Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Does Hamilton Need A Twin City Musical Alliance? If So, What City?

AUSTIN, Texas – The “Live Music Capital of the World” has a new music alliance, now all that’s left is to work out the details with Canadian officials.

The new “music city alliance” will partner the City of Austin and the City of Toronto Canada.

Details on the framework of the agreement will be discussed by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Economic Development Committee and the City of Austin.

In a letter earlier this year, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell extended an invitation to Canadian officials, spelling out plans in the works over the past two years, proposing a Music City Alliance partnership program.

“My office and the City of Austin are certainly interested in exploring such an alliance,” Leffingwell said in the letter.

Mayor Leffingwell has been in discussions with Toronto’s Mayor about their music industry and its economic impact since Canadian oficials visited Austin earlier this year. City leaders will now have to work on developing a strategic alliance.

“In communications between Toronto’s Mayor Ford and Austin’s Mayor Leffingwell, both agreed to work together to form a Music City Alliance that could develop opportunities for tourism and trade,” the Tuesday recommendation to Toronto’s City Council said.

Austin City Council passed a resolution in June after the visit from representatives for Toronto’s music industry and Canadian officials during South by Southwest in March.

The City of Austin passed a resolution to participate in a Music City Alliance as soon as similar legislation was passed by the City of Toronto.

In a recommendation to the Toronto City Council Tuesday, the measure spelled out a partnership with Austin; the Live Music Capital, a city three times smaller than Toronto, and compared the two cities thriving music communities.

“The City of Austin, recognized as the Live Music Capital of the World, shares many of the same characteristics of Toronto's music economy. Over the last twenty years, Austin, a city a third the size of Toronto, has created a music industry that generates three times as much economic activity as Toronto's does,” the recommendation said.

City leaders are working to develop a series of short, medium, and long-term recommendations for both cities and the Toronto Music Industry to “position Toronto as a leading live music tourist destination and promote and foster Toronto's music cluster.”

Toronto City Council heard more about the plan and the need for the alliance during Tuesday’s meeting.

“Toronto needs to embrace this opportunity and demonstrate our shared commitment to promote and foster Toronto’s music cluster,” the recommendation spelled out. “The concept of a Music City Alliance would provide a formalized structure and demonstrated commitment to promote and foster the music industry.”

Toronto leaders say the partnership will bring more economic activity and jobs to both cities. Leaders also point out the “twinship” will afford new opportunities for musicians and music lovers in both cities.

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