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OTTAWA, ONTARIO (July 11, 2017) – Ottawa has taken a major step towards creating a customized music strategy aimed at transforming the Nation’s Capital into one of the world’s premier music cities.

Thanks to funding from the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Music Industries Coalition (OMIC) has been tasked with leading this groundbreaking initiative. OMIC has assembled a group of leading music industry representatives to work with their constituent groups to develop a series of practical recommendations.

At its first meeting, members of the Ottawa Music Strategy Task Force shared ideas and aspirations about the impact of a fully developed local music industry on the economy, local culture, the experience of visitors and the quality of life for residents.

Their vision sees music as an essential and undeniable part of Ottawa’s emerging identity as a world-class city: one that is recognized across Canada and around the world as a hotbed of new talent, an exciting place for artists and entrepreneurs looking to establish a career in music, and as a place where music is at the heart of city building.

“This has the potential to be a significant turning point for the city, putting us on a path towards being widely recognized as a true ‘music city,’” said Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Music has the power to be a real differentiator for people who live here, who work in the industry, and for visitors looking for a unique, authentic experience.”

Over the next several months, the Task Force will conduct a series of consultations with a broad cross-section of people involved in all aspects of the local industry, from musicians and venue owners to producers, promoters, retailers, manufacturers, educators, and members of the media.

“It’s important that we make this a ‘made-in-Ottawa’ strategy,” added Mark Russett, General Manager at Newcap Radio. “Austin (Texas) didn’t try to be Los Angeles or New York. It simply tried to be itself. There’s a good lesson there for us.”

To maximize industry input, the Task Force will also distribute a comprehensive survey to stakeholders this summer and conduct best practice research so that the city can benefit from the experiences of other cities in Canada and internationally.

“Ottawa already has many of the hallmarks of a great music city – starting with the incredible artists who make their home here,” said Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Canada’s national live music industry association, Music Canada Live. “A focused, robust music strategy will not only help us to identify and respond to opportunities, it will also cement the value and power of our local music economy into the fabric of city planning.”

The Task Force will have a series of pragmatic and achievable recommendations ready to present to Ottawa City Council in early 2018. Project updates will be posted to the OMIC website.

A list of Ottawa Music Strategy Task Force members is provided below:

Martin Arseneau (Réseau Ontario)

Bear Witness (A Tribe Called Red)

Erin Benjamin (Music Canada Live)

Michael Crockatt (Ottawa Tourism)

John Evenchick (LIVE! On Elgin)

Adella Khan (Ottawa Beat)

Jeff Leiper (City Councillor, Kitchissippi)

Trevor Mason (DJ Mace / Carivibe)

Robin Moir (Musicians’ Association Local 180)

Andrew Peck (Glebe BIA)

Mark Russett (Newcap Radio)

Shawn Scallen (Spectrasonic)

Jesse Stewart (Carleton University)

Kelly Symes (RBC Ottawa Bluesfest / Festival of Small Halls)

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For more information, contact:

Andrew Vincent

Ottawa Music Industry Coalition