The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) and Music Canada have launched the new OntarioMusicCities.ca site, which is a resource for the broader music community to stimulate economic recovery across Ontario, with funding (administered by the CLMA) to build out and enhance Music Cities work. The support was announced by Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries earlier this year.
“The last 16 months have deeply impacted our live music community, and the sector has seen a devastating 92% average decrease in revenue,” says Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the CLMA. “We thank the Minister for recognizing the integral role live music plays in our quality of life, as well as its significant economic, social, and cultural benefits. While we still face a long road ahead, this critical Music Cities work will pave our way forward and help ensure a more vibrant future - for artists, communities, tourism, and the industry as a whole.”
As part of the initiative, a survey has been launched to help guide communities as they transform toward a thriving music community, and anyone involved in the music scene at a local level is encouraged to participate. The input gathered is the next step in the development of a province-wide Music Cities framework that aims to help the industry return stronger than ever.
“I am thrilled that thanks to the Minister’s support of CLMA, Music Canada’s internationally recognized Music Cities framework will support the viability of more music communities across the province,” adds Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada. “Live music is a crucial revenue stream for Canada’s professional musicians, which creates jobs and drives local tourism. Supporting the business of live music is essential so our industry can get back to doing what they do best: creating exponential economic, social and cultural impact for artists and the communities they call home.”
The provincial Music Cities framework is grounded in Music Canada’s "Music Cities" framework, a model that offers support to communities across the province so they can better leverage their own local live music assets. The framework includes tools and resources that can be implemented to guide the development of local policy and bylaws, and community supports that focus on artists, venues and festivals, the wider supply chain and tourism, so that communities can grow their music economies.
The framework will deliver municipally-focused support and resources to local economies by exploring and recommending initiatives for towns and cities across the province along several categories. These include:
- Advancing policies that support music and musicians,
- Expanding music offices and music Advisory Boards across the province,
- Developing initiatives that engage a broader community,
- Furthering programs that provide access to music spaces,
- Developing audience retention strategies for when it is safe to return to venues, festivals and music spaces,
- Nurturing and leveraging strategic relationships with the tourism, business and other key sectors to align and advance rebuild and recovery efforts.
The CLMA and Music Canada say they remain committed to core values of equity, diversity and inclusion and that by working with a range of organizations within the music community, they will work together to meaningfully gain ground to create a more inclusive music industry.