Seattle Film + Music and Special Events Director, Kate Becker reflected on her experience at Canadian Music Week and the Music Cities Summit.
From 5/6-5/9, I had the great joy of going to Canadian Music Week, and speaking at the Music Cities Summit on 5/7. Seattle is so honored to be part of this important work. City leaders focused on developing their music ecosystems from across the world were involved in this summit. We all learn from each other in this field of work that continues to emerge. Here’s a few highlights from my trip:
On Friday, Michele Alosinac, Film Sector Development Officer in the Toronto Office of Film & Entertainment Industries, took me on a tour of Cinescape Film Studios, one of twenty soundstages in a booming film industry there. I also met with Zaib Shaikh, Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto. My Canadian counterparts were very forthcoming in sharing information and touring me around their beautiful city, where film is a giant industry. They reportedly cannot build soundstages fast enough to meet the demands of the industry. In 2015 alone, Toronto had a $1.5 billion film industry. ‘Downsizing’ was filming in the streets while I was there.
Saturday was the Music Cities Summit, which was solidly fantastic with music city leaders from around the world. Mayor John Tory opened the summit and spoke about the economic and cultural importance of the music sector to his city. I spoke about music city ecosystems on a panel with Bryce Merrill (Denver), Andreas Kalogiannides (Toronto) and Mark Grice (Adelaide, Australia). The panel was moderated by Ben Raynor, music critic at the Toronto Star. Just over 200 music city leaders participated in the Music Cities Summit. More than 29,000 people attended Canadian Music Week.
One of the highlights of the Music Cities Summit was my participation in mentoring sessions, where I met with emerging musicians, promoters, and music-related creatives. Always love this.
It was amazing to have this opportunity, sponsored in part by Canadian Music Week, to learn about Toronto’s film industry, meet with music city leaders from around the world, discuss challenges and best practices, and have Seattle contribute to the evolution of this field.