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Tag archive: Music Cities Toolkit (4)


#EveryStage: How Music Canada’s Music Cities advocacy aims to make Canadian municipalities more music and musician friendly

Last week Music Canada launched our JUNOS 2018 #EveryStage campaign, intended to highlight the ways our advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career, with a blog about our aim to secure equitable access to quality music education for all young Canadians.

We’re proud to return as a Platinum Partner of the 47th annual JUNOS, sponsoring both the Album of the Year category as well as the official kickoff to JUNO weekend, the Welcome Reception.

In the second installment of our four-part series leading up the 2018 JUNO Awards, we’ll explore Music Cities and Music Canada’s efforts to help make Canadian municipalities more music and musician-friendly. A Music City is a community of any size with a vibrant music economy.

Why it’s important

Vibrant and actively promoted local music ecosystems bring a wide array of benefits to both cities and the musicians inhabiting them. Economic growth, job creation, increased spending, greater tax revenues and cultural development are just a few examples.

“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.” – Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

How we advocate

Music Canada’s world-renowned and globe-spanning research has identified several key strategies that cities both large and small can use to grow and strengthen their music economy. We work with municipal governments and regional partners to implement music and musician-friendly policies, establish music offices and advisory boards, as well as promote music tourism, audience development and access to the spaces and places where music is made.

Cities across Canada, including London, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Toronto, Barrie/Simcoe County, Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex, Guelph and more have implemented or are exploring measures to maximize the impact, growth and support for their local music ecosystems, and Music Canada has been proud to provide support through our research and expertise in the development of these strategies.

Learn more

Our 2015 report The Mastering of a Music City represents a roadmap that communities of all sizes can follow to realize the full potential of their music economy. Truly global in scale, the report is the result of more than forty interviews with music community experts, government officials, and community leaders in more than twenty cities on every continent.

“This should remove barriers to performing and creating music. Ultimately the goal is to create a more sustainable music community where artists and professionals can enjoy successful careers.” – Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada

Our annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week brings policymakers, city planners and global music industry representatives together to discuss, learn and collaborate.

Chambers of commerce have an opportunity to carve out a leadership role in leveraging music as a driver of employment and economic growth. In 2016, Music Canada partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to create a Music Cities Toolkit, designed to provide the CCC’s network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, in all regions of the country, with a guide to activate the power of music in their city.

“The cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have long recognized that a comprehensive and coordinated approach for live music allows us to not only expand our existing events such as the Kitchener Blues Festival but also attract new business and retain talent. As this document confirms, Music Canada is a tremendous resource for all stakeholders in formulating a local strategy, particularly in bridging municipal, business and cultural sector interests. Through national and international experience they know what works for the benefit of the entire community.” –  Ian McLean, President & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Live Music Measures Up is the first comprehensive economic impact study of the live music industry in Ontario. It provides critical data and information to help guide decision-making within the sector, in government and other allied stakeholders.

Measuring Live Music represents an historic, timely and monumental opportunity; one which will enable us to entrench the true value of the live music economy in the minds of our stakeholders, government and audiences alike. It’s inspiring to see the sector organize, work together and build on the momentum we can all feel – here in the Province and around the world – the kind that will help guarantee live music takes its rightful place as one of Ontario’s greatest natural resources.” – Erin Benjamin, Executive Director, Music Canada Live



Music Canada AGM 2016: Year in review

At Music Canada’s 2016 AGM, our Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, provided an update on what was a busy year for the organization. Music Cities are a red-hot topic worldwide. Municipalities and regions continue to look to the power of music to grow their economies, attract tourists and skilled workers, and increase quality of life.


An interesting trend of the past year was the “growing understanding that Music City development is an important component of community economic development,” said Terrill, describing how our Music Cities work is being embraced by the International Economic Development Council, national and Ontario BIA associations, and other international associations, such as the UCLG, a congress of global and regional leaders.

Since launching The Mastering of a Music City at Midem in 2015, Graham Henderson and Amy Terrill have been invited to speak on the research and best practices described in the report in numerous cities around the globe, and the list continues to grow.

In the past year, chambers of commerce were defined as a particularly powerful ally in the Music Cities movement. As the voice of business in their communities, chambers have the opportunity to carve out a leadership role in leveraging music as a driver of employment and economic growth, beyond its long-acknowledged cultural and social benefits. At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AGM in September of 2016, Music Canada launched the Music Cities Toolkit, a custom designed guide for chambers to activate the power of music in their city.

Amy established “best practice” as the theme of her remarks, noting Music Canada’s continued efforts to identify, meet and share best practices in Music Cities research, and in all of the work we do.

Matt Masters, a Calgary-based songwriter, event producer, and new Program Leader of the Alberta Music Cities Initiative provided a video update on Music Cities progress in the province, and Andy McLean of the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) shared updates from the Atlantic region and the newly formed partnership between Music Canada and the ECMA.

The past year also included the launch of Music Canada’s new Single Award, which incorporates streaming data into Gold/Platinum certifications for the first time in Canada. Later in the program, Alx Veliz was presented with his first Canadian Gold plaque for his breakout hit “Dancing Kizomba,” before performing three songs for the crowd.

You can watch the full video of Music Canada’s Year in Review below.

For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.


Harmony between music and economic development

Music is increasingly being seen as an important means of economic development with Music Canada’s Mastering of a Music City as the primary resource in this effort.

A vibrant nightlife, of which music is so much a part, is critical for attracting and retaining talent. Cities like Austin and Nashville regularly lure investment, new business growth and talented workers, through a deliberate program to sell their cities as great music cities.

But a vibrant music scene doesn’t magically happen. Attention must be paid to the many bylaws and regulations that impact music. The music ecosystem, with artists and musicians at the heart, needs to be nurtured, supported and promoted with a focus on commercial music as well as not-for-profit enterprises. Infrastructure, in the form of individuals or bodies who facilitate regular communication between the city and the music community, are necessary.  Sometimes there is also an important role for investment in hard infrastructure like transportation networks and performance facilities.

The Mastering of a Music City, designed to be a road map for communities that want to engage with their music community and build a vibrant music economy, is being utilized across Canada, the US and internationally.  Music Canada has added to this work with a tool kit designed specifically for chambers of commerce, important agents in community economic development work.

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has called the Music Cities model a “tried and tested economic development tool.”

Last week a symposium hosted by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation featured a presentation on Music Canada’s report by Amy Terrill.  CEO Steve MacKenzie remarked:

“Developing Music Cities has proven itself as a winner in Economic Development. We have tangible research, thanks to Music Canada’s work in the field, showing economic growth in correlation with fostering a healthy music ecosystem. Just as important is the cultural spin-off that comes with the support of these initiatives. Quality of life is a major deciding factor for a dynamic workforce that greatly values a work/life balance. The music sector is a wonderful example where an industry’s by-products are of equal value to its core functions. Music is universal, and in Windsor-Essex, one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse regions, it’s a language that we all speak.  It provides an impact we can all benefit from.”

And the word is certainly spreading.

Music Cities will be the topic of a panel discussion and presentation at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference on September 27, 2016.  IEDC is a membership organization serving economic developers with more than 4,500 members.

The session, Mastering a Music City for Economic Development, will feature the following:

  • Kate Becker, Director, Office of Film + Music, Seattle, WA
  • Jonathan Knecht, VP, Marketing + Creative Director, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City, MO
  • Amy Lopp, Business Development Specialist, Athens-Clarke County Economic Development, Athens, GA
  • Don Pitts, Manager, Music & Entertainment Division, Economic Development Department, City of Austin. Austin, TX
  • Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President, Music Canada, Toronto, Ontario, CA

And next month, Amy Terrill will participate in a discussion on music and cities, at the 5th UCLG Congress World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bogota, Columbia.

Ultimately, Music Canada and our members are leading this initiative in order to improve the odds for those wanting to develop careers in the music industry – in order to create a stronger music community.  Music interacts with cities in ways that benefit those cities.  Contributing to a broader understanding of that value will, in turn, bring about greater opportunities for all of us to make music.


Music Canada unveils Music Cities Toolkit at Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM

gh-screen150 representatives from chambers of commerce across the country took part in a Music Cities workshop conducted by Graham Henderson yesterday at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Annual General Meeting in Regina.

Henderson unveiled a Music Cities toolkit that Music Canada custom-built for the CCC’s network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, in all regions of the country.

The toolkit was designed to provide chambers of commerce with a roadmap and guide to activate the power of music in their communities.  It describes potential roles for the chamber as follows:

  1. Catalyst – as the leading voice of business, acting to enhance economic prosperity and quality of life, the chamber can act as a catalyst to stimulate the Music City discussion
  2. Advocate – convene a music policy task force to identify municipal policies and regulations that are hampering the creation, production and promotion of music
  3. Operator – develop a proposal for the chamber to act as a music office/officer
  4. Trainer – provide training to entrepreneurs within the music community
  5. Promoter – host and amplify music events, celebrate the music history in your community

The toolkit builds on the global success of Music Canada’s report The Mastering of a Music City, Key Elements, Effective Strategies and Why it’s Worth Pursuing.

“We are so pleased that Music Canada has partnered with us and shared their excellent work in this space with the chamber network as a tried and tested economic development tool,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to work with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce whose pan-Canadian network makes it an ideal partner to spread the thinking behind and the benefits of adopting the Music Cities model for your community,” said Graham Henderson.



music-cities-toolkit-cover-2The Music Cities Toolkit is available here.


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