Sault Ste. Marie looking to become Canada's next music city
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is banking on local talent to help make its case for the Soo as a music destination.
To that end, the chamber has formed a task force with an aim on making Sault Ste. Marie Canada's next "Music City."
The Soo's music scene is commemorated with an exhibit at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum. The most recent contribution is a list containing every artist and music venue associated with the local music scene since the beginning. Bill Cowen of "The Soo Music Project" says the city has long been a musical hotspot.
"I think the lack of anything very formalized and specific about things is actually something that engenders a lot of musical talent," says Cowen, who points out that for a lot of performers, music started out as just something to do.
"It's something very, very specific that you can get together with other people," he says. "You don't need a venue, you don't need a bar to play in."
The president of the Sault Chamber of Commerce says it's the city's rich musical history that makes it a candidate to become Canada's next "Music City."
"You don't get a certificate or anything, but what you create is that brand for your community of being somewhere that is a real beacon for the industry," says Rory Ring, who has recruited entities such as the Music Tourism Alliance and the Algoma Conservatory of Music to take part in the chamber's "Music City" campaign.
"You have talented producers, music education, artists, and you have a city, city staff, which is also critical, that want to support the arts," says Chris Campbell of Music Tourism Alliance.
"The Algoma Conservatory's role is to sort of use Music City as a conduit to further the careers of all the talent that's coming through the conservatory and the talent that's already in the Soo," says Greig Nori of the Algoma Conservatory of Music.
Meantime, Ring points out that it was London's designation as a "Music City" that helped it make its case to host the Juno Awards in 2019.