Musicco represents Central Ontario Globally

From September 7th through the 9th, the Central Ontario Music Council was in Hamilton attending the Music Cities International Forum. Taking place in the days leading up to Hamilton’s fabulous “Supercrawl” festival, the forum centered around music events and economies and how these added to the life of city on many different levels. Topics included developing music economies and events, the impact a city has on creativity and artists, mental health of music industry workers, health and development of small venues, as well as transportation and safety issues.

Music Cities International produced the event, held at a new meeting and concert facility called Bridgeworks, while Sonic Unyon and Supercrawl were the hosts. About 150 people attended the event, many of whom were from Hamilton and involved in the community in some way, but others came from around the world to network and learn from each other.

For an organisation like MusicCo, events like this provide multiple benefits and are an important part of both our organisations and our region’s growth. Here we learn from the experiences of others. We saw some resounding successes, learned about what did and did not work and met like-minded people from all over the world, In Hamilton we heard from Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger about how important music is for their city and how the best decision they made was including art and music in their economic development plans. Musician Mark Sasso (Elliot BROOD) talked about the role cities play for musicians both personally and creatively while city officials from Detroit, Memphis, Boston and more all discussed issues, opportunities and successes in their communities.

On a personal level, MusicCo Executive Director Greg Groen was able network and interact with people in all facets of the music industry from all over the world. From Music Cities advocates in Barcelona, Toronto, Kingston, Torino, Montreal and Hamilton to working musicians from all over, the contacts and networking provide invaluable information and resources. “Meeting people that have the same goals and vision, as well as the same struggles and questions as yourself is inspiring and reassuring. MusicCo is happy to be part of such a vibrant group all striving to ensure the future of music in our regions”, Groen explained.

While long term planning, strategy and economic benefits were all important areas of discussion, other topics such as event safety, safe transport for industry workers, welcoming minority and vulnerable groups, de-coupling music from alcohol and the future of small venues were all discussed at length.