2017 Forecast...with Music Canada Live's Erin Benjamin

Music Canada Live Executive Director Erin Benjamin
Music Canada Live Executive Director Erin Benjamin

The following is the second in a series of forecasts and reflections about the music business in Canada that readers can expect to see in FYI in the coming weeks. Today we feature a submission from Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live.

OTTAWA: With 2017 well underway, Music Canada Live continues its work to raise awareness of the economic, social and cultural benefits of live music in Canada. Taking a look back, Music Canada Live reflects on our many successes in 2016.

The organization’s accomplishments included laying out its policy agenda for 2017, doubling membership to over 100 from coast to coast to coast, a partnership with Canadian Music Week on the first-annual Canadian Live Music Industry Awards, as well as cultivating over 25 key strategic partnerships across Canada.

As listed in our recently published 2016 Year in Review, Music Canada Live’s activities included the following in its second year of operation:

  • Music Canada Live shared recommendations for the Department of Canadian Heritage's Cultural Policy Review. The submission was made to support the Minister Melanie Joly’s efforts as she re-imagines this country's cultural policy framework and to reinforce the economic, social and cultural value of live music.

  • Behind the scenes support for the BC Music Fund and it’s $15 million dollar investment in the industry. The organization’s support ensured the voice of the membership was reflected in priorities and guidelines.

  • Co-presenters of the inaugural Live Music Industry Awards with founding member, Canadian Music Week, Saturday, May 7, 2016. The 2nd Annual Live Music Industry Awards will be held Friday, April 19, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

  • Music Canada Live led, initiated and/or participated in many key conversations across the country involving live music including tax legislation, immigration issues, municipal bylaw and zoning reviews, policies challenges, changes as well as funding programs. Additionally, the organization hosted a variety of live-specific meetings with municipal music offices, venues and live music leadership in a number of Canadian cities.

  • A new board of directors was elected in September, welcoming additional leadership from across the country.

  • Music Canada Live and its members worked closely with MPP for Kingston and the Islands (ON), Sophie Kiwala on her Private Member's Bill amendment to the Ticket Speculation Act. Music Canada Live continues to offer resources and expertise to the MPP and Attorney General to help ensure new Ontario legislation reflects the best interests of the industry and consumers.

  • Music Canada Live sent letters to Ministers Morneau, Joly, Chagger and FINA Committee Chair Easter helping them to understand the impact of the low dollar on the Canadian live music industry. Read Executive Director Erin Benjamin’s letter to the industry, published on FYI Music News.

  • Music Canada Live was pleased to produce and participate in the inaugural Austin-Toronto Music Business Trade Summit in Toronto, June 2016. Attendees included music industry professionals from businesses operating in either Austin TX or Toronto, City Councillors along with Toronto Mayor John Tory.

  • Music Canada Live published two smart practices guides. The Smart Practice Guides outline industry experts' insights into general practices that live music companies can apply to facets of their business.

  • In 2016 three Regional Advisory councils were established, each with a for and not for profit chair. The program brings live music stakeholders together to discuss issues and challenges impacting their particular region/city. The Regional Advisory Council Program launched November 2015 with the first Councils in BC and Quebec.

As Music Canada Live welcomes 2017 and Canada’s 150th year, we will continue to ensure:

  • That live music has representation at policy tables at every level of government.

  • That research that reinforces the economic weight and significance of the sector is prioritized.

  • That the association continues to build strong, stand-alone relationships with government, the tourism sector and key corporate and other partners that advance the common goals and needs of members.

Thanks to the many stakeholders who continue to support the association and recognize the value and power of a strong and united voice for Canada's live music industry.