Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Music momentum!

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Today was a big day for music in Ottawa as the City announced the winners of its remarkably buzz-worthy #ottmusik initiative, and more importantly recognized music as an economic driver in the City.

The first big news is that, now, when you call 311, you'll hear original music by Ottawa artists. A full description of the initiative including chosen artists is at While I hope you never have to wait long when you call the City for service, this will be a great alternative to elevator music when you get put on hold. It's an innovative platform for our local talent.



More substantively, I've been working with music industry representatives in Ottawa as well as City staff including in our Arts and Culture and Economic Development branches to champion a new focus on the music industry as an economic driver. Today, City Council approved the Partnerships for Innovation Economic Development Strategy Update 2015-2018 (file attached to this post below). That document commits the City to action on supporting and growing the music industry in Ottawa.

It's a small step, but aligned with the momentum we're seeing toward a more cohesive, proactive approach to building the music industry in this City. I've worked in my professional career on demonstrating the importance of music scenes to economic development. The direct benefits are clear, but the indirect benefits could be even greater. It's my belief that we need a really strong music scene to attract the kinds of workers we need to build innovative companies that will help us diversity our economy.

I don't foresee making huge investments, but there is a role municipalities can play in fostering strong music scenes. I've commissioned a paper from a local writer exploring how other jurisdictions have found ways to help foster music scenes, and arts and culture in general, to the benefit of the economy. In conjunction with the recently released Connecting Ottawa Music report, I'm encouraged that we're seeing some real momentum toward building on the incredible talent we have here to develop an entire industry.

I'll be releasing my report soon, and my office has been working to have the Connecting Ottawa report translated. City staff are coming back to us within six months or so to put some flesh on the bones of the Partnerships for Innovation plans. It's a great time to be a music fan in Ottawa!

Posted May 13, 2015