What is it? Music tourism can be leveraged to draw in visitors and tourism dollars. Music tourism includes revenue from concerts and festivals as well as merchandise, and money spent on hotels, transportation, and restaurants – not to mention the additional jobs created in hospitality.

What it looks like according to folks we talked to…

  • A mixture of venues are available (both indoor and outdoor)

  • Major music festivals and events draw in visitors

  • Positive economic impacts on local businesses like hotels and restaurants

  • Local use of a Destination Marketing Fee (DMF)

  • City/town council shows support through:

    • Equipping public venues for music shows (e.g.,sound systems, power, bathrooms)

    • Affordable/subsidized rental rates of public venues

    • Facilitating connections with local businesses and organizations outside the city/town

    • Incorporating music into tourism plans and activities

    • Providing promotion, advertising, and/or marketing support

Keep scrolling for ideas and examples of bringing music tourism to life in your corner of Alberta.


Not sure where to start? Look for ideas with the colour associated with your role in the music industry: 




Busking is a great way to incorporate music into local tourism. It showcases local musical talent to visitors, activates spaces, enhances the overall visitor experience and gives local performers opportunities. 

Straightforward permitting processes encourage artists to get involved. Consider what makes for successful busking (e.g., high visibility) when determining where busking can take place. See example of busking policies and information to include from Albertan jurisdictions in the next column.

Create ways for businesses, organizations and buskers to connect—make it easy for performances to happen!

Explore the possibility of regional busking permits.


Information & Examples



Local Example: Busking and Mobile Vending – Town of Sylvan Lake (notice the handy map to outline where busking is permitted)

Local Example: Buskers in Banff (again a map, conditions, and outlining applicable bylaws)

Local Example: Okotoks hosts an annual BuskerFest—a great way to introduce the public/businesses to a wide variety of local buskers

Info: The Positive Impacts of Busking On Cities (short article on the benefits busking can have in public planning)

Info: Street Performing Low Cost High Impact (article with examples of how busking can be successful, with suggestions about regulation) 

Info: Effect of Street Performance (Busking) on the Environmental Perception of Public Space (results of 2 studies supporting the understanding “that street performance could make public space more visitable, more restorative, and more preferable”)



Host music festivals, both large and small, as a great way to attract visitors from surrounding areas and stimulate the local economy.



Local Example: Youth-focused music event in Fort McMurray incorporates sport and competition (additional link to event Facebook page)

Local Example: The Pigeon Lake Music Festival started in 2017 and works in a community with a mixture of permanent and seasonal residents

Info: Impacts of community events and festivals on rural places (overview of community events and festivals, and the associated impacts on rural communities from 2011)

Info: Community Festivals (article detailing benefits and risks of community festivals from the University of Minnesota)

Resource/Info: Setting the Stage (a community based festival and event planning guide from the Government of Alberta)


Capture the impact of music festivals to justify funding/support and help city and town residents see their value.




Local Example: Economic Impact of the Big Valley Jamboree (economic impact assessment, calculated June 2011, including direct, indirect and induced impacts)

Resource/Info: Setting the Stage (see Part 1 “G: Evaluation” on pages 26-27)

Resource/Info: Impacts Map (UK-based resource eventIMPACTS walks through various impact measures with examples and methods for measuring)

Info: While an economic impact assessment can be a large undertaking, towns can look for smaller-scale, but meaningful measures for them to calculate local impact (e.g., ticket sales, tracking overnight hotel stays during particular events, surveying local restaurants and bars after large festivals, etc.).


Create a live music calendar for your town/city (include other events pertinent to locals and visitors).

Provide funding streams to support large-scale music events that can draw tourists.

Promote local music events, particularly larger-scale events meant to draw in visitors.



Local Example: Event calendar from Tourism Medicine Hat and a Upcoming Events page from Tourism Lethbridge

Local Example: Large-scale Tourism Events Funding available in Grande Prairie

Local Example: City of Airdrie Community Event Grant provides seed funding for new or up-and-coming festivals and events that demonstrate goals to enhance arts, culture, heritage

Local Example: Cultivate and leverage connections with larger-scale tourism organizations (e.g., Travel Alberta or local tourism organizations like Go East of Edmonton).

Info: Depending on your town’s current tourism rates, collecting a tourism marketing fee can leverage current event success to better market future events. One example is a Destination Marketing Fee (explanation from the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association + considerations for when to implement)


Share resources by considering the possibility of regional music plans that can maximize impact for neighbouring communities.



Example: Central Okanagan Music Strategy (2021 example from BC)

Additional partners to consider in developing this area of your local music scene:

Canadian Heritage — Provides festival funding opportunities.

Indigenous Tourism Alberta —Resource on tourism information as well as training for tourism workers (e.g., cultural awareness).

Ministry of Tourism and Sport — Can be an important funding partner and resource on government priorities.

Tourisme Alberta — French-language tourism guides and information for the province of Alberta.

Travel Alberta — Another potential source of funding and information. Of the 166 projects funded by Travel Alberta in 2022-23, about 75 per cent of the projects and 70 per cent of the funding were in smaller urban and rural areas of the province (source).


Hours of Operation

Monday  Closed
Tuesday  Closed
Wednesday  Closed
Thursday  Closed
Friday   11AM – Close
Saturday   11AM – Close
Sunday  11AM – 7PM

*These hours are subject to changes depending on programming.