People interested in Thunder Bay Becoming a Music City attended a workshop to plan just that.

 BY JEAN-PAUL DE ROOVER

SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE-JOURNAL


THE Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce recently hosted Becoming a Music City, the first step in starting a conversation to help grow and develop Thunder Bay’s music industry.

The event featured a keynote presentation by Graham Henderson of Music Canada followed by a panel discussion with Jen McKerral of Music and Film in Motion, Cory Crossman of the London Music Office, Jason Wellwood of CILU 102.7 FM, and musician Jean-Paul De Roover.

After the panel, group discussions were held followed by a brief presentation of their conversations to the group and panelists for further discussion.

Through these discussions several different areas of interest were identified, including music education (both business and performance), youth engagement in music, access to rehearsal and performance facilities and more.

Three main recommendations are being made:

First, the creation of a music officer position responsible for maintaining a resource database for the region, being available for consults with artists/organizations, hosting events/workshops, being a liaison between the music industry and various levels of government, and being an available resource and “connector” for both the local music industry and participants from other markets. This position could partner with existing organizations such as the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Thunder Bay Tourism, City of Thunder Bay or the Thunder Bay Musicians’ Association to host this new position, as well as potentially take on some of the responsibilities of the music officer themselves.

Secondly, there is a high demand to have all of the music-related resources in Thunder Bay tabulated and made available in one central location. This includes everything from venue information, contact information for performers, music-related business databases and more. Several local and regional organizations have created and currently maintain some of these different resources, but because of the additional research involved in updating and maintaining these resources it is recommended that the music officer take on this responsibility. If not, one of the organizations already working on developing these resources should take the lead in order to help produce a definitive, up-to-date resource for the region.

Thirdly, the creation of a task force/committee is recommended to oversee the future of the movement that Becoming A Music City has inspired, helping to guide the various special-interest sub-committees that can be created, including education, youth engagement, venue/promoter relations and more. The chamber of commerce is looking for members of the community interested in participating on such a task force to help continue this momentum, as well as encouraging people to participate on subcommittees related to their interests and areas of expertise.

More information about the event, summarized discussion results and recommended next steps can be found in the final report which is available through the Chamber of Commerce website: tbchamber.ca

Jean-Paul De Roover is an event consultant and musician in Thunder Bay.

- Submitted by Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce

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