s Album of the Year nominees Diana Panton, Kattam, Splash’N Boots, and Will Stroet will perform at the event, which takes place at the EY Centre (4899 Uplands Drive). Tickets are still available.

From noon to 3pm on Saturday, fans will gather at CF Rideau Centre for the sold-out JUNO Fan Fare, featuring live performances, giveaways, artist interviews, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the 2017 JUNO Award nominees. Artists confirmed include Aaron Pritchett, Arkells, Chad Brownlee, Cold Creek County, Coleman Hell, Dallas Smith, Gord Bamford, Jess Moskaluke, July Talk, Marianas Trench, Ruth B, The Strumbellas and Tyler Shaw.

Saturday’s festivities come to a close with the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards presented by SOCAN, and hosted by Tom Power of CBC’s Q. 34 awards will be handed out during the dinner, which will feature performances by 2017 JUNO Award-nominees Daniel Caesar (R&B/Soul Recording of the Year), Jess Moskaluke (Country Album of the Year), Koriass (Francophone Album of the Year), and William Prince (Contemporary Roots Album of the Year sponsored by National Arts Centre and Indigenous Music Album of the Year sponsored by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). The event will also feature a special performance by one of the three 2017 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class winners, Neon Dreams. The JUNOs Gala will be live-streamed at junotv.ca.

SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2017

Prior to the big show, Sunday will kick off at noon with the JUNO Songwriters Circle co-presented by SOCAN & Yamaha Canada Music in association with CMPA. 2017 JUNO nominees Chantal Kreviazuk, Colin Linden, Daniel Caesar, Donovan Woods, Lisa Leblanc, and Paul Murphy (Wintersleep) join host Bruce Cockburn in sharing the stories behind their songs. Previously sold out, the event has moved to Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre, with limited tickets still available.

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NYC completes first ever Music Report

A new report has established New York City as one of the largest music ecosystems in the world. The “Music in New York City” report, the first-ever economic impact study of the city’s music industry, was commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and it found that the music sector supports nearly 60,000 jobs, accounts for $5 billion in wages, and generates $21 billion in total economic output for the city.

When Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Julie Menin Commissioner of the MOME in February 2016, the role of the agency was expanded to include music. This was the first time that a New York City agency had been given a mandate to support and promote the music industry. This study was considered an essential step to help the MOME understand the music sector’s scale, landscape, challenges, and opportunities.

“Music is an inclusive force and economic driver in this City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we continue to build good jobs for New Yorkers, we see that raw talent and homegrown energy has built a powerful local industry. Together, we will continue to grow that success.”

“The music industry is a vital part of the city’s creative economy and we are thrilled to be its go-to agency in the City,” Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin said. “This first-of-its kind study details the substantial amount of economic activity that all aspects of this rapidly changing sector of the entertainment industry generate in the City. The study also squarely reaffirms New York City’s status as the music capital of the world. Because of the City’s resilience and resourcefulness, New York has weathered changes in the music industry better than other cities and has come out on top. We look forward to building on that momentum and working with the industry to help it continue to grow and thrive.”

According to the report, the four key pillars of the city’s music ecosystem are local artist communities, mass music consumption, the global record business, and infrastructure and support services. These are directly responsible for approximately 31,400 jobs, $2.8 billion in wages, and $13.7 billion in economic output.

The economic impact of the sector is broken down in the report; the key findings are as follows:

  • Through transactions with suppliers and vendors to the music business (such as professional services, IT, and telecom), New York City’s music industry has an indirect economic impact amounting to approximately 10,100 jobs, $900 million in wages, and $3.4 billion in economic output.
  • The induced economic impact – created when those employed within the industry, or in jobs indirectly supported by it, spend their wages in New York City – amounts to approximately 16,100 jobs, $1.0 billion in wages, and $3.9 billion in economic output.
  • The music industry’s ancillary economic impact – tourism spending that can be attributed solely to attending music-related events – amounts to $400 to $500 million.
  • Total music ecosystem jobs and wages are slightly outpacing the broader New York City economy, growing at annual rates of 4 and 7 percent, respectively (by comparison, total city jobs and wages are growing at annual rates of 3 and 5 percent, respectively). Jobs and wages in the mass music consumption pillar grow the fastest, with 5 and 12 percent, respectively.

The report identifies rising real estate prices, high cost of living, and the global disruption ushered in by digital services and technologies as challenges facing the music sector. It notes that many smaller venues have closed in recent years, and that many artists are seeing their income from record sales decrease while the demand for live performance slots increases.

The study recommends that the city capitalize on opportunities to:

  • Support and help to build thriving local artist communities.
  • Create more performance opportunities for local artists.
  • Increase the economic impact of mass music consumption.
  • Harness and expand the presence of digital music services.

You can read the city’s press release here.

And read the report here.

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London, Ontario, completes first ever music census

The London Music Census is a first-of-its-kind study of London, Ontario’s music industry. The census originated with the London Music Office, and seeks to further the city’s understanding of the assets that make up the city’s music sector. The census has identified both barriers to prosperity and potential areas for future growth of London’s music sector.

The census was successful in shaping a deeper understanding of the state of London’s live music sector. The results revealed that the city’s music industry is concentrated in the realm of popular music, that there exists a wide variety of music businesses in the city, and that, interestingly, few music businesses are applying for government grants. Several key statistics emerged from the London Music Census, including:

  • London is a hub for emerging talent with 875 students studying music at post-secondary institutions;
  • The live music sector is growing with 4,620 music events held in 2015 and new festivals introduced in 2016;
  • London has a diverse mix of venues which includes 52 live music venues, with total seating capacity of 57,000;
  • Nearly half (44.7%) of musicians surveyed are strictly performing original music; and,
  • Over $ 7 million dollars earned in royalties by 1,203 music writers and publishers in London (2015)

London has made serious efforts in the past few years to support its local music community. This particular initiative is part of the London Music Strategy, which was released in August 2014, and also supports the city council’s 2015-19 Strategic Plan, which includes strong language calling for the strengthening of economic growth in the city’s cultural sector, the support of cultural programming, and celebrating and promoting culture.

“The London Music Strategy is a key part of growing our economy and promoting culture in London through our Strategic Plan,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “The results from the London Music Census will give us a detailed look at how we can cultivate and support London’s already eclectic and thriving music scene.”

The census, which obtained over 1,500 responses, took place over the summer of 2016. The survey, which was posted on the music office’s website, was broken up into five categories: Musicians, Venues, Festival/Event Organizations, Music Industry, and Music Fans.

“The London Music Census provided an opportunity to understand our advantages, issues, and gaps faced by the growing local music industry in London,” said Cory Crossman, London’s Music Industry Development Officer. “Through community and industry support we collected a database of assets and baseline figures for future analysis and measurement.”

To read more about the London Music Census, see the article on the London Music Office website.

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Government of Canada to provide $8.3 million in funding towards Massey Hall revitalization

Left to right: The Honourable Melanie Joly, Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet (Whitehorse), Jim Cuddy, Deane Cameron, Adam Vaughan

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, was in Toronto Friday to announce The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall as a recipient of the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The Government of Canada will provide $8,330,000 to assist with the revitalization of the legendary Massey Hall, which will improve its accessibility, technical infrastructure and presentation environment.

“We are thrilled that the Government of Canada is investing in Massey Hall’s future through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund,” said Deane Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall. “This funding will help set the stage for the completion of the Massey Hall Revitalization Project to ensure that Massey Hall remains a home to showcase and cultivate our future leaders in arts, culture and beyond.”

A rendering of the completed Massey Hall exterior revitalization (photo: Cicada Design for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects)

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund launched in 2001 and receives an average of 137 applications each year. As of March 31, 2016, the fund has invested approximately $410 million in 1,381 projects in every province and territory.

“Investing in Canada’s cultural sector helps create jobs for the middle class, strengthens the economy, and ensures that Canada’s unique perspective is shared with the world,” said Minister Joly.

Also in attendance at the announcement was Spadina-Fort York MP Adam Vaughan, and musician Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, who spoke to his experiences playing the infamous stage and the impact the venue has had on the City of Toronto. Joly also spoke to the venue’s presence in Toronto during her address, deeming it a “right of passage” for musicians from all over the world who grace its stage. Toronto-based duo Whitehorse closed out the event with a captivating performance.

Massey Hall opened in 1894, and the last major renovation occurred in occurred in 1948. Phase 2 planning of the revitalization is underway, and construction is set to complete in 2021.

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Alberta will allow all-ages entertainers to perform in bars, lounges

Young musicians are praising the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, which announced Friday that underage performers will now be allowed to play in bars and lounges throughout the province.

“I’ve been fighting for this since I was nine years old,” said Olivia Rose Leaf, a 17-year-old Alberta musician, adding that the change will mean a lot to the young performers she knows.

The previous policy, which prohibited underage performers from playing in bars and lounges had been in place since March 2007, when it was instituted out of a concern for public safety. But a consultation with musicians, venue owners, and promoters, led by MLA David Shepherd and Thom Bennett of the Edmonton Live Music Initiative, prompted the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (ALGC) to reconsider.

According to Bill Robinson, president of the AGLC, the change is the result of changing attitudes in the industry. He also suggested that the training of staff has improved the overall safety in bars, making the policy shift possible.

The change is not a complete reversal. Bars and lounges will be required to request approval from the AGLC to permit minors to enter their premises as entertainers, and the approval process is expected to take up to a few days.

Still, the response from the music community and government has been positive—the prevailing view is that underage artists should be allowed to perform at the same venues as everyone else. Musicians, especially young and emerging artists, will benefit from the opportunity to begin building their live audience earlier in their careers.

“This is a great step forward for our music scene, for young performers, and for our province as a whole,” said Shepherd, who is a musician himself. “It makes areas like Edmonton’s downtown a much more attractive place to visit and to live.”

 

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