Jonathon Liedtke – ourWindsor.ca – July 26, 2013
It was all about the music industry on Thursday as The Windsor Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) pledged to use funds available through the newly created Ontario Music Fund – valued at $45-million over three years – to help enhance and further develop the music industry, and as such, help musicians and those involved in the broader industry overall.
The Hon. Michael Chan, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport was at the Capitol Theatre with Sandra Pupatello, the CEO of WEEDC, and Mayor Eddie Francis to announce the launch of a music cluster development committee.
The press conference was attended by local musicians, industry professionals and members of the public and media alike.
“We have tremendous music talent in Ontario and somehow I think that over the years, we haven’t paid special attention to it,” stated Chan. “But now I want to pay special attention to it.”
Chan explained that the fund was “one for business” and that its intention was to “promote business, even small businesses like two-to-three people. We like to promote recording [and] we like to help business development as well.”
Sandra Pupatello was excited about the announcement because of the new opportunities which it presents for the city.
“It gives us a new opportunity to chase business which is not here yet,” said Pupatello “We want to see business agents, recording artists, we want to see them come and take advantage of the talent that we have … we want them seen as the place to have all the components where people can have a career in the music industry.”
Mayor Francis expressed that support from the provincial government through the creation of the Ontario Music Fund would help the city to “channel [the support] to different areas of music and our community.”
“We’ll be supporting the artists, the individuals, development, but we’re also supporting the industry and the development of the cluster,” Francis added.
Gord Orr, the CEO of Tourism Windsor/Essex explained that once the music industry has some more growth and begins to works collectively then the region will be able to market the industry more broadly “rather than doing the singular sort of effect that we have been doing as of late.”
“I think that this will help start [a serious] conversation about where we’re headed as an industry, where this industry can move forward to, and the province is going to be there to fund the different strategies to get there,” he said.
Orr ended by stating that “music evokes a passion” and emotion and “that is a compelling enough reason” to undertake such an endeavour.
“We know that by working with the province through this fund, we can make things happen for our region. This fund enables us to better position ourselves to promote this region to companies in the music industry.” said Francis in a media release.
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.
Find more of Jon Liedtke’s opinion and commentary on AM800 CKLW HERE