NMC releases Fertile Ground: A report on the economic opportunities of Alberta’s music industry

November 27, 2014


The National Music Centre (NMC) has released a new report on Alberta’s music industry, detailing the economic benefits of a strong provincial music industry and making recommendations to government and other sector partners.

NMC commissioned the report from Music Canada, with funding from the Scotlyn Foundation. The report, titled Fertile Ground: Alberta Music Cities Initiative, makes detailed recommendations to stimulate the growth and sustainability of Alberta’s music industry through an economic lens.

“Graham and Paul Lessard with the Scotlyn Foundation approached us, eager to do something meaningful for Alberta’s music industry. I was very aware of the incredible work Music Canada had done in Ontario, and wondered if the same strategic business approach could work in Alberta,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre.

In early 2014, NMC approached Music Canada, a national non-profit trade organization, on taking a critical look at the music landscape in Alberta. This work was inspired by Music Canada’s success working with leaders across the music ecosystem in Ontario. That work has demonstrated the value of provincial and municipal live music strategies, and supported the creation of investment plans that support economic growth and tourism, and provided artists with more professional opportunities.

“This report is about breaking music out of the cultural box, and into the general consciousness of Alberta’s economic leaders, demonstrating its value and ability to attract and retain creative talent, support tourism and inspire investment across a variety of economic sectors, thereby supporting efforts to diversify Alberta’s economy,” said Amy Terrill, Music Canada and author of the Fertile Ground report.

As part of their research, Music Canada and NMC spoke with dozens of stakeholders across the province, working with the provincial music industry, tourism agencies, Alberta Chambers of Commerce, and municipal governments. Alberta Music provided a critical grassroots perspective to the project.

“We need a strong music industry in Alberta to support and promote the impressive array of homegrown talent. This report shows a clear vision for building a world class music scene in our province,” said Graham Lessard of the Scotlyn Foundation.

The Fertile Ground report concludes with four key recommendations for the growth and development of the commercial music industry in Alberta:

  • Develop a comprehensive understating of the economic profile of Alberta’s music cluster, with regional breakouts for Calgary and Edmonton as well as other smaller cities as appropriate.
  • Position music as a key economic sector, a vehicle for the diversification of Alberta’s economy, and a tool that municipalities can use to stimulate economic growth, increase investment, retain youth, and drive tourism.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to build the business capacity of the music industry in Alberta.
  • Develop and implement a live music strategy for Alberta to improve the live music product offering in Alberta and generate increased music tourism.

The full report is available here.


About the Author

Julijana Capone

Originally from Winnipeg, Julijana is NMC’s senior publicist and the managing editor of Amplify. In addition to her role at NMC, she is the founder of Light of Day Publicity, a company she formed to promote the work of emerging Canadian artists.

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