On February 10, the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition had the opportunity to share some of the initial insights from the Ottawa Music Survey, done publicly for the first time during the official launch of Sonicity, a venture of artengine, Ottawa Public Art, and OC Transpo.

We received over 1,100 total responses, which is pretty remarkable. As significantly, 38 per cent identified themselves primarily as music fans indicating a strong audience base from which we can grow.

Some of the more positive insights included the revelation that 31 per cent of all respondents see 20 or more live music shows per year, with 61 per cent of those saying they see shows featuring local artists most or all of the time. There is also a very strong belief (86 per cent) that the City of Ottawa should invest in music.

At the same time, the survey also highlighted some things that the industry needs to work on if we want to reach our full potential. Promotion was highlighted as a major concern with 52 per cent of respondents feeling local music is poorly promoted and 41 per cent identifying that it is hard to find out what’s going on.

While publications like Ottawa Beat, sites like Ottawa Showbox, our local campus radio stations, and OMIC’s own LOVE LOCAL MUSIC campaign are hard at work trying to get the word out, there’s definitely more to be done, especially in reaching mainstream audiences.

Finally, although 87 per cent of music fans said they know someone who works in the local music industry, only 24 per cent of survey respondents felt it was possible to make a viable living in music in Ottawa. When it comes to assessing progress as a music city, this is the figure we’re going to be measured by.