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Ottawa music industry sees funding boost from Queen's Park

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Fresh on the heels of its JUNOs success, which will leave a music industry legacy in Ottawa for years to come, the provincial government has announced funding that will keep the momentum going.

The latest Ontario Music Fund (OMF) recipients include area music mainstays such as Rolf Klausener and Kelp Records, as well as Aboriginal Experiences and the Arboretum Festival. Other recipients include CityFolk, Ottawa Chamber Music Society, Ottawa Bluesfest and others. Label and promoter Spectrasonic also received support.

The Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), with which the City has partnered to develop a music strategy for Ottawa, was also a funding winner under the total $15 million program to support Ontario’s music industry.

It’s great news for all of Ottawa’s recipients and for our local music industry. The JUNOs this year, in partnership with Ottawa 2017, filled venues across the city – in every ward – with live music, in addition to their spectacular live broadcast. The JUNO Host Committee and OMIC took advantage of the spotlight to work with Mayor Jim Watson and myself to announce an initiative that will lead to Ottawa’s very first music strategy, which will accelerate our scene’s talent and develop our professionals, who are attracting national and international attention.

Work on that strategy is now well underway and consultations with industry stakeholders will start this spring. I asked the Mayor what he made of the significant funding announcements made yesterday.

“Ottawa boasts one of the most vibrant festival scenes in North America,” Mayor Watson said. “The JUNOs were a unique opportunity to re-introduce residents across Ottawa to the major local talent we have here. What struck me during JUNO Week was watching the hard-working professionals – label owners, managers, promoters and others – working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring Ottawa music to the rest of the country and beyond. With the right support, including this most recent round of OMF funding from the Province, I’m confident that Ottawa’s music industry can grow significantly and make a substantial contribution to our economy.”

Needless to say, I agree. A vibrant music scene, with great talent, festivals and venues supported by strong music education, broadcasters, retailers and industry professionals is critical if we want to attract and retain talent in a competitive, innovative environment. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the industry, Mayor Watson and the City on our strategy to facilitate even greater success.

(Photo: Steve Adamyk Band at the Dom during JUNOFest, 2017)

Posted April 20, 2017