Thank You, Toronto!
December 19th, 2016
As we turn the page on another landmark year for Toronto music, we wanted to take this opportunity to announce that 4479 Toronto – an initiative of Music Canada to position Toronto as one of the greatest Music Cities in the world – will be ceasing operations.
4479 Toronto was created with input from a broad cross-section of the music community in Toronto, following the release of the 2012 report Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth, Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas. Since launching at NXNE 2013 with the support of Music Canada’s members, Sony Music Canada, Warner Music Canada and Universal Music Canada, we are proud to have assisted with the growth of Toronto as a Music City.
Over the years we have gathered support for our goals from labels, studios, venue owners, musicians, and – most importantly – music fans. Bridging the gap between the music community and City Hall, 4479 helped champion many of Toronto’s music-friendly policies that have come to fruition. Some of the accomplishments we are proud to have influenced include:
- October 2013 – Then-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford travels to Austin, Texas, to sign the Music City Alliance, with then-Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Various Toronto music sector stakeholders, city councillors, and Toronto media representatives participate in the mission. The Alliance drives economic and cultural development opportunities in both cities by sharing best practices, developing new trade and tourism initiatives, and fostering expanded collaboration between the two cities’ respective music communities.
- December 2013 – Based on our recommendation for creating a music advisory board, City Council approves the establishment of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council. Made up of city councillors and industry stakeholders and reporting to the city’s Economic Development Committee, the advisory council provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and advice on the challenges and opportunities facing the city’s music community. The advisory council produced Toronto’s first comprehensive music strategy which was unanimously approved by City Council on April 5, 2016.
- July 2014 – Following the Save Our Sign campaign led by 4479 featuring letters written by artists like Geddy Lee, Gord Downie, Feist, and Anne Murray, City Council votes to have Sam The Record Man sign reassembled by Ryerson University on the roof of the Toronto Public Health Building at 277 Victoria St., to tower above Yonge-Dundas Square.
- October 2014 – The City of Toronto hires Mike Tanner, former Director of Operations at NXNE, as the first Music Sector Development Officer to help support and enhance the City’s relationship with the music sector, as well as facilitate economic growth, export development and job creation.
- June 2015 – 4479 partners with Downtown Yonge BIA to curate Play the Parks, a free all-ages performance program which transforms the area’s parks and public spaces. The summer concert series attracted approximately 35,000 people in June through September 2015, doubling the series’ 2014 attendance. Our partnership was highlighted in DYBIA’s Music Strategy, which also outlined plans for Yonge Street’s music history preservation. A 22 storey music legends mural is currently under construction, and plaques have been installed commemorating iconic venues like The Bluenote and Town Tavern.
- June 2016 – Toronto hosts the Toronto-Austin Music Business Trade summit, bringing together stakeholders from both cities to exchange ideas and best practices. The summit is expected to continue in 2017.
Music Canada, which highlighted Toronto’s efforts in the Mastering Of A Music City report, will continue to campaign for music-friendly and musician-friendly policies in Toronto while pushing for similar policy changes in other major Canadian municipalities.
We hope the work we’ve put in to growing Toronto’s reputation as a world-renowned Music City will contribute to our city’s future, and that we will continue to see the momentum carried forward by Mayor John Tory and members of Toronto City Council, the Toronto Music Advisory Council, and our passionate music community.
As we play our final chord, we would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who supported the concept of our Music City campaign; Tourism Toronto for recognizing our efforts; do416 for choosing us as an influencer; our many live music partners including Collective Concerts, Live Nation, NXNE, Canadian Music Week, and Wavelength Music Festival; and the decision makers at City Hall who continue to prioritize music in this city.
Lastly, we would like to thank every one of you who tweeted to your councillor and voiced your support of our music scene with the #TOMusicCity hashtag. With enough support, City Hall began to take notice, and our City’s music scene is in a better position today because of you.