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Posts by Ramlah Ismail (7)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grant W. Martin Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Music Canada releases new report Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors

May 11, 2018, Toronto: Today, Music Canada releases its latest report, Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors. The report is being launched in advance of the third annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week, and serves as a successor to Music Canada’s groundbreaking 2015 study The Mastering of a Music City.

Drawing from in-depth interviews with practitioners in 17 cities across the world, the report provides a detailed analysis of some of the most common structures utilized by municipalities to develop and implement their music strategies and policies. Some of these existed prior to 2015, while others are more recent phenomena.

“Since the release of The Mastering of a Music City, additional questions have been raised by those seeking to develop their own Music City about the advantages and limitations of different models,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “With this new report, cities can find answers to their most pressing questions, gain insights from experts in the field, and learn from the experiences of other cities.”

Keys to a Music City examines the various ways that music officers, music advisory boards, arms-length music organizations, and Night Mayors are used in different jurisdictions, and offers a guide on how both city officials and community members can play an important role in building their Music City.

Most importantly, this report identifies critical conditions for success and 10 key lessons learned by experts who have sought to leverage the many social and economic benefits of a vibrant, actively promoted music economy.

Supporting quotes:

“Music Canada has done it again –  Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors is a deeply researched and essential resource for public officials, industry leaders, academics, non-profit activists, musicians and all other stakeholders eager to identify and adapt effective models to their own communities.”  Michael Bracy, Cofounder, Music Policy Forum

“A music city is more than a tagline. It is a process. Music is the heartbeat of sociability when people gather with family, friends and acquaintances. And a city with a plan for music is a city with a plan for its people. Music Canada’s report Keys to a Music City, along with their previous report The Mastering of a Music City provide the most comprehensive and strategically organized resources on how to become a music city.”  – Jim Peters, President, Responsible Hospitality Institute

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For more information:
Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada:  Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.

 

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Government of Canada releases Canada’s new Intellectual Property Strategy

On Thursday, Canada’s national Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy was launched by The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Through the IP Strategy, the government aims to increase intellectual property awareness, foster a framework that helps support businesses and entrepreneurs, and encourage the growth of innovation and competition in Canada. The strategy is intended to ensure that the public has “access to the best possible IP resources” through a multi-faceted approach which includes:

  1. Initiatives to improve IP awareness, education and access to legal advice
  2. The development of strategic tools that reduce the burden and cost of accessing the IP system in Canada
  3. New amendments to IP legislation that aims to clarify acceptable practices and prevent misuses of IP rights

The strategy was released on World IP Day, which was centred this year on celebrating remarkable and creative women who are driving change in our world. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) celebrated World IP Day by featuring five famous Canadian women who have used their intellectual property to make an impact in Canada and around the world. Among them was Diamond-certified recording artist Sarah McLachlan, who, in addition to her musical talents, is an esteemed entrepreneur with three registered trademarks and her non-profit music education program, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.

Music Canada would like to congratulate Minister Bains and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on the release of this exciting new strategy. A faster, more efficient and more predictable regulatory regime will help Canadian creative entrepreneurs continue to innovate and succeed worldwide.

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City of Toronto’s recently released Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy provides framework for arts, culture, and business to thrive

The City of Toronto has released its new Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy. The report establishes the Division’s priorities over the next five years (2018-2022), and provides the framework that will be used to guide the development of the Divisional programs and services.

The development of the Strategy included robust consultation with over 400 city residents and industry partners, a process that Music Canada was an active participant in. The feedback received provided insight into the importance of supporting the culture sector, and its key role in supporting the growth of a vibrant economy and business community.

Some of the key objectives the strategy aims to accomplish was to “encourage Toronto’s cultural vibrancy through more and enhanced cultural experiences,” as well as to further “engage partners in the planning and development of the City’s economic and cultural resources.”

The Economic Development and Culture (EDC) Divisional Strategy includes several strategic goals and actions, with a focus on improving four key areas:

  1. Equity and Inclusion
  2. Talent and Innovation
  3. Space and Access
  4. Operational Excellence

Some of the strategy’s areas of interest are highlighted below:

Improving affordability and access to arts and culture spaces

One of the key goals that is outlined in the strategy is working to “improve access and affordability of space for business and culture.” Some of the proposed actions to address this include: leveraging incentives and grants to support access to these spaces, advocating for the establishment of affordable, sustainable spaces for business and culture, and working to support opportunities for multi-tenant, shared spaces and hubs.

As was highlighted in our Mastering of a Music City report, access to affordable arts and culture facilities (spaces and places) is vital to the health of vibrant Music Cities. Rapidly rising rents and property taxes has significantly impacted the ability of live venues, rehearsal spaces, and arts hubs to continue operating, threatening the livelihoods of the artists who require access to them. The City has taken steps to help protect and support cultural facilities, with the most recent action being the creation of a new tax subclass to support arts/culture hubs and properties.

Another positive step to note was the recent decision of the Economic Development Committee to pass a number of Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) recommendations aimed at providing better support for live music in the city. Of particular interest is the recommendation to create tax benefits for local live music venues, a policy action that would help achieve the key priority of venue sustainability.

Enhancing opportunities for artists and creators to access public spaces

Another key goal included in the EDC Strategy was increasing access to City-owned space, through: improving opportunities for community use of EDC-managed facilities, and working with City divisions to explore the feasibility of making other City-owned spaces available for use. Providing opportunities for local musicians to perform in public spaces within their own city is one of the ways a municipality can help to grow and support its vibrant music ecosystem.

Outstanding examples of these types and events and programming include City Hall Live and the YYZ Live performance series, a musical celebration that featured 150 performances from 75 local artists at Pearson International Airport.

 

The EDC Division’s previous two strategies – released in 2011 and 2013 – helped contribute the development of a Toronto Music Strategy, as well as the establishment of Music and Film Sector Development Teams.

It is encouraging to note that the new strategy further solidifies the City’s commitment to supporting the culture sector, recognizing the tremendous cultural and economic impact of the arts.

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