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Constructive dialogue emerges at June meeting of Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council

The Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council’s (TMAC) June 5 meeting was dominated by a positive and constructive atmosphere that resulted in decisions on key issues facing the sector, and an important dialogue with members of the local music community.

The meeting provided a forum for members of the local music community to raise new ideas.   Deputations addressed such topics as the use of alternative spaces for live music performances and DIY-music spaces (for instance, public libraries and empty storefronts), the challenges posed to affordability of housing and music hubs, commercial rent caps, the integration of diverse voices and the importance of prohibiting anonymous complaints. The tone of discussion was helpful and constructive.

TMAC Co-Chair, Councillor Josh Colle, encouraged members of the public to consider participating in TMAC sub-committees, which, as discussed at the meeting are going to be realigned in order to develop a leaner and more effective sub-committee structure.

TMAC also passed several resolutions at the meeting which constitute advisory motions to the Economic Development Committee which would then need to consider and refer to City Council:

A recommendation that City Council request the economic development department partner with Music Canada Live which is planning to gather data about the impact of live music venues in Toronto, from an economic, social, and cultural perspective; That the city’s economic development department provide marketing support for the “Toronto Music Passport,” a new industry-led event series that was floated by Mayor John Tory at Music Canada’s and Canadian Music Week’s “The Mastering of a Music City Summit.”

A recommendation that the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, advise the Director, Affordable Housing Office and local councillors considering ‘shovel-ready’ affordable housing projects, to include those with music hubs, in partnership with local music community stakeholders and non-profit organizations.

Monday’s meeting was also the last for Andreas Kalogiannides as Co-Chair, who resigned his executive position—a position he had held since June 2015. Andreas has been a tireless advocate for Toronto’s music industry, continuously touting the value of the sector and TMAC to City Council and the music community.

TMAC was established by City Council to provide recommendations and advice to enhance the attractiveness, competitiveness, and growth of Toronto’s music industry; be a forum for the music industry and provide coherent advice to City Council on issues and opportunities for the sector; and to promote Toronto’s music industry and monitor and advise on marketing strategies to strengthen the viability of the music sector.

You can view the minutes of the meeting on the City of Toronto’s website.

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Ontario Arts Council study confirms support for arts in Ontario

A new Ontario Arts Council (OAC) study conducted by Nanos Research has found that the arts maintain a high level of support among Ontarians. According to the report, Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts—music included—to vibrant, liveable communities. This report is a follow up to OAC’s 2010 provincial survey, and offers an important perspective on arts in the public eye.

The survey, based on a random sample of 1,004 individuals, found that a majority of Ontarians recognize the positive impact that the arts have on quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.

“The results of the Quality of Life report confirm what we heard as we developed the province’s first Culture Strategy, and show that Ontarians intuitively understand that culture is a fundamentally important part of our lives and communities,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I’m proud that our government is taking steps to strengthen the arts and culture sector as we implement the initiatives outlined in the Culture Strategy, and the Ontario Arts Council is an important part of that work.”

“This study clearly demonstrates that people across Ontario believe that the arts make an important contribution to their quality of life and social well-being and that arts activities are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of their communities as places to live and work,” said Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council.

Highlights of the survey are as follows:

Arts and quality of life

  • 93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
  • 90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • 85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.

Arts and identity and belonging

  • 91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
  • 88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Arts and community well-being

  • 90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
  • 97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.

Government investment in the arts

  • 82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
  • 79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.

You can read the report’s executive summary on the OAC website.

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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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Minister McMahon announces 2017 Ontario Music Fund recipients at Canadian Music Week

Today at the opening to the Music Summit at Canadian Music Week, the Hon. Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, announced the 2017 Ontario Music Fund grant recipients. The province is investing $15 million through 190 new grants that will help music businesses and artists across the province increase music production and attract new audiences.

The release highlights that the Ontario Music Fund has supported the sale of over 5.6 million recordings domestically and more than seven million recordings internationally since the program was created in 2013 and made permanent two years later. Almost four million people have attended live music events supported by the fund, featuring more than 4,000 performances by Ontario artists.

“Ontario is home to a diverse music industry that draws people from all over to take advantage of our world class recording facilities and to experience our vibrant live music scene,” said McMahon in the release. “Ontario is the best place to record and perform music in Canada, and through the Ontario Music Fund our government continues to invest in this dynamic sector.”

McMahon made the announcement during Canadian Music Week, which receives funding from the OMF that supports its many initiatives, including summits, an international marketplace, industry awards, and live music events. The Canadian Music Week Festival will showcase over 800 artists at more than 40 venues over five nights in downtown Toronto.

 

Joining McMahon on stage was Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), the organization that administers the fund.

“Ontario’s music is enjoyed across Canada and on the world stage,” said Thorne-Stone in the release. “Through the Ontario Music Fund, OMDC is proud to support the growth of this vibrant industry where strong companies and emerging artists alike contribute to Ontario’s employment, economy and quality of life.”

“As a recipient, Canadian Music Week can attest to the effectiveness of the Ontario Music Fund,” added Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week. “The investment we’ve received bolsters our ability to attract international companies and our status as ‘ground zero’ for global interest in Ontario artists. The Government of Ontario can rightfully take a bow for amping up interest in Canadian artists around the world with this initiative. And we applaud them for it.”

The full list of 2017 Ontario Music Fund recipients is now available on the OMDC website.

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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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BC announces new music Innovation Program

Last week, the province of British Columbia and Creative BC announced the new $300,000 Innovation Program as part of the BC Music Fund. The new program will support cross-sector collaboration between technology and music, the launch of businesses to fill gaps in the industry, and foster diversity and cultural engagement within the music industry.

“British Columbia is home to an abundant wealth of musical talent. This funding from the BC Music Fund will provide assistance to companies that think outside the box, allowing them to further develop innovative ideas. I look forward to seeing the unique projects that come from this new program,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

“The Innovation Program encourages new collaborations, creative courage and fresh thinking. Through the BC Music Fund, innovators across the province can intersect with the music industry,” added Prem Gill, chief executive officer of Creative BC.

British Columbia is the third largest centre for sound recording in Canada and the music industry contributes over $400 million in revenue to the provincial economy every year. According to Creative BC, the province’s music industry includes 80 independent record labels, 123 sound recording studios, and hundreds of music industry professionals such as publishers, managers, talent agencies, and other businesses that support the development and delivery of music.

Premier Christy Clark announced the creation of the $15-million BC Music Fund in February 2016, following the recommendations of Music Canada’s report BC’s Music Sector: From Adversity to Opportunity. The fund is administered by Creative BC and is designed to support the growth of BC’s music industry through direct investment, job creation, music tourism, increased regional activity, and the export of BC music.

The new Innovation Program will support music related projects, including “cross-sector and multimedia projects related to music, experimental or experiential projects that increase visibility, access, or awareness for British Columbian music, projects that develop new technology, software, or programs, and projects or initiatives related to British Columbia’s music industry that are innovative or experimental in nature.”

Applications for the Innovation Program will be accepted beginning May 1, 2017.

You can read more about the new program and the announcement on Creative BC’s website.

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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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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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