Performers onstage at Boots & Hearts outdoor music festival

So What Is The Music Council?

You may be coming to this blog or website having just heard of us for the first time, or be quite familiar with our work over the last few years. Either way you probably have questions about who we are, what we are trying to accomplish, and why this matters.  

First some history. The Central Ontario Music Council, or MusicCo, started with a series of conversations among a few of Barrie’s political leaders and music professionals. Our president, Chas Hay, decided to act and formed the council as a group of people that were active in the music industry as musicians, venues, promoters and others. For the first few years MusicCo worked as partners with other organizations, and we were fundamental to the development of the Simcoe County Music Strategy, a major music summit, a weekend of music mentorship with Canada’s Music Incubator, and more! 

In 2020, we made the decision to become a more formal organization dedicated to building commercial music in Central Ontario. This meant incorporating as a not-for-profit corporation. As you can see, we are launching our new website, developing and implementing strategy and working on new ideas and programs, all with the intention of build Central Ontario into a world class destination for live music. Additionally, we are active in the community, playing key roles on the City of Barrie’s Performing Arts Centre Task Force and on the City of Barrie Arts Advisory Committee, where our Executive Director, Greg Groen, serves as the chair. Our strategy is based on the Simcoe County Music Strategy Report, and we are closely aligned with Music Canada’s Music City initiative

This initiative is driven by a passion for music and a recognition of the amazing benefits that a great music scene can bring to the community. We all understand how much fun it can be to go to shows, festivals and concerts, and that excitement is a big part of why we are doing this, but there’s a lot more to it. Music feeds and supports our bars, restaurants and venues, it creates jobs in hospitality, music studios, promotions and public relations, generates tax and tourism revenue, brings the community together and helps attract new businesses of all types. In fact every full time musician in a community creates 3.7 additional new jobs. 

So what can you expect in the future? First, you can expect to see and hear a lot more from us. We will be running development programs and seminars, promoting music tourism in the region, highlighting great concerts, shows and events, and working to support our artists and the music community any way we can. Meanwhile, spend some time checking out our website, follow us on Facebook, or reach out with any questions you may have.