One of the final announcements made by Michael Coteau as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport was the release of Ontario’s Tourism Action Plan. Since the release, Eleanor McMahon has been appointed Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport, and Michael Coteau is now Minister of Children and Youth Services. In the Plan, the province’s tourism industry is said to generate over $28.5 billion annually, which represents 4% of the GDP.
According to the press release, sector wide engagement across the diverse tourism industry produced an agreement amongst leaders – the need for immediate action. The Plan identifies five priority areas the Government will focus on: Indigenous-led tourism, Francophone tourism, the sharing economy, culture and sport linkages, and events and celebrations.
Music Canada has found that live music events and celebrations contribute significantly to Ontario’s economy. In our report, Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario, we determined that in 2013, the total impact of music tourism in Ontario was 9,530 jobs, $405.1 million in labour income, and $609.1 million in gross domestic product.
The Action Plan’s five priority areas are further broken down into twelve action items. Several of them provide clear opportunities for the live music, and music tourism sectors:
- An Investment Approach for Economic Growth recognizes that investment from the private sector is critical to increasing visitation and creating jobs.
- A New Approach to Data Collection to Improve Data Quality and Availability could allow for data relating to music events, whether it’s live or recorded music, to be collected in its own independent category.
- Working Together to Improve the Business Climate for Tourism – Reduce Regulatory Burdens. The Government has expressed a commitment to improving the regulatory environment for the tourism industry, and plans to hold discussions with industry partners to prioritize regulatory challenges faced by the sector. In Live Music Measures Up, Music Canada found that the legal and regulatory environment was the only factor live music companies in Ontario identified as having a net negative impact on their success.
We encourage our partners involved in live music and events to continue to engage in discussions, and provide feedback to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport as more detailed plans are developed.