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Ontario a live music “powerhouse”, says new report

'Live Music Measures Up', commissioned by Music Canada, shows a "vibrant music scene" which "drives value in many important ways"

By Jon Chapple on 22 Jan 2016

Flag of Ontario (drapeau de l'Ontario), abdallahh

image © abdallahh/Flickr

Music Canada today released Live Music Measures Up, the first study into Ontario’s live music sector.

The Toronto-based music industry association commissioned Nordicity to interview and survey artist managers, promoters, agents, music venues and festivals in the province, which, with a population of 13.5m, is Canada’s most populous.

The report is divided into four areas: revenue, audience, economic impact and future outlook. It reveals:

  • Live music companies in Ontario generated C$628 million in revenue from live music activities in 2013 and profits of $144 million. Artist-management revenue from Canadian artists totalled $34m in 2013, 54 per cent of all artist management revenue, and Canadian artists generated $75m in ticket sales
  • In 2013, 558 festivals across Ontario sold a total of 15.7m tickets, representing 7m unique visitors. Ontario’s 616 venues have a combined capacity of 3.6m. The 775 promoters operating in the province in 2013 promoted 81,600 shows, which sold a combined total of 5.4m tickets
  • The total economic impact of live music in Ontario’s economy is $1.2 billion. Live music companies in Ontario were responsible for $484m in total expenditure in 2013 and contributed $432.4m in taxes to all levels of government combined. The economic impact of live music companies includes 10,500 full-time jobs, and tourism activity accounts for an additional 9,520
  • Survey respondents reported that access to tax credits and other forms of government funding, along with the availability of local Canadian talent, were the factors that most positively impacted their company growth. Eighty-three per cent of live music companies in the province expect revenue growth within the next two years

“This report provides a comprehensive picture of the benefits live music brings to Ontario,” says Graham Henderson, president of Music Canada. “In fact, it only enhances our understanding of data collected in our 2012 economic impact study [into the recorded music sector] and cements what we know about Ontario as a powerhouse for the music industry.

“It shows that a vibrant music scene drives value in many important ways, including job creation, tourism development, brand building and artistic growth. With the new data from this study, we now have the necessary benchmarks to measure and support its growth. Live Music Measures Up allows us to look at live music through a new lens, and to better understand how critical it is to the entire music ecosystem.”

Erin Benjamin, executive director of Music Canada Live, adds: “Measuring Live Music represents an historic, timely and monumental opportunity, one which will enable us to entrench the true value of the live music economy in the minds of our stakeholders, government and audiences alike. It’s inspiring to see the sector organise, work together and build on the momentum we can all feel, here in the province and around the world – the kind that will help guarantee live music takes its rightful place as one of Ontario’s greatest natural resources.”