British Columbia Music Report Calls For More Support

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Music Canada has published a 79-page report on the state and needs of the British Columbia music industry which ranks third in Canada. With a forward by Michael Bublé, BC’s Music Sector – From Adversity to Opportunity highlights the wealth of talented artists both fostered within and imported from outside the province over the years, reviews the strengths of the industry’s infrastructure, and covers a number of factors which put those assets at risk.

As many have argued that the state of the BC music scene is not as prosperous as it once was, the document was prepared and presented during a gathering at Vancouver’s Warehouse Studio with the premier in attendance along with Michael Bublé, Victoria Duffield, Sarah McLachlan, Chad Kroeger (Niceklback), Dan Mangan, and Mother Mother. Premier Clark announced a $15 million grant to the BC Music Fund administered through Creative BC intended to address the recommendations of the report. It is anticipated the stimulus fund will help generate more than $70 million in returns via tourism, hotel, and other industries.

Strengths of the BC music scene listed in the report include a well-spring of music talent. Local musicians launched massively successful careers from Vancouver: Bryan Adams, Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael Bublé, and Loverboy among them. British Columbia was also the home province of artists like Nelly Furtado and Sally Yeh and attracted musicians from outside to base themselves therein. Sarah McLachlan arrived from Halifax, and rock band Heart from Seattle. Another strength of BC listed is world class recording studios and strong record labels. Vancouver is the home of both Nettwerk and 604 Records. A stable of music professionals is another asset: managers, producers, etc.

Threatening the potential prosperity, aside from the worldwide erosion of music sales, are a funding gap with other provinces, bureaucracy of licensing and bylaws, high real estate costs which make living in the province unaffordable for emerging artists, the closure of smaller live music venues, and the decline of school-based music education. The report outlines strategies to tackle some of these issues.

You can view an online PDF of the document here.

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