Last month, Sound Off! – Ontario headed over to the Waterloo region to spend an evening with artists, industry and community members working hard to help increase awareness of the local music scene. (Special thanks to Creative Enterprise Initiative and Kitchener Music Works for their partnership in the event.)
Attendees kicked off the night by discussing the successes of their community, which included a solid roster of hardworking local promoters, a wide variety of fantastic festivals, good support from the local corporate community, and a generally positive eagerness, energy and buzz surrounding the local scene.
When it came time to discuss challenges, many similar concerns that were also heard in other cities were raised, such as the difficulty in reaching out to new audiences and informing regular audiences about upcoming shows, and ensuring artists, promoters and venues involved in live shows are earning fair pay. There was also an emphasis on sharing and spreading information about upcoming shows, not only in the interest of audience development, but also to engage the existing community and reduce fragmentation in the local scene, ensuring multiple shows aren’t all happening on the same night.
When it came down to solutions to these challenges and opportunities for future educational development, several key ideas were proposed over the course of the evening: for larger scale events and shows, an exit survey might be helpful in looking back over successes and shortcomings. Creating a space for bands and professionals to come together in a natural environment was a noted priority, as was developing online resources that artists could use, including an EPK checklist and tips on creating useful promotional materials.
We’re looking forward to working with the Waterloo region community on many of these ideas moving forward! Special thanks again to Creative Enterprise Initiative and Kitchener Music Works for their support of the event, and to the Waterloo Button Factory for hosting us.
We’d also like to thank the fine folks over at TicketBreak & ACTRA RACS for their support of MusicOntario and our year-round activities.
Also thanks to our travel partner VIA Rail.