Typically, we try to use this column to address key issues affecting the local music industry as a whole. This month, having just come out of our third Annual General Meeting (the equivalent of a highly-formalised birthday party for non-profit organisations like us), we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect a little bit on the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition as an organisation, both how far we’ve come and where we’re hoping to go.

When we look back at the last year, there’s a lot for us to be proud of, all of which is because of and for our members and the music community at large. The Ottawa Music Strategy is the most significant project we’ve been involved with, guiding the momentum that’s been building within our music community over the last few years as we work to realise our full potential. However, it’s been just one part of what OMIC’s been up to over the last year.

Our regular Music Mondays provide the music community the opportunity to come together and have some big discussions, whether it’s around community venues or safety or the relationship between our anglophone & francophone scenes.

The Independent Music Business workshop series and annual Music Maker Fair we present in partnership with Edwards PC Creative Law & Capital Rehearsal Studios offers monthly professional development, providing insight into how to export your music, apply to festivals and (coming this month), better manage your band finances.

The DIY Audio Tech Workshop for Women+ helps address the lack of women+ on the tech-side of the industry while the Live Production Residency Pilot Program helped prepare three of Ottawa’s top emerging artists to take on bigger stages and larger audiences.

Through our programming, export development activities, community engagement with the strategy and outreach OMIC’s membership grew 53 per cent to 142 members at the end of our most recent fiscal year. While there are definitely still some areas of our community that remain underrepresented, this growth has allowed us to better understand and address the needs of the full breadth of our community.

It is our members who are our most significant asset, and as discussed at the AGM by our president Mark Monahan, our most significant challenge as an organisation will be adapting to the changing needs of our growing membership. To that end, we’ve introduced and are introducing a number of new initiatives to help better serve our members.

On Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. we open our office doors to members for on-the-spot feedback, advice, and guidance. Whether it’s looking over an EPK or helping you find a local photographer who fits your image we’ve got you covered! We’re teaming up with local music institutions such as Ottawa Showbox and Westfest to curate playlists through the LOVE LOCAL MUSIC campaign and we’re also about to launch From Emerging to Export, our most exciting and ambitious professional development program to date.

We are so proud to be a voice for this incredible music community and we look forward to continuing to find new ways to help grow.

— Check more from the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition from here: ottawamic.com