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Tag archive: Toronto (28)

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Toronto’s music community discusses building a Music City in NOW Magazine cover story

nowtorontomusiccity

NOW Magazine’s October 13, 2016 cover, featuring Alaska B. of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan.

Last week, NOW Magazine’s cover story, entitled “Dreaming of Music City,” featured interviews with ten members of Toronto’s local music community including artists, promoters, producers, record label owners, and music festival operators. They were asked about their experiences and the challenges they see for Toronto in becoming a world-renowned Music City.

The article highlights several important issues, including: the safety of musicians (and audiences) who belong to marginalized groups, affordable housing for musicians and artists, music industry-community collaboration, and music venue accessibility. Government funding, entertainment districts, and the use of public space for music are also discussed as policies for the city’s consideration.

Since the release of The Mastering of a Music City report in Summer 2015—a report which serves as a roadmap for cities seeking to grow their music communities and become Music Cities with vibrant, actively promoted music economies—Music Canada has travelled to music events and policy conferences around the world to share Music City best practices and strategies.

Our report touched on some of the issues presented in the recent NOW Magazine article, but a lot has happened in Music Cities development in the last year that may inspire solutions to many of the concerns expressed by Toronto’s music community:

  • Affordable housing and the threat of gentrification are issues for artists in most major cities. A few years ago, Nashville, Tennessee recognized this and the City collaborated with the Music City Music Council and members of the arts community to create an arts-focused affordable apartment residence called Ryman Lofts. The residence offers affordable housing in the city specifically for artists.
  • The city of Aarhus, Denmark has Music City aspirations. MONO, an organization for active rhythmic musicians in the city, operates a professional development and gathering space where artists can rent rehearsal facilities, a concert venue, attend workshops, record music, store their music gear, and network with others in the community. MONO has 40 rooms and is used by over 120 bands.
  • In Fort Collins, Colorado, private investment from the Bohemian Foundation and community organization led to the creation of The Music District. The Music District is a collection of five buildings which have been (and are still in the process of being) converted into a music hub. Artists can reserve or rent rehearsal spaces, attend music workshops, rent and service equipment, and practice their performances all within the facility.
  • Bogota, Columbia is a leader in using music to activate parks and public spaces. The city’s al Parque festivals are supported by the Ministry of Culture and various arts organizations. Throughout the city, throughout the year, and all for free, Bogota draws hundreds of thousands of music fans to its public parks where local, national, and international artists of all genres play for massive audiences.

It is important to recognize, as the authors of the NOW Magazine article do, the progress that the City of Toronto has made towards its Music City goals: the signing and meeting of the Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance, the creation of the Toronto Music Advisory Council, council’s adoption of the Toronto Music Strategy. The experiences and perspectives of the music community are critical to the growth of the Music City project, and this kind of discussion is an important part of the process.

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Muse receive Platinum plaques for Drones

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Photo credit: Warner Music Canada

UK rock trio Muse were in Toronto over the weekend kicking off a Canadian leg of their world tour in support of their 2015 album Drones. Prior to their Air Canada Centre concert on January 16, the band were presented with Platinum award plaques for Drones by Warner Music Canada. It is the fourth Canadian Platinum album certification for the band, joining 2006’s Black Holes And Revelations, 2009’s The Resistance and 2012’s The 2nd Law.

Muse will play Quebec City tonight, followed by 2 nights at the Bell Centre in Montreal January 20-21. Judging by their Instagram posted below, the band is certainly making the best of the winter months in Canada!

When in Canada, let's go Curling!

A photo posted by MUSE (@muse) on

The music video for “Dead Inside”, the opening track off Drones, can be viewed below:

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Music Cities article featured in Huffington Post

Music Cities bannerWhat is music’s place in our heritage? How important is its preservation? In Making Music History Work For The Present, Music Canada’s first article published on Huffington Post Canada, Amy Terrill (VP Public Affairs) discusses music’s importance in honouring a city’s cultural heritage as well as ensuring a healthy and vibrant future, citing specific examples from Music Cities around the world like London, Nashville, New Orleans, and Toronto.

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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What last night’s municipal election results mean for music sector development in Ontario

Last night, voters across Ontario went to the polls to vote in municipal elections, determining new leadership in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Brampton, London, Windsor, and more.

In Toronto, residents elected John Tory to be the city’s 65th mayor. Music Canada has congratulated Mayor-Elect Tory, and we look forward to working with him and the newly elected council to continue to develop Toronto’s music sector. Many of the returning councillors have demonstrated a deep understanding of the value of music in Toronto and have supported efforts to promote and stimulate this important sector.

Early in his election campaign, Tory announced plans to support the growth of the music industry in Toronto. His plan is made up of three main points:

  1. Support the creation of a stand-alone Music Office: one stop shop to get things moving
  2. Work with the live music community to attract more music tourists to Toronto
  3. Work with the Music Community to Create a Plan for a more active Outdoor Festival Schedule

Tory reiterated his plans for the music sector in our music policy survey, stating that Toronto’s “Music Office will be established within the Economic Development department and will open in 2015” and adding “the importance of the music community and the broader creative sector cannot be understated.”

In his acceptance speech, Tory spoke of the need to tackle unemployment for youth in Toronto, and spoke of plans to work with business partners to foster opportunities for young people. Music can help. Our Next Big Bang report recommends municipalities work with their music communities in order to support local music scenes, and leverage them to attract music tourists, attract and retain creative workers, and attract businesses from all sectors of the economy. A 2009 report on the future of tourism in Ontario found that tourism is the single largest employer of young people in the province, and our Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas report applies specific best practices to Toronto.

Toronto has made great strides in the development of its music sector in recent years; notably with the hiring of a music sector development officer last month, the creation of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council last December, and the partnership with Austin, Texas in the world’s first Music City Alliance, signed in October 2013. Tory’s plans to create a stand-alone Music Office will continue this momentum by reducing red tape and stimulating greater activity in the music community.

 

Elsewhere in the province, a number of strong candidates who have been strong advocates for the music sector were elected as well:

Congratulations to Berry Vrbanovic, who was elected mayor of Kitchener last night, building on his 20-year experience as a city councillor. As a councillor, Vrbanovic championed music as an economic driver and a vital contributor to local culture. Vrbanovic represented Kitchener at last summer’s Music Cities Exchange panel, which was hosted by Music Canada, 4479, and NXNE, and featured public and private representatives from six cities that are working proactively to develop their local music sectors.

Vrbanovic promoted the development of Kitchener’s arts and creative sectors as part of his platform, calling for further development of Kitchener’s Music Works program by creating a film and music officer position and pursuing provincial funding to develop a music resource centre. Vrbanovic also states his support for the continued development of the live music scene in Kitchener’s downtown entertainment district, and intent to work with Waterloo Region Tourism to develop tourism promotion opportunities.

 

Congratulations to Jeff Leiper, who was elected councillor in Ottawa’s Kitchissippi ward. In his recent role as Vice President, Strategic Communications, Research and Policy at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Leiper was instrumental in the development of the Music – A Catalyst For Technology Hubs And Innovative Talent report, which was supported by Music Canada and released last year. The report found that support from all levels of government for music education and scenes can help foster a talented tech workforce. Music education, the report finds, helps bridge gaps between technical know-how and critical soft skills, while the presence of music scenes in cities can help attract and retain skilled workers.

Leiper has also promoted music tourism and the development of Ottawa’s music sector as part of his platform, campaigning on the creation of a Music Office in Canada’s capital city. “As a researcher, I’ve taken a look at the economic benefits of focusing on music performance in a city – specifically using great music scenes as a way to attract tech workers,” wrote Leiper in June.

 

Several other cities have implemented or explored ways to build and capitalize on their music sector for greater economic benefits, including Windsor, London, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Peterborough. Music Canada looks forward to working with municipal leaders throughout the province to help them advance their communities through music.

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Ticket Giveaway: Retweet To Attend A Screening Of WHIPLASH In Toronto On October 23, 2014

On Thursday October 23, 2014, Mongrel Media & 4479 proudly present Whiplash at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre, and an evening of Canadian Music in support of the charity MusiCounts. A favourite among festival goers this year, Whiplash tells the story of Andrew Neyman (played by Miles Teller), an aspiring young jazz drummer whose ambitious instructor (J.K. Simmons) helps push his ability using unorthodox (but effective) training methods.

Following the screening, we’ll head on over from Scotiabank Theatre to Adelaide Hall for the official after party!

Want to go? Simply retweet Music Canada’s tweet below by Wednesday October 22 at 12 PM and you’ll be automatically entered to win a pair of tickets to the screening and after party. You must be 19+ to enter. Transportation to Toronto will not be provided.

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USS Presented With Gold Plaques At Hometown Festival

Photo courtesy of Coalition Music

Photo courtesy of Coalition Music

Over the weekend, alt-dance duo Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) were presented with their first official Canadian Gold award plaques in front of a hometown crowd at Toronto’s Echo Beach. The plaques commemorate their single “This Is The Best” selling over 40,000 digital downloads in Canada since it’s 2013 release. The headlining performance was part of rock station 102.1 The Edge’s Edgefest Summer Concert Series and fans shared their festival experience using the appropriately named hashtag #ThisIsTheFest.

To show appreciation for their loyalty to the band over the years, USS and Coalition Music also presented 102.1 The Edge staff and on-air personalities with their own Gold plaques.

Check out the lyric video for “This Is The Best” below.

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The Sheepdogs Presented With Gold Plaques In Toronto

sheepdogsgoldCongratulations to Saskatchewan’s The Sheepdogs, who were presented with their Gold Digital Download plaques for the rock hit “Feeling Good” before their Canada Day show at Toronto’s Echo Beach. The track comes off their 2013 Gold album The Sheepdogs released by Warner Music Canada. The plaques feature custom action figurines of the band members which were designed by Toronto artist Kira Shaimanova and featured in the “Feeling Good” music video.

 

 

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Media Advisory: Toronto music campaign to be launched at NXNE

Toronto, June 11, 2013: A campaign to position Toronto as one of the greatest music cities in the world will be launched at NXNE just one year after the concept was first discussed at the event. A study comparing Toronto to Austin Texas was released at NXNE by Music Canada in 2012 recommending, among other things, an industry-led initiative to brand the city’s music scene.

That brand will be revealed on June 13 by a panel consisting of:

Graham Henderson, Music Canada
Josh Colle, Toronto City Councillor
Mike Tanner, NXNE
Jesse Kumagai, The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
Andrew Weir, Tourism Toronto

The Toronto music city campaign will activate artists, industry supporters, and fans of the Toronto music community in order to create more awareness about Toronto’s music scene, more opportunities for live music in Toronto and a more music-friendly City Hall.

When: Thursday, June 13 @ 4:15 pm
Where: NXNE Interactive, The Hyatt Regency, 370 King Street West, Room: Regency D

To arrange interviews, please contact Amy Terrill at aterrill@musiccanada.com or 416-967-7272 x 103.

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For more information:

Music Canada Media Contact: Amy Terrill 647-963-6044 aterrill@musiccanada.com 647-963-6044

NXNE Media Contact FLIP PUBLICITY Damien Nelson 416.533.7710 X221 damien@flip-publicity.com

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