Burlington’s Sound Off! – Ontario event took place at the spectacular Burlington Performing Arts Centre last month and brought together members of the local music community to discuss a range of topics about their scene at home.

Despite Burlington’s smaller size, attendees pointed out that the city has enjoyed an established music scene for many years, supported by a network of artists and other industry members who are well connected to each other. It’s a very tight-knight, DIY community, we heard. And even if promotion sometimes only permeates the same, tight-knit group, the word does circulate well among them when upcoming shows are in the works.

When it came time to talk about local challenges, hot topics included the lack of multiple and diverse venues in the area, especially those that are accessible to the younger population; difficulties faced when looking to rent existing venues; and having enough opportunities to further develop the work that’s coming out of the community. One key issue that has been consistently raised in other cities and that was brought up in Burlington, too, was the need for a better solution in reaching out to new audiences, and finding solid avenues for audience development.

Attendees also identified future education opportunities that could be beneficial for the Burlington scene, including learning more about existing funding structures for artists, as well as touring and showcasing opportunities, especially on a wider national and cross-continental level. Mentorship opportunities were also highlighted as a possible future endeavour that could help a variety of individuals working in the local scene.

Thanks again to all who came out for the event, and to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre for hosting the forum.

Sound Off! – Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), with additional support from Ryerson University. Without them, this project would not be possible.

We’d also like to thank the fine folks over at TicketBreak for their support of MusicOntario and our year-round activities.

Also thanks to our travel partner VIA Rail.

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