Today the City of Ottawa took its next major step forward towards becoming an established music city with the adoption of its first official Music Strategy.

Cover of the Ottawa Music Strategy

The Ottawa Music Strategy builds on existing momentum within the music industry, presenting a three-year plan to further propel growth, better integrate music into ‘brand Ottawa’ and increase collaboration between the City and the industry, including on regulatory issues that affect music businesses.

Specific phase one recommendations put forward by the independent task force assembled for the strategy and approved by Council today include: working towards the establishment of a music development officer; increased support for the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition; promotion of a music-friendly regulatory environment; and the integration of music into future economic development and tourism strategies.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved when we all work together! All of us in the Ottawa music industry are excited about what the next few years will bring,” notes Mark Monahan, Executive Director of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest & CityFolk and President of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition.

OMIC was proud to serve as the City’s lead partner in the development of the strategy alongside consultants from Spruce Creative and Face Value Communications.

Andrew Vincent of Spruce Creative, the lead consultant on the strategy, said, “It has been really exciting to see this strategy take shape. Throughout the process, there has been an incredible spirit of collaboration across government, industry and community lines that, I believe, will continue to create amazing new opportunities for Ottawa's growth as a music city.”

The strategy is available in full here.

A PDF version of our press release is available here.

While this strategy truly represents a real coming together of the music industry, supporting industries, various City departments and music fans across the city, the shape of the consultation process would not have been possible without the following team:

Andrew Vincent, Lead Consultant (Spruce Creative)

Derek Johnston (Face-Value Communications)

Jamie Hurst (City of Ottawa, Economic Development)

Kwende Kefentse / Cathy Shepertycki (City of Ottawa, Cultural Services)

A huge thanks also to the task force of industry and community leaders who developed the vision for Ottawa as a music city and worked the large numbers of recommendations that came out of the focus group and survey processes into an actionable short-term plan:

Martin Arseneau (Réseau Ontario)

Erin Benjamin (Music Canada Live)

Michael Crockatt (Ottawa Tourism)

Jon Evenchick (LIVE! On Elgin)

Adella Khan (Ottawa Beat)

Philippe Lafrenière (Souljazz Orchestra)

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 (Festival of Small Halls)