Kitchener – Music City!
With a stunning location, creative and passionate people, and enough Post-It notes… anything is possible. So, when the City of Kitchener hosted the Music Works: Strategy Sessions on July 19th at Hacienda Sarria, it was no surprise to see 135 talented musicians, venue owners and music lovers sharing their brilliant ideas, all focused on building a local music cluster and creating the Kitchener music scene into Music City!
Silvia Di Donato, newly-named Manager of Arts & Culture for City of Kitchener and strategist of this initiative, began with words of excitement and encouragement. Councillor Barry Vrbanovic and CAO Jeff Willmer, brought greetings from the City. Bob Egan of Blue Rodeo, a proud Kitchener resident, delivered an impassioned keynote on working together to build a vibrant music scene – starting with ideas from today! Finally, Cheryl Ewing and MFX’s Rebecca Short, who planned and facilitated the event, briefed the excited crowd on the agenda for the afternoon.
Working in small, informal groups, facilitators led delegates through a brainstorming session to answer important questions around three themes: Audience is Amplified, Business of Music Grows and Commercial Live Music Venues Thrive. At the end, large posters covered the exposed brick walls with ideas as vibrant as the attendees. Everyone had a chance to absorb activities from other tables, and jot down more ideas on two ‘graffiti’ walls: ‘What Would Music City Look Like?’ and ‘Burning, Disruptive Ideas’.
The excitement and energy from attendees made time fly by. Once five o’clock hit, we all celebrated with Spanish tapas, and great live music, courtesy of Joni NehRita, Tim Louis and a fabulous back up band – a perfect example of why the live music experience is so amazing!
Throughout the evening, attendees relaxed, shared insights, enjoyed performances and continued to talk about ideas.
The Music Works: Strategy Session has set the tone and building blocks for the Music Works initiative…an initiative that will certainly be nothing short of brilliant! Stay tuned for more to come.
On behalf of Machteld Faas Xander and Cheryl Ewing Consulting, thank you to everyone who helped make the day a success!
For photos from the event, courtesy of Stefan Myles from Fandy Photography, click here.