TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Toronto is one of the greatest music
cities in the world and yet it could be doing much more to maximize the
economic benefits of the music cluster. That is the finding of a
report commissioned by Music Canada and released today at NXNE
Accelerating Toronto's Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices
from Austin, Texas was presented by Author Nikki Rowling and discussed by panelists City
Councillor Josh Colle, live music venue operator and promoter Jeff
Cohen, and Music Canada President Graham Henderson.
"The music cluster strategy is an important step forward to helping
Toronto claim its rightful place as one of the best music cities in the
world. With legendary live music venues, a vibrant recording industry,
and celebrated festivals such as NXNE, Toronto's music scene is second
to none," says City Councillor Josh Colle.
Music Canada, which represents the major multinational music companies
in Canada, who employ hundreds of Torontonians in their Canadian
headquarters, commissioned the study in order to identify how Toronto
can compete with cities like Austin, Texas, which advertises itself as
the "Live Music Capital of the World".
"Toronto is one of the top two or three music cities in North America.
The music community generates thousands of jobs and enormous economic
spinoffs including tourism, and yet it is not recognized as an
important commercial sector that warrants a strategy or promotion,"
explains Graham Henderson. "Imagine what we could do with a plan like Austin's, or in fact, with
the type of recognition and promotion that has been extended to
Toronto's successful film and television sector."
Accelerating Toronto's Music Industry Growth demonstrates that in Austin, music is considered commerce, and the
commercial music sector has been identified as a key component of the
economy. In Toronto, according to the report, music is considered art
and has been undervalued as an economic contributor. It outlines some
of the challenges faced by recording studios and live music venues and
advocates for a more business-friendly environment.
"Toronto has one of the highest ratios of live music venues to
population in North America," says Jeff Cohen of Collective Concerts. "This privately created asset can be leveraged
in order to increase tourism and other economic spinoffs, but it first
must be recognized as an important sector of the community. This
should begin at City Hall with the creation of a licensing category for
live music venues, rather than lumping them in with pool halls,
restaurants or dance clubs, and the establishment of a single point of
contact for live music similar to the Film and Television office. "
Create a Music Industry Board to provide industry input through the
Economic Development Committee;
Create a Music Industry Office to provide coordination across the
various city departments that deal with issues relating to live music
events and venues;
Create a Provincial Ontario Music Office;
Expand the Provincial Music Production Tax Credit to mirror the
successful film and television tax credits;
Proactively pursue music tourism programs included a multi-day
international music festival.
Toronto's music cluster was discussed by Toronto's Economic Development
Committee on February 21, 2012 at which time Music Canada presented
early findings of this study. City staff has been directed to return
to the committee with a report and recommendations.
About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the
major music companies in Canada, namely EMI Music Canada, Sony Music
Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada.
Music Canada also provides certain membership benefits to some of the
leading independent record labels and distributors. Its members are
engaged in all aspects of the recording industry, including the
manufacture, production, promotion and distribution of music.
Now in its 18th year, North by Northeast Festivals and Conference (NXNE)
has become the Canadian festival destination for emerging artists and
major-label headliners, for music filmmakers, and for digital
interactive innovators bridging the gap between technology and the
arts. Seen as the most anticipated summer music event in Canada, NXNE
Music, NXNE Film, and NXNE Interactive are an essential gathering for
artists, industry, and fans.
SOURCE Music Canada
For further information:
Amy Terrill - Vice President Public Affairs, Music Canada