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Tag archive: The Mastering of a Music City (22)

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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.

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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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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

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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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Ottawa’s MEGAPHONO to feature Music Cities panel

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From February 2-5, 2016, Ottawa will host the 2nd annual MEGAPHONO music festival, showcasing the nation’s capital’s burgeoning music scene to fans and industry professionals alike. The festival will feature a packed schedule of club gigs, free shows in the Centretown & Hintonburg neighbourhoods, and daily panel discussions beginning February 3.

On Thursday February 4, the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) presents the panel In Search Of The Music City: What Does Local Business Have To Gain? at Live On Elgin (230 Elgin, 2nd Floor). The discussion will be moderated by Music Canada Live‘s Erin Benjamin and will feature panelists Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA), Councillor Jeff Leiper (City of Ottawa), Amy Terrill (Music Canada) and Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon / Supercrawl).

The discussion comes at a crucial point in Ottawa’s push towards growing its thriving music scene, an effort panelist Councillor Jeff Leiper has shown favourable support for. At MEGAPHONO 2015, festival director and Kelp Records’ Jon Bartlett revealed the Ottawa music report Connecting Ottawa Music: A Profile of Ottawa’s Music Industries.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in music in Ottawa,” said Jon Bartlett at the report’s launch. “It’s like nothing I’ve felt in 15 years of living here. We are in the middle of a musical boom here in Ottawa.”

Also in 2015, Music Canada released its Live Music Measures Up report analyzing the economic impact of live music in Ontario, as well as the report The Mastering Of A Music City.

Panel attendance is open to delegate pass holders and MEGAPHONO artists. Delegate badges are still available for $100, as well as general festival passes for $50.

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Music Canada’s submission to the Ontario Cultural Strategy Consultation

As part of the Ontario government’s first Cultural Strategy consultation, Music Canada was pleased to submit the following letter, as well as two of our recent reports, Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario, and The Mastering of a Music City.

The submission highlights the benefits of a vibrant music economy to Ontario communities, including job creation, talent retention, economic growth and diversification, tourism development, brand building and artistic growth, as well as music’s role in connecting communities and building a bridge across cultures, languages, and income levels.

Drawing from the results of our research, the submission identifies opportunities to strengthen the cultural sector, including:

  1. Provincial and municipal coordination
  2. Music tourism promotion
  3. Preservation of cultural heritage
  4. Investment in music education

We look forward to seeing the Ontario Cultural Strategy build on the creation of the Ontario Music Fund and the Ontario Music Tourism Strategy which were both launched in 2013.

View the submission

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Columbus, Ohio: Percolating Ideas for a Music City

Creativity is practically flowing in the streets of Columbus: from artists and musicians to business leaders and city agencies, everyone is walking to an up-tempo beat in this city of more than 800,000.

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During the Independents’ Day Festival, a local music, arts and food experience located in the East Franklinton neighbourhood, the city’s newest cultural hub, I participated in a discussion about an effort to build a Music City. The “How To Build A Music City” initiative has been spearheaded by the Columbus Songwriters Association but has quickly gained the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the city’s tourism agency, Experience Columbus, as well as roughly 100 volunteers. Signs look promising that the initiative will soon receive city funding. At the helm is organizer Joey Hendrickson, who leads the initiative with passion and drive, and a willingness to learn from other cities.

While the initiative is in its early days, some of the program ideas that have broad appeal in the community are live music venue support, honouring “Columbus Sound” and history, a music tech incubator, and an annual music conference.

Columbus impressed me with its investment in creative spaces, a key component for a successful Music City. While that hasn’t translated yet into the much aspired-to music tech incubator, or live music venue support, the city has definitely figured out how to leverage public-private partnerships in order to stimulate creative growth. The East Franklinton area is a case in point. Once a rundown area of the city, just a short walk from City Hall and the State Legislature, East Franklinton is now brimming with creative activity.

I toured two large factories, one that has been converted into artist studios, event and performance spaces and a restaurant. The “How to Build a City” event was held in this building, immediately followed by a music performance. 

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The second factory has been renovated to house what is apparently the largest “makerspace” in the U.S. The Idea Foundry. The Idea Foundry consists of more than 20,000 square feet of space divided into work areas by discipline, including woodworking, metalworking, blacksmithing. It has over 200 members who pay a monthly fee to use the machinery and tools, and who also gain access to lower priced workshops and training.

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Each of these co-op spaces was created with a combination of public and private investment; according to Hendrickson, this is typical of Columbus’ approach to revitalizing neighbourhoods, and has earned the city much recognition.

With built-in affordable living and working spaces for artists of all descriptions, East Franklinton seems less likely to fall victim to the often-quoted sequence of gentrified neighbourhoods that we reference in The Mastering of a Music City: rundown area; artists and musicians come in, make it ‘cool’; rents go up and artists and musicians can’t afford to stay there any longer.

If the How to Build a Music City initiative is predicated by this same balanced approach, I am confident it will be very successful.

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Best Practices from ‘Mastering of a Music City’ Report Applied in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Music community advocates in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, have taken the Mastering of a Music City report and used it as a roadmap in the development of their own Music City.

Earlier this month, Volume One magazine published its “Music Capital of the North – Let’s Invest” themed issue. The articles within look at how The Mastering of a Music City report can be applied to Eau Claire, and makes the case for investment and support of the city’s growing music community.

Following the advice of the report, the magazine spoke with artists in the local community and took inventory of Eau Claire’s music assets, looking at how the city’s local musicians ranked Eau Claire on several key indicators: artists and musicians, the local music scene, access to spaces and places, a receptive and engaged audience, music-related businesses, government support for music, broader city infrastructure, music education, and music history.

The article goes on to outline a case for investment in Eau Claire’s music economy by examining the benefits that a Music City can bring and then proposing 13 recommendations that would help make Eau Claire a thriving Music City.

The Mastering of a Music City is a global report that is intended as a universal roadmap that can be used to create and develop Music Cities anywhere in the world. The strategies and recommendations are flexible in order to recognize local variations in music, culture, economies, and politics. They can be applied equally to well-established Music Cities seeking to further enhance their music economies and to nascent, aspiring Music Cities. They are relevant to communities both large and small.

We are thrilled at the response that The Mastering of a Music City has generated in music communities around the world. It was always our hope that the report would inspire others to build and strengthen Music Cities in their own communities, and Eau Claire is a great example of that in practice.

 

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