Music was alive and well in London this March! As a community, we took some important steps towards educating Londoners about our unique UNESCO City of Music designation. We ended the month with a UNESCO City of Music mural unveiling, meeting with the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, a City of Music Expo, the City of Music Conference and wrapped up a three-month music incubation and acceleration pilot. We did this all with plenty of live music in the mix!
London Music Incubator and Accelerator
In partnership with Canada’s Music Incubator, London Public Library and Wolf Hall, the London Music Office piloted a music incubation and acceleration space in London’s central library. The 3-month program was focused on educating and enhancing artist entrepreneurs career development through content creation that would enable artists to step forward post-pandemic. The incubator consisted of resiliency training for live performers and workers, educational seminars and panels, customized creative entrepreneurial workshops and practical business development. The project was a massive success with 350+ attendees visiting the incubator and participating in programming offered through the project.
UNESCO City of Music Mural Unveiling
What a way to celebrate our designation, with a public art installation! The beautiful and vibrant mural was made by local artist Tova Hasiwar and is located in the front foyer of the RBC Place London building. This mural adds a perfect touch to the space and will help to bring awareness to our designation in a high traffic area that welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. This mural was made possible by the City of London Culture Services and the London Arts Council. A call out was made to artists by the London Arts Council that asked folks to submit their work, which then a jury selected the winner.
Meeting with the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
We had the pleasure of meeting with the Honourable Neil Lumsden on March 30th regarding the creation of a physical music incubation space in London. This has been a priority in our music strategy since the beginning (2014) and has been years in the making. We had a great discussion with Mr. Lumsden and staff and we look forward to continuing our conversations and building our relationship in the future.
London City of Music Expo
The London City of Music Expo was held on March 30, 23 at the RBC Place London and was hosted by the London Chamber of Commerce and principal funding partner, The City of London. The day celebrated London’s unique status as the first UNESCO City of Music in Canada and it helped to highlight how music contributes to the local economy, community and culture of a city. Attendees were given the opportunity to learn what it means to be a UNESCO City of Music through various speakers, seminars and great local talent. The expo featured many exhibitors, from artists, producers, venues, studios, as well as local businesses that help London’s music scene thrive.
Local performers included Chad Price, DJ Deemz, Jag.Huligin and Amanda Movio, Sunshine Makers, Eleanor Gerbou, Fiker and Nathan Kerr, Sarina Haggarty and headliners Texas King ahead of a cross Canada tour. Nearly 1,000 delegates attended, engaged and connect with our local music community.
City of Music Conference
Our first City of Music Conference took place on March 31st at RBC Place London. The conference was intended for panelists, musicians and attendees to meet, learn from and engage with music champions from the civic realm. We had 37 speakers, 6 local performers and 253 registered guests. Performers included the Eagle Flight Singers, Misha Bower, Eleanor Gebrou, The Pairs, Bless Mamba and Ben Heffernan. We also had the pleasure of showcasing 3 bands from Kingston during the closing reception. Attendees listened and took part in educational and empowering sessions that we hope everyone was able to take something away from. Speakers joined us from across Canada and we even had the pleasure of welcoming international guests including UNESCO City of Music Focal Point for Mannheim, Germany, Rainer Kern.
The conference day ended with a live show at the Wolf Performance Hall featuring Emily Jean Flack and the ever lively, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, presented by local festival, Sunfest! The show was energetic and fun and the perfect way to celebrate a meaningful month here Canada’s UNESCO City of Music, London!