The city is spending $50,000 on an office designed to boost Hamilton’s music scene.
Councillors have voted to spend money on an office in the Lister Block, promotional materials and other items to boost Hamilton’s musical credibility.
The goal is to encourage musicians, attract and promote music-related businesses, promote events and tap into provincial databases to help local musicians, said Jacqueline Norton, the city’s businesses development consultant of creative industries.
“We have a vibrant music scene now,” Norton said at Wednesday’s general issues committee meeting. “We want to grow that to even bigger proportions.”
Councillors voted last year to establish a working group to determine if a music office was needed. The office, which will be decorated with part of the $50,000, will include film.
The city will also set up an advisory board, with a membership to be determined.
No one spoke against the $50,000 on Wednesday. Many mentioned already prominent Hamiltonians who have become names in Canada’s music scene.
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Coun. Brenda Johnson of Ward 11 did want to know how, in light of spending $50,000, the project would be viewed as a success.
That will be measured by hits to the website, new connections on behalf of musicians and other “very clear deliverables that you’ll be able to see,” Norton said.
She also wants to see more music-related jobs, more music businesses, more tickets sold and anecdotal evidence that Hamilton’s music scene is growing.
If it’s done right, she said, it will lead to a sustainable music industry, more money flowing through Hamilton and a “strong music identity.”
The timing is right given that the Juno Awards are coming to Hamilton in 2015, said Coun. Brian McHattie, who introduced the idea of a music office last year. Hamilton will also host a new world music festival this summer.