A musical first

London becomes Canada’s first UNESCO City of Music

THE CITY OF London and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO have announced that the city has been designated a UNESCO City of Music.

London is Canada’s first city to receive the designation.

“This designation reaffirms that London is an international hub for music and culture ― home to incredibly talented artists, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, venue and festival operators and world-renowned music education programs,” says London Mayor Ed Holder, in a statement.

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UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has designated 59 other Cities of Music in 90 countries as part of its 295-member Creative Cities Network (UCCN), which began in 2004.

Member cities share best practices and develop partnerships to promote creativity and cultural industries.

In addition to the music designation, three other Canadian cities are part of the UCCN: Montreal in design, Quebec City in literature and Toronto in media arts.

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“Becoming a UNESCO City of Music elevates London’s brand nationally and internationally and provides London with greater outreach and learning from access to UNESCO’s network of creative cities,” adds Cory Crossman, London’s music industry development officer. “This designation is years in the making and was supported by our music community and the successful hosting of international acts and national events such as Canadian Country Music Association’s Country Music Week, the CCMA Awards and the JUNOS.”

According to the released statement, London is increasingly being recognized for helping develop award-winning talent through schools like Western University, Fanshawe College and the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART).

In 2014, London became the second municipality in Canada to approve a Music Strategy and then to hire a music industry development officer (in 2015).

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Roda Muse, secretary general of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, says the organization salutes the effort made to achieve the prestigious designation.

“Given London’s first-hand knowledge of the role of culture in the municipal development context, its position as a hub of music education, and the broad support from its community, we are pleased to welcome a new partner that is contributing to the vitality of the local economy and advancing sustainable urban development.” A musical first city of music Music & Entertainment

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