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Music Canada’s Graham Henderson: Junos show culture is a smart investment for Hamilton

Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson has an op-ed in the Hamilton Spectator today, congratulating Hamilton on hosting a very successful JUNO Awards earlier this month. In ‘Junos show culture is a smart investment for Hamilton,’ Henderson notes the multi-million dollar economic impact the four-day event had in Hamilton, as well as the added benefits that a strong cultural scene brings, like improving residents’ quality of life and attracting creative and innovative workers.

“From the dozens of downtown streets and stores that featured free performances, to the 15 venues that took part in JunoFest, to the spectacular closing show at FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton delivered on all counts,” wrote Henderson. “More than 3,000 musicians and industry personnel attended Juno Week, and Hamilton’s tourism sector welcomed them with open arms and exhibited terrific hospitality. Hotels were at full capacity, bars and restaurants were bustling, and taxis were kept busy shuttling attendees around town. Tim Potocic, chair of the Junos host committee, has estimated the economic impact of the four-day event to be between $11 million and $12 million in Hamilton.”

The op-ed comes as Hamilton City Council is scheduled to continue the city’s 2015 budget deliberations, which include a proposed $500,000 added investment in the arts, which would represent the first major arts funding boost in Hamilton in 15 years.

Yesterday, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Keanin Loomis issued a strong statement on the economic value of music & cultural events to a city in an op-ed in the Hamilton Spectator. In ‘Arts and culture now drive Hamilton,’ Loomis notes that a city’s quality of life is among its strongest tools for economic development.

“It is indisputable that the arts activity that’s been buoying Hamilton’s cultural renaissance over the last decade led directly to the economic boost we got from hosting last week’s Junos,” wrote Loomis. “Considering the type of returns we are receiving from the limited investments we are making to enhance this city’s quality of life, more investment in the arts is an economic imperative.”

Hamilton City Council will deliberate the arts investment motion today in Council Chambers. Members of Hamilton’s arts community are attending in the gallery as a show of support for the motion. The final budget vote is scheduled for April 8th.

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Big Music Fest Has $7 Million Economic Impact In Kitchener, ON

On the weekend of July 11-13, 2014, Big Music Fest took place at Kitchener, ON’s McLennan Park headlined by rock superstars Aerosmith and Bryan Adams. As reported by the Waterloo Region Record, Big Music Fest 2014 provided a significant $7 million impact to the local economy, more than doubling the projected economic impact of $3 million prior to the festival.

Of the 60,000 attendees, nearly 65% of spectators came from within 50 kilometers of the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The other 35% was made up of out-of-province and international concert goers, arriving in Kitchener from nearly 15 states and as far as Australia, England and Japan.

Prior to his mayoral election victory in October of 2014, then-Councillor Barry Vrbanovic stressed the importance of music as an economic driver and ensured continued development of the live music scene in Kitchener’s downtown entertainment district as part of his platform. Vrbanovic also represented Kitchener at NXNE 2014’s Music Cities Exchange panel hosted by Music Canada and 4479, which featured public and private representatives from six cities that are working proactively to develop their local music sectors. Following the festival, Vrbanovic shared his appreciation for the festival via Twitter.

Big Music Fest is scheduled to return to McLennan Park in 2015 from July 10-12. In 2014, the opening Friday night was reserved for a free Battle of the Bands. A video recap of the free community event can be seen below:

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Republic Live announces new Music and Arts Camping Festival in Barrie, ON area

Republic Live, producers of the Boots and Hearts country music festival, have announced a new annual music and arts camping festival, taking place at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, ON, from July 24th to 26th, 2015. The festival is a collaboration between the Peterborough, ON-based Republic Live, and US promoter AC Entertainment, co-founders of the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

The festival’s name and lineup are still to be announced, but the release promises “an extraordinary lineup featuring some of the leading artists in music, the best selection of indie bands and local heroes.” The festival will include four stages, art installations, a late night forest, an on-site farmers market, and will be licensed across the venue’s 700 acre grounds.

“We’ve felt so fortunate to see Boots and Hearts grow in 3 short years to become Canada’s largest camping and country music festival, with the same aspirations for this new music and arts festival we’re excited to share more details including the name, brand and of course the line up, in the coming weeks,” Shannon McNevan, Executive Director, Republic Live said in the release. “We can see with the growth of Boots and Hearts that Canada, and in particular Ontario, has the appetite to sustain camping and music festivals and we believe that the location, being so close to the GTA, is the perfect site for a music and arts camping festival.”

The release notes that the new festival fits well within the Ontario Live Music Strategy, which was announced in January 2013 to strengthen Ontario’s position as a global leader for live music. Republic Live estimates, based on the Ontario TREIM model, that the new festival could generate approximately $13.6 million in economic impact for the province in its first year, with the opportunity to generate as much as $40 million.

In 2014, the Boots and Hearts festival generated approximately $17 million in economic impact in the Durham Region. The festival has been so successful that Republic Live is moving the 2015 Boots and Hearts festival to Burl’s Creek Event Ground, which will allow for expanded capacity and camping grounds. Boots and Hearts’ 2015 festival will take place August 6th to 9th, and will feature performances by Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee, with more to be announced.

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Hamilton Music Strategy moves forward with new Music & Film Office

The City of Hamilton moved forward with a major step in the Hamilton Music Strategy this week, as the City’s Music and Film Office moved into their new space in the Lister Building (28 James St. N). The office provides resources and information to members of Hamilton’s music and film industry.

Hamilton’s Music Strategy celebrates “all things music” in Hamilton, and “guides the activities of its partners to create and nurture an environment where music and the music industry flourishes, grows and prospers,” as per the Mission Statement. The goals of the strategy are to strengthen the local music industry, grow audiences and appreciation of music, increase access to music experiences, and cultivate music creation and talent.

The creation of the office was an action item outlined in the strategy document as well as the item approved by Council last January, which stated “the purpose of the Music Office is to be the single point of contact for the music sector interface with City Hall. Staff is to lead public/private efforts to generate new economic activity in the City, ensure music alliances deliver results, and identify ways that music can be leveraged for other sectors such as tourism, investment attraction and business retention.”

Jacqueline Norton, Business Development Consultant, Creative Industries at the City of Hamilton spoke with CHCH about the new location and goals for the office with CHCH. “Over the next year hopefully we’ll be setting out some details of what exactly are we going to accomplish and we’re going to start hitting the low hanging fruit.”

2015 is set to be an extra busy year for music in the Hammer, which will host the 2015 JUNO Awards and JUNO Week, which is estimated to have an economic impact of $11.9 million in Hamilton.

“This will really benefit a lot of hotels, restaurants, and major venues, so this will spread across the community – but it is something that our residents and visitors alike can take part in,” said Sue Monach of Tourism Hamilton in a video last March.

“It’s massive economic impact, it’s great for the local music community, and now that we’ve just opened our Hamilton music office, the timing is perfect to sort of bring together all of the elements of what’s going on in culture on the music side in Hamilton, so it’s a perfect fit,” said Tim Potovic, Chair of the 2015 JUNO Awards Host Committee.

For more on Hamilton’s Music & Film Office, visit Tourism Hamilton’s website at www.tourismhamilton.com/music-film.

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OntarioLiveMusic.ca at the Ontario Tourism Summit

On November 12 & 13, 2014, we took a trip to Blue Mountains, ON to participate in the Ontario Tourism Summit. A gathering of hundreds of tourism professionals from across the province, the Summit was an ideal opportunity for us to network with the industry as they heard about the latest industry forecasts and recognized industry leaders.

One of the emerging trends is the burgeoning music tourism business. Music Canada President Graham Henderson gave an extremely well-received keynote (Ontario’s Music Tourism Pitch) about efforts to capitalize on a vibrant music community. It was nice to see so many people paying attention to music as both a reason to travel and as an indicator of Ontario’s economic strength.

Situated in the Summit’s Marketplace, we talked to many attendees as they stopped by the OntarioLiveMusic.ca booth. We had the opportunity to demo the site; provide a sneak peek at our redesign; meet government, business, and community leaders from every corner of the province; and get people excited about our soon-to-be-launched widget. With the widget, information can be pulled directly from OntarioLiveMusic.ca, targeted to a specific region, and customized for display on other websites. We received commitment from many to use the widget when it’s launched next month. The feedback about this tool and the site as a whole was overwhelmingly positive.

Hamilton’s DB Cooper, OntarioLiveMusic.ca Project Manager Amber Authier and Data Manager Sarah Rix pose at the OntarioLiveMusic.ca booth at the Ontario Tourism Summit in Blue Mountains, ON.

Hamilton’s DB Cooper, OntarioLiveMusic.ca Project Manager Amber Authier and Data Manager Sarah Rix pose at the OntarioLiveMusic.ca booth at the Ontario Tourism Summit in Blue Mountains, ON.

To top it all off, we had Hamilton’s DB Cooper on-hand to entertain Summit attendees. The indie rock group played a great set between conference sessions – entertaining the Marketplace and helping us prove that live music really is #AlwaysON.

OntarioLiveMusic2

Hamilton-based indie band DB Cooper performing at the Ontario Tourism Summit Marketplace.

Ontario is packed with fantastic artists, dedicated fans, and incredible venues. We’ll continue to increase the exposure of music to people both in and travelling to the province. To do the same, visit us at OntarioLiveMusic.ca. Have a music event coming up? Submit your listings here.

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Music Canada Receives Tourism Toronto’s President’s Award

Yesterday, in front of an audience of tourism leaders from Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, Music Canada’s Graham Henderson accepted Tourism Toronto’s President’s Award for an organization outside tourism that makes a significant contribution to tourism.

Music Canada was chosen in recognition of driving the agenda relating to live music, said David Whitaker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Toronto.

Since Music Canada began work on this initiative, the province has launched a Live Music Strategy and a live music portal, the City of Toronto has established a music advisory board, music development officer and has signed a music city alliance with Austin, Texas.  Other cities around the province, including Hamilton, London, Kitchener and Peterborough have also established music strategies.

“We’re honoured to receive this award from Tourism Toronto which has been a supportive partner in our efforts to highlight the power of music tourism.  Our music scene is perhaps the most diverse in the world and promoting it not only helps the tourism community, but also will ultimately create more opportunities for artists and musicians who rely so heavily on live performance .” says Graham Henderson.

Previous recipients of the President’s Award include Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (for developments at Air Canada Centre and Maple Leaf Square), Ryerson University (for the Ryerson Image Centre), Scotiabank (for Toronto Caribbean Carnival and Nuit Blanche), CTV (for its “My Toronto Is…” campaign), David Peterson and the Pan Am Bid Team, and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (for developments such as TIFF Bell Lightbox and Royal Conservatory/Koerner Concert Hall.)

OBAA AwardPhoto Credit: Grant W Martin Photography

 

Thank you to our many partners in the promotion of music tourism for sharing their regards on Twitter:

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Boots and Hearts Music Festival announces move to Barrie area

The Boots and Hearts Music Festival has announced that their 2015 festival will move to a new home at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. The festival will take place August 6th – 9th, and Florida Georgia Line has already been announced as one of the headline performances.

The move to Burl’s Creek will allow Boots and Hearts to expand capacity and camping grounds, said Shannon McNevan, executive director of festival promoter Republic Live. “We needed to expand our camping and our festival. That was our biggest complaint from fans, is that we didn’t have enough,” said McNevan. “The newly renovated grounds at Burl’s Creek will allow us to offer way more camping and add to the amazing #Bootslife community onsite,” he added.

Burl’s Creek was recently sold to the majority shareholder of Republic Live, which is good for the region, said Tourism Barrie executive director Kathleen Trainor. “We are thrilled to learn that Burl’s Creek has been sold to a concert promoter,” said Trainor. “The Wynne government is investing heavily into making Ontario the music capital of Canada and having a major concert venue in the region is good for Barrie. Molson Park’s concerts brought millions of dollars in revenue into Barrie every summer and now we can have a whole new generation of music lovers coming into the region for music festivals.”

The success and impact of Boots and Hearts is a testament to the opportunity provided by live music. Last year’s festival had an economic impact of approximately $17 million in the Bowmanville area, drawing approximately 35,000 country music fans to the region over three days.

Music Canada has promoted the value of music tourism to regions and municipalities throughout Ontario, and identified music tourism as one of five critical areas for development in our Next Big Bang report. Noting that music tourism and marketing offer rewarding opportunities for economic growth and brand development at the provincial, regional and city levels, the report considers how we can harness the power of live music as an economic asset by developing a comprehensive music tourism strategy.

Music Canada’s Graham Henderson will speak on the opportunities for music tourism next month at the 2014 Ontario Tourism Summit, in a keynote presentation entitled Ontario’s Music Tourism Pitch.

OntarioLiveMusic.ca, Ontario’s live music portal, will also be on-site at the Ontario Tourism Summit, showcasing the comprehensive live music listings to hundreds of tourism professionals from across the province.

The Boots and Hearts experience is on display in the festival’s 2014 After Movie, embedded below. For tickets or more information, visit http://bootsandhearts.com/.

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What last night’s municipal election results mean for music sector development in Ontario

Last night, voters across Ontario went to the polls to vote in municipal elections, determining new leadership in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Brampton, London, Windsor, and more.

In Toronto, residents elected John Tory to be the city’s 65th mayor. Music Canada has congratulated Mayor-Elect Tory, and we look forward to working with him and the newly elected council to continue to develop Toronto’s music sector. Many of the returning councillors have demonstrated a deep understanding of the value of music in Toronto and have supported efforts to promote and stimulate this important sector.

Early in his election campaign, Tory announced plans to support the growth of the music industry in Toronto. His plan is made up of three main points:

  1. Support the creation of a stand-alone Music Office: one stop shop to get things moving
  2. Work with the live music community to attract more music tourists to Toronto
  3. Work with the Music Community to Create a Plan for a more active Outdoor Festival Schedule

Tory reiterated his plans for the music sector in our music policy survey, stating that Toronto’s “Music Office will be established within the Economic Development department and will open in 2015” and adding “the importance of the music community and the broader creative sector cannot be understated.”

In his acceptance speech, Tory spoke of the need to tackle unemployment for youth in Toronto, and spoke of plans to work with business partners to foster opportunities for young people. Music can help. Our Next Big Bang report recommends municipalities work with their music communities in order to support local music scenes, and leverage them to attract music tourists, attract and retain creative workers, and attract businesses from all sectors of the economy. A 2009 report on the future of tourism in Ontario found that tourism is the single largest employer of young people in the province, and our Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas report applies specific best practices to Toronto.

Toronto has made great strides in the development of its music sector in recent years; notably with the hiring of a music sector development officer last month, the creation of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council last December, and the partnership with Austin, Texas in the world’s first Music City Alliance, signed in October 2013. Tory’s plans to create a stand-alone Music Office will continue this momentum by reducing red tape and stimulating greater activity in the music community.

 

Elsewhere in the province, a number of strong candidates who have been strong advocates for the music sector were elected as well:

Congratulations to Berry Vrbanovic, who was elected mayor of Kitchener last night, building on his 20-year experience as a city councillor. As a councillor, Vrbanovic championed music as an economic driver and a vital contributor to local culture. Vrbanovic represented Kitchener at last summer’s Music Cities Exchange panel, which was hosted by Music Canada, 4479, and NXNE, and featured public and private representatives from six cities that are working proactively to develop their local music sectors.

Vrbanovic promoted the development of Kitchener’s arts and creative sectors as part of his platform, calling for further development of Kitchener’s Music Works program by creating a film and music officer position and pursuing provincial funding to develop a music resource centre. Vrbanovic also states his support for the continued development of the live music scene in Kitchener’s downtown entertainment district, and intent to work with Waterloo Region Tourism to develop tourism promotion opportunities.

 

Congratulations to Jeff Leiper, who was elected councillor in Ottawa’s Kitchissippi ward. In his recent role as Vice President, Strategic Communications, Research and Policy at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Leiper was instrumental in the development of the Music – A Catalyst For Technology Hubs And Innovative Talent report, which was supported by Music Canada and released last year. The report found that support from all levels of government for music education and scenes can help foster a talented tech workforce. Music education, the report finds, helps bridge gaps between technical know-how and critical soft skills, while the presence of music scenes in cities can help attract and retain skilled workers.

Leiper has also promoted music tourism and the development of Ottawa’s music sector as part of his platform, campaigning on the creation of a Music Office in Canada’s capital city. “As a researcher, I’ve taken a look at the economic benefits of focusing on music performance in a city – specifically using great music scenes as a way to attract tech workers,” wrote Leiper in June.

 

Several other cities have implemented or explored ways to build and capitalize on their music sector for greater economic benefits, including Windsor, London, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Peterborough. Music Canada looks forward to working with municipal leaders throughout the province to help them advance their communities through music.

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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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Ontario Government launches Live Music Portal and announces recipients of the first year of the Ontario Music Fund

Today, the Hon. Michael Coteau, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, announced the recipients of the first year of the Ontario Music Fund, as well as the official launch of Ontario’s live music portal, http://ontariolivemusic.ca/.

The first year of the Ontario Music Fund, which is administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), is providing 108 grants to artists and music organizations that produce, distribute, and promote Canadian music and artists.

“We’re turning up the volume on our diverse and dynamic music industry,” said Minister Coteau. “Through the Ontario Music Fund, we are making important investments to help the industry grow, create jobs and ensure Ontario’s talent thrives here at home.”

Minister Coteau also announced the official launch of Ontario’s live music portal, OntarioLiveMusic.ca, which was developed by Music Canada under contract to the Ontario government. The site is a comprehensive and reliable source for information on live music in Ontario, including concert listings and venue promotions. As part of Ontario’s Live Music Strategy, the portal will promote live music in Ontario to boost concert attendance, visitor spending, and economic impact.

“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 more on the Ontario Music Fund, visit http://www.omdc.on.ca/music/the_ontario_music_fund.htm.

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