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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: