City Of Ottawa announces new music strategy
Photo provided by CHUO 89.1 FM
Many familiar faces in the local music community gathered at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards for the “Ottawa as a music city” panel on Friday, March 31, presented by the Juno Host Committee. We were in attendance, along with many other stakeholders to hear an in-depth discussion with speakers Amy Terrill (Executive Vice President of Music Canada), Scott May (owner of Bar Robo), Kelly Symes (General Manager – Festival of Small Halls Ontario), artist/entrepreneur Kathleen Edwards (Quitters Coffee) and Lixar ‘s Shelley Fraser. The productive discussion touched on topics including audience development, challenges and opportunities, and how Ottawa can potentially expand as a “music city.”
A highlight of the event occurred during a speech by Mayor Jim Watson, as he announced that the City of Ottawa will, in collaboration with the industry and the municipality, commit to developing and implementing a concrete music strategy for the region.
The announcement comes as momentum in Ottawa music continues to grow. The first major step came in 2015 with the release of the Connecting Ottawa Music report, which laid out significant challenges that Ottawa faces moving forward as a music city. Since then, the city has funded the creation of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to growing the local music industry. The city’s commitment to a music strategy comes in the wake of a dedicated effort by OMIC, Music Canada Live, long-time music advocate Councillor Jeff Leiper (Kitchissippi Ward), and more.
“The Mayor has seized an important opportunity,” said Music Canada Live Executive Director Erin Benjamin, “to leverage and grow the value of the local music economy. His leadership and support, as well as Councillor Leiper’s, are what will ensure this strategy is a success and, no doubt, one that will inspire other cities to do the same. This is an historic day made all the more meaningful by being able to share this with our national industry colleagues during this year’s JUNO celebrations.”
OMIC will be spearheading the development and implementation of the music strategy. The strategy commits Ottawa to join a growing number of cities – nationally and internationally – in building music industry activity and striving towards achieving benefits including economic growth, cultural development, job creation, increased tax revenue.
We’ll be keeping tabs on the strategy as it moves forward, so be sure to keep checking in for details.
To learn more about next steps, please visit http://ottawamic.com/. To learn more about Music Canada Live, the voice of Canada’s national live music industry association, please contact Executive Director, Erin Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org.