The City of Austin and the City of Toronto have agreed to a partnership called the Toronto-Austin Music Alliance, which creates a structure and demonstrates a commitment to promote and foster the music industry.
The Toronto City Council’s action last week to move forward with the partnership came after the Austin City Council endorsed the program on June 27.
“An even more successful music industry will bring additional creative sector jobs and economic activity to both Austin and Toronto, while allowing for new opportunities for musicians and music lovers in both markets,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “Our vibrant creative sector is spurring job growth and this partnership will only add to that.”
The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, added, "This alliance between our two great music cities builds on a natural connection between our creative communities - creating a pipeline for enhanced trade and tourism. We look forward to this new relationship with Austin, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S."
Once the framework of the newly created Alliance is finalized, the teamship is expected to provide chances for market growth and economic partnerships. The Toronto Council motion was put forward by Councillor Josh Colle who said, “Like Austin, Toronto has an organic and growing music industry that generates significant economic activity. This Alliance will provide more opportunities for both cities to grow their music clusters, share best practices and create new audiences for artists.”
Studies indicate that Austin, known widely as the Live Music Capital of the World and approximately a third the size of Toronto, has produced a music industry that generates three times as much economic activity as Toronto. However, Toronto has a notable and growing number of live music venues, music festivals, recording studios, as well as independent and major labels. The Toronto music industry also generates thousands of jobs and significant economic growth.
“We recently saw the results of a study that showed that in Austin, we’ve seen about a 33% increase in creative sector economic activity since 2005, which resulted in just over $4.35 billion for 2010,” said Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez, a co-sponsor of the Austin resolution. “This is a great opportunity for us to advance our mutual interests in the growing the music industry.”
Next, an Alliance Advisory Board will be created, consisting of a mix of representatives from each city which will likely include City Council Members or Council staff, City staff and music industry professionals. Some of the goals for the Alliance include:
Sharing knowledge of best practices used in each city for policy development and implementation tactics to enable commercial industry growth.
Creating easier ways for music product trade, export and import, including talent, products and tourism.
Share best practice knowledge in public-private partnerships.
Identifying opportunities that assist the cities in growing the music industry in terms of jobs, revenue and salaries.
Music Canada is the organization leading the industry efforts to develop and promote Toronto as a music city. The organization’s president, Graham Henderson said, "The ink is barely dry on the alliance - the first of its kind in the world - and already the Toronto and Austin music communities are identifying new opportunities for collaboration. We are very encouraged by the unanimous support of both City Councils."
After the Advisory Board is created, the Alliance will meet to identify and formalize processes which will meet partnership goals.
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