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Sound Diplomacy: Your guide to becoming a music city

To celebrate its fifth birthday, Sound Diplomacy – the music market development consultancy known for pioneering the idea of the ‘music city’ – has created a video that aims to explain how music impacts the places we live, and how both communities and the industry can better support it.

Founded in 2013, Sound Diplomacy now has offices in London, Barcelona and Berlin, and has over the past five years worked in more than 40 countries to bridge the gap between music, music policy and urban planning. Its current roster of clients includes the Walton Family Foundation, United Nations, Mayor of London, city of Cardiff, Lend Lease, Legal & General, German Haus at SXSW, city of Brisbane, city of Lausanne, city of Barcelona, South Arts USA and the Canadian Independent Music Association.

Future plans include publishing a night-time economy guide in April, in partnership with Tallinn Music Week, and launching a new Night Time Economy conference in South America later this year.

“It’s been five amazing, wild and adventurous years,” says Sound Diplomacy founder Shain Shapiro. “We have been lucky to have worked all over the world introducing the role of music in urban planning and public policy. But this is only the beginning.

“Every city must have a music policy to support talent development, music engagement and quality of life. We will ensure this happens.”


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CWM 2016: Review and Live Music Awards winners

Over 2,900 delegates and 120,000 music fans from 30 countries attended the latest Canadian Music Week (CMW), which wrapped its 34th edition on Sunday.

This festival component of this year’s event featured 833 artists performing in over 40 venues across Toronto, while a total of 499 guests spoke at the conference, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. CMW 2016 also saw the debuts of both the Music Cities Summit and the Live Music Industry Awards, the latter of which recognised the achievements of music festivals, live music venues, artist agencies and music programmes, both Canadian and international, and included a special ‘Legends of Live’ award, presented to Toronto country-rock band Blue Rodeo.

This year’s country focus was on the United Kingdom (with a “special focus” on the Republic of Ireland), with British artists participating including Holly Macve, Nina, Throwing Shade and Tusk. France will be the focus country in 2017.

Other high-profile performers included Tori Kelly, Skepta, Eagles of Death Metal, Bob Mould and Collective Soul.

Elsewhere, the International Festival Network (IFN) gave attendees the chance to meet face to face with some of the world’s leading festival coordinators, promoters and talent buyers. More than 40 festival representatives from across the globe travelled to he IFN, including Glastonbury and The Great Escape co-founder and creative director Martin Elbourne, Folk Alliance International executive director Aengus Finnan and Festival International de Jazz de Montreal’s Maurin Auxemery.

A full list of Live Music Industry Awards winners is below:

International festival of the year
Glastonbury Festival

New kid on the block (best new festival)
Wayhome Music and Arts Festival (Oro Medonte, Ontario)

Family programme of the year
Winnipeg Folk Festival (Winnipeg)

Small festival of the year (6,000 and under)
Interstellar Rodeo (Alberta and Manitoba)

Medium festival of the year (6,001–15,000)
Field Trip Music and Arts Festival (Toronto)

Major festival of the year
Osheaga Music and Arts Festival (Quebec)

Not-for-profit festival of the year
Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec)

Green operations festival of the year
Hillside Festival (Guelph, Ontario)

Best teamwork in an arena
Air Canada Centre (Toronto)

Best teamwork in a soft-seat theatre/performing arts centre
Massey Hall (Toronto)

Best teamwork in a major club (1,000+ capacity)
Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver)

Best teamwork in a medium club (300–999 capacity)
Mod Club (Toronto)

Best teamwork in a small club (under 300 capacity)
The Drake Underground (Toronto)

Agent of the year (Canada)
Rob Zifarelli, United Talent Agency

Manager of the year
Joel Carriere, Bedlam Music Management

Road warrior of the year (best tour manager)
Louisa Key (The Tragically Hip and more)

Production manager of the year (festival/concert)
Vanessa Arscott (Plan V/Wayhome and more)

Canadian independent regional promoter of the year 
Collective Concerts (Toronto)

Canadian festival buyer of the year
Erik Hoffman, Live Nation (Vancouver)

AV production company of the year 
Christie Lites

Brand/music programme of the year
Red Bull Sound Select

Breakthrough touring artist of the year
Alessia Cara

Music city of the year (international)
Austin, Texas

Music city of the year (Canadian)

Legends of Live
Blue Rodeo

International agent of the year
Neil Warnock, United Talent Agency

Licensed to Play award
Harbourfront Centre

Music Cities Convention completes speaker line-up

The Music Cities Convention has completed the speaker line-up for its third outing, with Katell Martin, responsible for the creative and cultural Industries for the city of Angers, France; Tatjana Kaube, creative director at the office of the Mayor of Berlin; James Drury, editor of Londonist; Olga Polishuk, executive director of the Strelka Institute in Moscow; and Sigurður Björn Blöndal, council leader of Reykjavik, among the new additions for the 18 May event.

The convention’s programme will consist of four panels and six presentations and will attract delegates from 60 cities, with other confirmed speakers including Mirik Milan, Amsterdam’s night mayor; Busk in London’s Dr Julia Jones; New York University’s Carlos Chirinos; Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission; Sydney Fringe executive director Kerri Glassock; Sheffield Tramlines organiser Kate Hewitt; and South Australian government advisor Joe Hay.

The convention, which was initiated by Glastonbury booker and The Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne and music market development agency Sound Diplomacy, explores the relationship between city planning, strategy, development and policy and the music industry. It takes place in Brighton the day before The Great Escape, the showcase festival and music industry convention.