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Civic Impact

Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council holds meeting

Since June of last year, Yonge Street has been following the new Toronto music campaign: 4479 Toronto.
Thanks to 4479 organizing, Toronto and Austin, homes of the NXNE and SXSW music festivals respectively, officially entered into music city partnership this past October. And now, five months later, 4479 has achieved another of its ambitious goals - the creation of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council (MAC).
The idea for a Toronto music advisory board was first floated in a 2012 Music Canada report entitled "Accelerating Toronto's Music Industry Growth - Leveraging Best Practices from Austin Texas". Among its many suggestions, the report suggested that Toronto should create a music advisory board similar in structure to the one in Austin, Texas. Completed for music industry advocacy group Music Canada by a third-party researcher,  "Accelerating Toronto's Music Industry" became the basis for the 4479 campaign. 
MAC, a board of 30 music industry professionals, includes musicians, venue owners, and studio executives. It's co-chaired by Toronto-based singer/songwriter Amanda Martinez and Councillor Michael Thompson and will meet once a month to discuss strategies for promoting Toronto as a "music city."
Last week's inaugural meeting included discussion on how to incorporate more musical performances in major event like the Toronto International Film Festival and the 2015 Pan/ParaPan Games and a bold suggestion from Graham Henderson, president of Music Canada, that the city needs to "look at economic development throughout a music lens."

In a letter sent this week to members of City Council, Music Canada said of new advisory group, "MAC will provide unprecedented opportunity for dialogue between the entrepreneurs and artists who make up our music cluster and City Council and city departments that interact with music on a regular basis.  It will provide regular engagement of organizations like Tourism Toronto and TABIA who are critical partners in our city building efforts.  In short, it will help us work together to build on potential areas of growth and improvement and to create new opportunities for jobs and investment."

4479 (the numbers refer to city's longitude and latitude points) was announced as part of this year's NXNE festival. A coalition led by Music Canada--and made up of members from the music industry, tourism, municipal government and business--the campaign's avowed goal is "to position Toronto as one of the greatest music cities in the world."

Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: 4479, MAC
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