As we move into 2018 and get ready for the arrival of Ottawa’s first music strategy, gearing up the LOVE LOCAL MUSIC campaign, and another year of staggeringly brilliant local releases, gigs and festivals, there’s no time like the present to take stock of what’s been achieved over the last year.

When the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition was founded in late 2015, it would have been hard to predict how quickly the organization would grow. Today OMIC represents almost 200 artists and music businesses from across Ottawa and its surrounding communities. While there’s still work to be done to ensure inclusion and foster greater participation among underrepresented sectors of the industry, the diversity of OMIC’s membership is one of the organization’s greatest strengths as it is for the wider Ottawa music community.

To date, together with our community partners including Capital Rehearsal Studios, Community Arts + Social Engagement, Edwards PC Creative Law, and the Shenkman Arts Centre we’ve been able to offer regular high-quality industry-focused professional development programming in the capital region including 16 Independent Music Business workshops, three multi-day residencies at the Shenkman Arts Centre, and the most recent edition of the DIY Audio Tech Workshop for Women+.

In the lead up to 2017’s JUNO celebrations in the capital you—our local artists, DIY promoters, community groups and cultural catalysts of all stripes—were able to bring great music programming to nearly every ward in the city with the support of the Ottawa 2017/JUNO host committee’s Ottawa Music Micro-Grants. We then partied hard together throughout the JUNOfest celebrations with included the Ottawa Music Summit at which the plans for the new music strategy were announced.

We’re equally proud of being able to bring together our members and friends within the music community to tackle some of the big questions facing our industry through the discussions at our monthly Music Monday events. We’ve explored the role of high-tech in the fast-changing music landscape, what it means to make our music scenes safer, and how we can bring our French and English-language music scenes closer together in an increasingly bilingual city.

The critical thing to remember is that each and every one of these successes is a collective one, a success for Ottawa’s music community, rather than a win for OMIC as an organization alone.

We exist to support the growth and development of our local industry and it is because of our members that we have been able to achieve what we have. By the same token, it is because of the support of our community that we will continue to grow together.

So, if we had to summarize 2017 in the life of OMIC into two words they would be “gratitude” and “momentum”.

Thank you for a great year and we look forward to working with you to continue to improve, grow, and become stronger representatives of our incredible local music community.

* Learn more from the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition here: