British Columbia

Help wanted: City of Vancouver approves new position of music advocate

The music advocate will help foster the growth of the music industry in Vancouver.

Report finds music industry generates more than $690 million a year in Vancouver

The music advocate will be responsible for implementing recommendations from two recent independent studies. (City of Vancouver)

The City of Vancouver is on the hunt for someone to fill the newly-approved position of music advocate to help foster the growth of the music industry.

For now, the position is a 12-month contract, but it could become a permanent position, said Coun. Heather Deal. 

"We have a huge industry here," Deal told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn.

Deal was referring to two independent studies on the Vancouver music scene that were included in reports presented to council.

One of the studies, by Music B.C., found that the industry generates more than $690 million a year and supports nearly 8,000 full-time positions.

However, the reports also came with a number of recommendations on improving the industry. One of those recommendations was the creation of a music advocate, a role that could closely parallel that of Vancouver's film commissioner.

"It's a person who's going to take some of these findings from these two reports, some of the work we've already been doing internally, and turn these into made-in-Vancouver recommendations," Deal said.

"It's a very interesting idea and we want to make sure it works for Vancouver."

Key report findings

The reports recognized a number of areas in need of improvement, including:

  • The city's affordability crisis.
  • A lack of affordable rehearsal spaces.
  • A lack of funding for music education and youth outreach.
  • The need for more infrastructure to support music tourism.

"We want to make sure we're bringing all the pieces together and creating the right outcome for Vancouver and it might indeed be a permanent music officer for the city," Deal said.

A recent report by Music B.C. found that Vancouver's music industry supports nearly 8,000 full-time positions. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

What steps has the city taken?

Deal says the city's policy on allowing performances in unusual spaces had been popular with musicians and has offered an alternative to the lack of performance space.

She also referred to a recent decision by city council to approve the redevelopment of the Plaza of Nations at North False Creek, which will include a 20,000 square-foot music centre.

"Part of the idea of focusing on music and the music industry in this city is that we start to incorporate more of those things into new developments as well. We're trying to balance those challenges with new opportunities," Deal said.

Listen to the full interview below;

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