What is it? Regulatory and Government support includes building relationships with governments at all levels – municipal, provincial, and federal to create supportive policies that are aligned and integrated with government strategies and priorities. For example, ensuring that the interests of the music industry are represented in city/town planning and space making or that grant funding is co-developed with the music industry including eligibility criteria and outcomes that make sense to the industry.
What it looks like according to folks we talked to…
City/town council provides funding and grants (almost all participants identified this as a key sign of supportive government)
Funding is flexible:
Small and large amounts available
For various purposes (e.g., events, professional development, etc.)
For individuals and organizations (e.g. a local arts council)
Cover various costs (e.g., artist fees, admin costs, venue and equipment rental, etc.)
Valuable in-kind support from city/town councils:
Leveraging relationships with tourism organizations like Go East of Edmonton and Travel Alberta
Making services available for events & festivals (i.e., public washrooms, power access, etc.)
Hiring local musicians for civic events
Support on provincial and federal grant applications (e.g., letters of recommendation)
Discounted rates applied to arts and cultural spaces to increase accessibility (many towns have this for community recreation centres)
Involvement of local music scene members in decision making conversations
Keep scrolling for ideas and examples of showing regulatory and government support in your corner of Alberta.
Not sure where to start? Look for ideas with the colour associated with your role in the music industry:
Get familiar with the value of a vibrant local music scene.
Designate a music representative at town or city council so that artists and music businesses know who to approach with questions, concerns, or ideas.
Resource/Info: Read up on a “City Music Office: Laying Down the Tracks” (pages 49–55) or “Music Advisory Boards: Making a Powerful Ensemble” (pages 56-59) in Mastering a Music City. Consider how these tools can be applied to your town or region.
Groups of towns and cities may find it worthwhile to pool resources and experts around a music office or music advisory board.
Fund a local arts council that can take a leadership role within the local arts scene and many of the functions otherwise held by the city (e.g., granting, program creation, networking, professional development, etc.).
Provide local grants and in-kind support to fill local industry gaps and encourage more events.
Examples from folks we talked to mentioned support for external marketing for larger-scale events and making services & spaces available at affordable rates (e.g., public washrooms, porta potties, outdoor stages, etc.)
Local Example: Red Deer Downtown Business Association started the Host it! Event Support Program by which event organizers can access value-in-kind (e.g., marketing, grant writing support, radio advertising, etc.) and financial support to run local events
Provide letters of support or impact statements for local artists and organizations seeking federal and provincial funding.
Examine city or town council policies and programs in light of how they may help or hinder the development of your local music scene.
Local Example: A local music business in the City of Medicine Hat shared that the City changed their Community Vibrancy Grant requirements based on industry feedback to allow events to make a profit (originally funding was only fully awarded in the case of a final deficit, unintentionally deterring financial success for events).
Partners to consider in developing this area of your local music scene: