Calgary Stampede is a Music City Cornerstone

The 2017 line up for the Calgary Stampede will see 45 separate shows, with performances from artists such as Grammy winners The Chainsmokers, as well as Dustin Lynch, Big Sean, Fetty Wap, Canadian artists Nelly Furtado, and The Strumbellas. The Cowboys Music Festival, remains one the hubs for high profile concerts, with thousands of people packing the tent to see some of the greatest artists found around the world.

With over a million people attending, including thousands of tourists and sell-out events, Stampede is a clear example of how music contributes to our economy. In fact, try to imagine these 10 days without music. Impossible.

Night Time Economy is Critical for Music Cities

The Night Time Economy was the main topic of discussion at Alberta Music Cities second Guest Speaker Luncheon Series in June. Shain Shapiro, Founder of Sound Diplomacy, highlighted the importance of understanding the music industry as wide-reaching ecosystem in a successful music city.

According to Shain, a music ecosystem translates into creating successful music policy, “which only happens when half the people involved are not from the music industry itself.” During his address, Shain showed a photo of a band performing on stage to flush out the idea of music as an ecosystem. “I can count over 30 jobs alone in this one photo”, he said, explaining that not only was there music involved, but there was design, food and beverage, security, manufacturing and marketing. Alberta Music Cities understands that music means business, it means jobs, and in turn, that means economic growth.

Sound Diplomacy doesn’t view the music economy as black or white, or as the recording industry versus live performances, but instead poses questions, such as: “do you want 10,000 more tourists this year?” Music is a tool, and in order for us to use it effectively, we must ask the question, “what would our province look like if we championed the idea of nighttime economy?” According to Sound Diplomacy, this means focusing on what goes on after traditional business hours – ‘the other nine to five’.

A thriving night time economy will be an outcome of Alberta Music Cities’ work. To get there, we are creating a provincial Advisory Committee, with additional city-based working groups in Calgary and Edmonton. If you are inspired by our vision, we would love to hear from you. Please reach out to us with your contact information at