Despite any anti-Toronto feelings you may harbour (I’m looking at you, Western Canada), there’s no getting around the fact that the city is the epicentre of music in this country. All three of the major labels are headquartered here along with a great chunk of our best-known indies. It’s the media centre of the country. Some of the best studios in Canada can be found in Toronto. The big promoters work out of Toronto, filling the country’s biggest venues. CMW and NXNE are among the most important annual music events. And the club scene is strong virtually ever night of the week.
In other words, if you want to make it at any level, your career will inevitably take you through the city. Sorry if that sounds arrogant, but I don’t mean it to be. These are just the facts.
Given all this and the city’s musical heritage, why isn’t Toronto known as a world capital of music? Great question. The short answer is that Toronto has historically done a lousy job of promoting itself as one. After all, it would be un-Canadian to brag, wouldn’t it?
But given the hundreds of millions of dollars music generates for the city, promoting Toronto as a music city makes only good business sense, not just on a civic or provincial level but on a national one, too.
So how does one go about letting the world know that Toronto could be on par with, say, Austin, Nashville or Memphis? What needs to be done locally to highlight/restore/raise awareness of Toronto’s music history? What’s missing? What do we need more of? What are we doing wrong? Where do we outright suck?
The city’s Music Office would like your input on all these questions as they continue to work through an official music strategy. Take a few minutes to go through this quick survey and offer your opinions. You have until the end of the year to get it done.