Toronto Mayor John Tory, Councilor Michael Thompson and other City officials announced that Toronto will host a summit with business and key music industry stakeholders from Toronto and Austin this fall.
The Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance Summit will be held later this fall. The announcement by Toronto officials comes on the heels of the conclusion of a successful business mission in Austin, TX during SXSW.
While in Austin, Toronto officials took part in the first-ever Music Cities Summit. Apart from the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the City of Toronto Economic Development and Culture Office, representatives from Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco participated in the Music Cities Summit roundtable discussions.
Mayor Tory said in a release announcing the Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance Summit that the table stakes for economic development in cities like Toronto and Austin is the ability to compete successfully for talent.
“I have been to Austin and I have seen how creative sectors like music, film and technology drive economic growth, job creation, investment and tourism – and help attract and retain young talent,” said Mayor Tory.
The Mayor added that if Toronto likewise wants to bring more jobs and attract and keep world class talent, they need to focus on promoting and growing the city’s creative sectors and this summit will be critical to that process.
Apart from the Summit, Mayor Tory also announced a series of other steps, including exploring opportunities to innovate with the private sector to support the music industry. One of these ideas to be explored is whether Toronto can initiate or expand an interactive conference similar to the SXSW Interactive Festival.
While in Austin, the Toronto city officials and members of the Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance met with music and technology sector companies including AMD, Google and IBM, and organizations such as the Austin Technology Incubator and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Councilor Michael Thompson, who chairs the City of Toronto Economic Development Committee and is co-chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council, said in the release that there are many areas of mutual economic and cultural benefit available to both cities and their business mission in connection with SXSW has broadened the possibilities for them to explore.
Other steps the City plans to take to strengthen Toronto’s music industry includes a plan to promote Toronto as a music tourism destination, and expand the scope of the City’s Entertainment Industries Office to include support for music industry growth similar to the way the office is currently helping the growth of film.