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Tag archive: Music Cities (50)

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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.

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

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New Music Cities report from Des Moines, Iowa

des-moines-music-cityMusic Canada’s The Mastering of a Music City report continues to attract interest and generate important conversations about Music Cities and music policy in cities around the world—this time in Des Moines, Iowa.

A new report, entitled “Des Moines’ Potential as a Music City”, has sparked local media attention and a discussion about what the Iowa capitol can do to realize its ambitions of becoming “the next Austin, Texas.” The report was authored by Kurt Bearinger at the Iowa State University and draws heavily from Music Canada’s The Mastering of a Music City report, a local survey, and various interviews with members of the local music community and music policy-makers.

Des Moines tops national city rankings, notes the report: it is Business Insider’s number one city for the middle class, Forbes’ 2014 best city for young professionals, and Fortune’s 2014 number one up-and-coming downtown. But despite the significant musical talent that comes from the city—and Des Moines is home to several music festivals and a vibrant music scene—it has yet to earn recognition as a Music City.

To fix this, the report makes fourteen recommendations directed at the City of Des Moines. These recommendations include: policy changes that would reduce regulations that affect the owning and operating of a live music venue, investigating music and cultural districts in the city, and beginning a Music City branding campaign. One recommendation specifically references Toronto’s Music Directory as a best practice to be emulated.

“It is my hope that this report will spark positive changes to the Des Moines music scene and be used as a tool convincing the City and Council to prioritize live music, partner with the music community, and create a city identity around live music,” says Bearinger, author of the report. “If followed, the sixteen policy recommendations could set the foundation needed to transform Des Moines into a nationally recognized music city.”

You can read a digital copy of the report here.

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Music Canada’s Graham Henderson will discuss Music Cities at Amped Up in San Antonio

Amped UpOn September 6, Music Canada’s President & CEO, Graham Henderson, will be discussing Music Cities at Amped Up, presented by Centro San Antonio. The music-focused event will dig into what makes San Antonio’s musical landscape unique, and in addition to Graham’s keynote address, will feature music leaders from local venues, non-profits and, of course, musicians, breaking down San Antonio’s music economy and community. There will also be live performances, including a collaboration between city leaders and artists. Amped Up is happening at the Juarez Plaza, La Villita from 6-9pm.

What can a business development association do to help local music businesses and musicians? What can the community do to help the music economy flourish? These are the questions Graham will explore as he speaks to findings from Music Canada and IFPI’s report The Mastering of a Music City, an award-winning roadmap for communities of all sizes who are trying to realize the full potential of their music economy.

Centro San Antonio is committed to fostering a vibrant and prosperous downtown that benefits the entire San Antonio community. Their mission is “to be an advocate for downtown businesses and property owners, a catalyst for economic improvement in the inner core and a thought leader on important community issues.”

Tickets can be purchased here.

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The Rambler by Graham Henderson: Thoughts on Minister Melanie Joly’s speech to the Economic Club of Canada

Graham_headphones3Blog ThumbnailThe Rambler is a column by Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. Graham writes from time to time about developments in the music industry, new trends or just about music! Let’s face it, Graham has been around for a long time and has a lot to ramble on about.

This article was originally published on www.grahamhenderson.ca

On 9 June 2016, Minister of Heritage, Melanie Joly addressed the Economic Club of Canada on the topic of “Canada’s Culture Dividend: The Creative Sector As Economic Driver.”  I believe this was her first public, policy-oriented speech and it is significant that she chose the Economic Club as the venue.  As a sponsor of the event, Music Canada was afforded a podium opportunity to thank the Minister and reflect on her remarks.  Before we get to what I said then, I will draw attention to a few important aspects of her speech. Unfortunately, and for reasons I do not understand, this important speech has not yet been published by the Minister’s office, so I cannot link to it.  An official request has been made by Music Canada.

MJ

The Minister put on a bravura display which showcased an extraordinary grasp of a complex topic.  Clearly much thought had gone into what she said.  She was conversant with all of the facts and figures and conveyed the important message that culture is big business in Canada.  She noted that government support for the arts should not just be about funding – that funding was only part of the answer.  She bluntly stated that cultural policy in Canada needed a “new toolbox.” and pledged to create it.  This is one of the most prescient and important undertakings that any Heritage Minister in memory has made, and with a mandated review of the Copyright Act coming in 2017, it will be very interesting to see how the Minister intends to put her words into meaningful action.

There was one interesting moment in the event that actually took place during my remarks.  I was in the process of discussing the music industries transition from an analogue to digital economy. I had pointed out the extent to which we had embraced this evolution but then remarked that the Government needed to work together with the creative community “to ensure one critical result: appropriate remuneration of artists for their work.” This drew a veritable storm of sustained applause that even surprised me – I hope this is something the Minister and her staff noticed.

For all of the positives in her speech, there were some very surprisingly sour notes. The entire literary world was completely ignored; a fact that drew a measured but forceful rebuke from a member of the audience during the question and answer period. A question from a member of the fashion industry about whether or not the Minister considered fashion design to be a part of Canada’s cultural mosaic was met with what amounted to a flat out “no”. It is hard to understand why, say, videos games are considered to be “cultural” products but fashion designs are not. A question about just how substantive the government intended its mandated 2017 copyright review to be was met with a surprisingly inchoate response.  I would have thought that a Minister of a government in search of a new “toolbox” would have responded to that question with an emphatic “We intend our review to be VERY substantive.”

Overall it was a very satisfying speech which introduced the cultural community to a Minister with vision and passion who clearly desires to cast herself in the role of a champion.

Now, as to my speech, I spoke extemporaneously from bullet points and notes scribbled during the Minister’s speech.  What follows is the transcribed text of my remarks with a few amendments to clarify grammar!


I’m Graham Henderson. I’m from Music Canada, and it’s my honour to thank the Minister and offer some brief thoughts on her remarks.  I guess if I had been asked to do a formal review, I could do it in one word: “wow.” Minister Joly, you managed in a very short period of time to demonstrate your grasp of the importance of the cultural industries to our economy. I won’t go into all of the economic details – we are all familiar with them: for example the fact that culture represents 3% of our GDP. This amounts to a 55 billion dollar contribution to our nation’s GDP each year.  But beyond this, thanks to pioneering work being done by Music Canada, we now understand that culture’s contribution to our society is so much more complex.  Music for example has an enormous impact on the quality of life in our communities. And, as you recognize, government contributions to this sector represent an investment, and not just a financial outlay – there is an enormous return on that investment.  Additionally, as you have observed, culture is a key component of “Brand Canada.” In many respects culture is a gift to the people of Canada, and we are not doing enough to incorporate it into Brand Canada, and celebrate it around the world.

I was also very, very pleased to hear your call for more investment from business in the cultural sector. Also I was pleased by your references to and emphasis on the humanities.  The humanities underpin everything that we do, and actually, are under threat here and around the world. As you probably know, Republican governors across the United States are calling for the removal of state funding for students seeking an education in the humanities. Here in Canada the last Government financially supported an excellent STEM initiative called “Let’s Talk Science.” Well, in response to the comment that you made about the importance of the humanities, perhaps your government could introduce a program called “Let’s Talk Humanities;” a program geared to interest our young people in an education in that sector and turn STEM into STEAM!

This year is a good year for music. It’s the first year in almost two decades that there has been an uptick in our revenue picture. Global growth is up three percent. Music consumption is exploding, particularly through the streaming services. This is great news and it reflects an industry that is adapting to the rapid transformation of technology.  However, it requires us to continue to work together to ensure one critical result: appropriate remuneration of artists for their work.

I think everyone in this room looks forward to working with you in the coming months on the legislative review of the Copyright Act. This must not be a pro forma review. This needs to be meaningful. We have fourteen years of experience to guide us.

Now, in concluding, I am going to do something I always try to do whenever I’m speaking in public! I try to work in some of the ideas of my favourite poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, which I’m going to do now. In this case, given some of the things the Minister has said, I think it’s exceedingly appropriate.

Shelley

Sketch of Shelley drawn by Edward Ellerker Williams. 1821-22. In my view the only extant image that captures the man.

Shelley wrote a defence of creativity almost two hundred years ago to which he gave the title “A Defence of Poetry.” When Shelley wrote this, he was responding to a pointed attack on poetry itself, but I like think of the essay as a defense of creativity in general.  In it, Shelley lists some of the important contributions of science and economics, but he then goes on to say,

“…it exceeds all imagination to conceive what would have been the moral condition of the world if neither Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Calderon, Lord Bacon, nor Milton, had ever existed; if Raphael and Michael Angelo had never been born.”

And this feeds in directly to his conclusions.  Shelley writes:

“Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

When Shelley speaks of “poets,” I believe here he means creators; and when he says they are legislators, he doesn’t mean they’re lawyers, he doesn’t mean they’re necessarily politicians. What I think he is saying is that creators predict our future, they underpin our future, and they create a framework for our future. And this is why I am excited about what Minister Joly has said.  The Minister intuitively understands this. The Minister sees that creators are deserving of our respect and protection.  I am so glad to see that we actually have with us an elected legislator who sees that it is our poets who are the true legislators of the world.

Thank you.

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Ontario study shows arts and culture attract top talent

Business for the Arts has released the results of a new study that details the extent to which arts and culture attract both skilled workers and the businesses that seek them. Culture for Competitiveness: How Vibrant Culture Attracts Top Talent was created with support from the Ontario Arts Council, with research conducted by Nanos Research.

The study shows that a vibrant arts and culture scene, including live music events, can be a major driver in attracting and retaining employees, and is based on a survey of 500 skilled workers, and 508 businesses in Ontario. While businesses recognize the magnetic nature of arts and culture to skilled workers, the study concludes that they can do more to support local arts communities. According to the study, only 25% of businesses in Ontario make financial contributions to arts and/or cultural organizations in their community.

“The study’s bottom line is that businesses need to make arts and culture more of a priority,” said Nichole Anderson, President & CEO of Business for the Arts. “Our culture for competitiveness study confirms that skilled workers seek out vibrant arts and culture hubs when making job decisions, but businesses who could benefit from the magnetic effect of culture are not investing in their arts and culture ecosystem.”

The study includes the following findings:

  • 60 per cent of businesses said that there are usually more qualified and attractive potential employees in communities with a thriving arts scene
  • 64 per cent of businesses said that a thriving arts and culture scene is something that would make it easier to attract top talent to their community
  • 49 per cent of skilled workers go to arts and cultural festivals two to four times per year
  • Just over half of skilled workers said that a healthy vibrant arts and culture community has influenced their choice regarding which city they would want to work in
  • Skilled workers in Toronto tend to value arts and culture more than those living elsewhere (85 per cent compared to 73 per cent)
  • 75 per cent of skilled workers agreed that government support for the arts makes a more livable community

Thriving Arts Scene Image

The results of this new study echo parts of Music Canada and IFPI’s Mastering of a Music City report. One finding in the report was that music branding undertaken by a city adds a “cool” factor, that can attract and retain investment and talent. In Berlin, the intermingling of music and tech businesses has demonstrated that a successful music economy can attract and retain talent in other industries as well.

The Mastering of a Music City looks to global cities where an understanding exists that arts, culture, and music specifically, help to attract talent and business. Fredrik Sandsten, Event Manager Music at the public tourism agency in Sweden says of Gothenburg, “We have a very industrial city with huge industrial companies. They want culture and music to flourish because they see the link to attracting young workers to their companies.”

Ontario is home to many communities with vibrant arts scenes, where music, in addition to attracting businesses and talent, contributes directly to the economy. Music Canada’s report Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario identified that live music companies generated $628 million from live music activities in 2013, and brought a total impact of 10,500 jobs to the province.

Music Canada welcomes the results of Business for the Arts’ new study, and encourages Canadian businesses to support their local arts communities, including local music scenes, so that those communities and businesses continue to flourish together.

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CMW announces 2017 dates and the first Austin-Toronto showcase

Canadian Music Week 2017 will take over Toronto from April 18 – 22. The four-night festival will host over 800 showcasing bands at more than 40 venues in the city’s downtown. 2017’s convention will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West.

CMW 2017

At CMW 2016, global city planners and the music industry met for The Mastering Of A Music City, a one-day international creative economy summit, which was inspired by Music Canada’s report of the same name. Austin was a focal point of the conference, and the report, because of its incredible music economy, where music tourism accounts for almost half of their US$1.6 billion economic output.

Neill Dixon (right), CEO Canadian Music Week and Don Pitts (left), Music & Entertainment Division Manager - ATX Music & Entertainment Division, City of Austin. Photo via CMW.

Neill Dixon (right), CEO Canadian Music Week and Don Pitts (left), Music & Entertainment Division Manager – ATX Music & Entertainment Division, City of Austin. Photo via CMW.

CMW 2017 will present the first Austin-Toronto showcase, featuring premier talent from both cities. The showcase is an outcome of the recent Austin-Toronto Alliance Summit, where industry leaders met in Toronto in June of 2016. The Music City Alliance between Toronto and Austin was formed in 2013 to promote mutual growth opportunities between governments and industry.

For more information on CMW 2017, head over to their website at www.cmw.net

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Does Toronto need a night mayor? Music Canada’s Amy Terrill asks the question in Huffington Post article

Music Cities banner

Amsterdam was the first city to appoint a night mayor, and since then the concept has grown in popularity as cities attempt to foster vibrant nightlife economies, while balancing the needs of residents. Is this concept a good fit for Toronto? In a new Huffington Post Canada article, Music Canada’s Amy Terrill asks; Does Toronto Need A Night Mayor?  This piece follows Music Canada’s previous Huffington Post submission Making Music History Work For The Present.

For further information on the topic of Music Cities, you can download Music Canada and IFPI’s 2015 report The Mastering Of A Music City.

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MEGAPHONO 2016 – ‘In Search of the Music City’ panel video posted

Ottawa-based music organization MEGAPHONO has posted a video of their In Search Of The Music City: What Does Local Business Have To Gain? panel, which it co-presented in February 2016 alongside the Ontario Music Industry Coalition (OMIC).

The discussion was moderated by Music Canada Live‘s Erin Benjamin and featured panelists Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA), Councillor Jeff Leiper (City of Ottawa), Amy Terrill (Music Canada) and Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon / Supercrawl). The panelists shared how music has changed their communities, and how they are working businesses to foster a better environment for artists and artist entrepreneurs.

The full video is available at https://vimeo.com/164892912, and is embedded below.

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Town of Aurora Approves Music Strategy

Earlier this week, the Town of Aurora, ON, approved of a music strategy which will guide local policy and support the needs of existing music businesses as the Town continues in its plans for development. The strategy will support Aurora musicians, create easier access to music programs, and support music programs for disadvantaged communities.

The music strategy acknowledges the significant role of music in providing employment, attracting tourism, and generating spending in other sectors of the local economy. Further, the strategy shows that the Town of Aurora understands how much a vibrant music sector can contribute to the social and cultural fabric of a community.

The five areas of focus in the strategy include:

  1. Supporting an environment friendly to music creators;
  2. Encouraging the business of music in Aurora;
  3. Promoting Aurora’s music sector locally;
  4. Fostering alliances with other music cites; and,
  5. Implementing a process for monitoring progress and measuring success.

Aurora’s music strategy follows the key recommendations of Music Canada’s The Mastering of a Music City report, which is a roadmap for communities of all sizes can follow to realize the full potential of their music economy. The global report is the result of more than forty interviews with music community experts, government officials, and community leaders. Nearly a year since its release, the report continues to drive policy discussions around music in cities around the world.

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Vancouver City Council to Consider Music Friendly Policies

The Commodore Ballroom
Earlier this week, a motion to explore options for increasing city support for music and musicians was brought before Vancouver’s City Council. The motion was raised by Councillor Heather Deal and was referred to the City’s Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities.

“Vancouver is home to a vibrant, multicultural music ecology,” the motion reads, calling attention to the numerous musicians, live music venues, independent music producers, and recording studios which call the city home. It also recognizes the recent announcement by the Government of BC which will see $15 million in funding towards the creation of a BC Music Fund.

The motion proposes that city staff explore options which would make the city more music and musician-friendly. These include:

  • creating a working group focused on music,
  • advocating for and supporting music education,
  • exploring a multi-city music alliance with other cities with a strong music community,
  • working with Tourism Vancouver and Business Improvement Areas to identify and support tourism opportunities,
  • seeking further opportunities to leverage city-owned properties for use by artists, including musicians,
  • continuing to reduce unnecessary processes and regulations which affect music production and performance.

The Downtown Vancouver BIA was instrumental in sparking the conversation regarding city music policies, by bringing together Vancouver’s business and music community, as well as City staff and Councillors Elizabeth Ball, Heather Deal, and Adriane Carr, for a discussion on music cities earlier this month. Music Canada’s Graham Henderson spoke at the event regarding the role cities can play in incubating music scenes, and presented findings from Music Canada’s The Mastering of a Music City report, which outlines a roadmap that communities of all sizes can follow to realize the full potential of their music economy, as well as our new report, BC’s Music Sector: From Adversity to Opportunity, which highlights British Columbia’s wealth of talented artists and music assets and the factors that have put these assets at risk.

The report, citing in-depth interviews with more than 100 individuals in BC’s music sector, details the numerous benefits that a vibrant music economy, alongside supportive city policy, can bring. These benefits are not limited to quality of life and cultural development, but include economic diversification, the attraction and retention of talent in other industries, and music tourism.

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