Yesterday, London Mayor Matt Brown delivered his 2016 State of the City address to the London Chamber of Commerce, which outlined a number of initiatives aimed at moving London forward.

Among the initiatives aimed at benefiting London’s culture and tourism sector, Mayor Brown cited the City of London’s Music Strategy.

“We set a goal to become a Music City and this began to take shape in a big way this year,” said Brown. “To lead the way, the City of London developed a Music Strategy that will make London a Music City and a music attraction.”

The event kicked off with a performance from Canadian country music artists Autumn Hill, a nod to Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, which London will host for the first time this fall. The pair of events are expected to directly benefit the local economy with the booking of approximately 2,000 hotel room nights and an anticipated economic impact of $6-8 million dollars. The CCMA & JUNO nominated duo performed acoustic versions of their hits ‘Anything At All’ and ‘Blame’, which were a highlight for many in attendance.

Mayor Brown also referenced live music in regard to plans to reinvigorate London’s downtown core. The Downtown Plan builds on the success of previous investments in Budweiser Gardens, the Covent Garden Market, and Central Library, and looks to make downtown London “an irresistible destination and an exciting place to live,” said Brown.

“It’s time for Dundas Street to become Dundas Place – a transformational project that will see the creation of a flexible street between Wellington Street and the Thames River,” said Brown. “A space for cars during the day and a people-first space on evenings and weekends; a place to stroll, shop, or visit with friends. A place to be entertained, a place where services spill out onto the street and we can enjoy live music, culture and great food.”

With the execution of the London Music Strategy, including the hiring of a Music Industry Development Officer, the launch of the London Music Division incubator, and creation of the Music Industry Development Task Force, London is showing that a targeted music strategy and coordinated efforts can pay dividends for a city looking to draw tourists, create jobs, and enhance local quality of life.