Toronto and Austin Work Towards Music City Alliance

September 20th, 2013

The wheels are in motion in Toronto and Austin to increase the amount of collaboration between the two cities. A mission led by Mayor Rob Ford is going to Austin in early October to meet with city officials and music industry leaders there.  Music Canada, as catalyst for the Alliance and the mission, and three other music industry leaders from Toronto are also participating.

In July, Toronto City Council signaled its support for a music city alliance, matching a motion which was passed by Austin’s City Council in late June.  Now the two cities get to work to determine the best way to move forward.

The alliance acknowledges the fact that both cities have amazing music scenes that incubate loads of talented artists and musicians.    Already there is a great deal of interplay between the two music communities – the most obvious example being sister festivals NXNE and SXSW.  NXNE posted a story on the alliance when it was approved by Toronto in July, describing the many benefits it could generate.

The alliance was first discussed in March during SXSW when a delegation from Toronto met with Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Councillor Mike Martinez and senior staff from the city.  Toronto was represented by Councillors Gary Crawford and Josh Colle and representatives from Music Canada.  Following the formal discussion, industry leaders from Toronto and Austin continued the conversation at a reception hosted by Mayor Leffingwell.

Members of the two music communities have continued their dialogue.  Leaders from the music community in Toronto are already in discussion with counterparts in Austin as they come up with ideas about how they can work together more closely.  This could mean joint programming, artist ambassadors, tourism initiatives, cross-promotions … the list could be endless.  One thing that is for certain, however the formal alliance is structured between the two city halls, the sharing and communication between the two music communities will generate outstanding results.

The initiative has generated a fair amount of attention, with media coverage in the Toronto Star, Austin’s KVUE and KXAN, and Huffington Post Canada.

You can show your support for the alliance by contacting your councillor and letting them know that it’s a great idea!