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Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, receives first ever Music Canada President’s Award

“It is pretty obvious when someone from outside of our community has a deep passion for music and the people who make it.”

And with that, Music Canada President & CEO, Graham Henderson, awarded Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA the first ever Music Canada President’s Award for his outstanding contribution to Toronto’s music scene.

President's Award - Mark Garner

Inspired by a similar award bestowed on Music Canada by Tourism Toronto in 2014, the award recognizes an organization or individual outside of the music industry that has an impact on the music industry.

Under Garner’s leadership, the DYBIA has created an action plan to stimulate music performance, creation, education and celebration in the downtown core of the city. Their music strategy builds on the rich music history in downtown Yonge in order to create an environment where music can succeed now and in the future.

“I’m encouraged every day by the teams and everybody around us…we’re not experts in the music industry…there’s a lot of people to thank that are connecting the dots for us. Everybody around us that is showing us how we can be that execution agent and supporting us in our efforts,” said Garner. “So this really a thank you for all of you, to thank you for the continued support and ongoing mentorship that we get from you on a day-to-day basis as we navigate this beast to help deliver the Music City vision on behalf of Toronto.”

Specifically, the Downtown Yonge BIA Music Strategy includes:

  • An integrated urban experience that allows visitors to pay homage to Yonge Street’s music legends through walking tours, historical plaques and neon sign installations;
  • Activation of public spaces including parks, squares and laneways with live performance events like Play the Parks, a series of concerts held in the summer; and,
  • A focus on education and incubation, beginning with an artist manager incubation program but building towards a multi-level, multi-disciplinary music incubator.

Video of the presentation is now available on Youtube, and is embedded below.

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