Surrey Music Strategy a Good Move Says Surrey Board of Trade

The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the City of Surrey in its development of a music city strategy.

“As we saw the movement of music artists and related businesses from Vancouver to Surrey and the South Fraser economic region due to gentrification, and as Surrey is going to be the largest city in BC, the Surrey Board of Trade has been asking the City of Surrey to develop its own music strategy since 2018,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “We did ask the then-named City of Surrey Cultural Advisory Committee in 2019 if the Surrey Board of Trade’s Music City Centre could lead the creation of a music city strategy, but no response – and over the Summer of 2021 we heard that the City of Surrey will be leading the research on their own. Still, we are pleased about this, and hope the Surrey Board of Trade’s Music City Centre and our portfolio of ideas, work and action will be considered.”

The Surrey Music City Centre, established in August 2018, in partnership with entertainment and talent firm FusionPresents, has a core mandate to make Surrey a music city.

The Surrey Board of Trade directly acknowledges the importance and value of creating an updated, relevant, and actionable music strategy plan that provides direction for and speaks to local industry goals and needs. The urgency of this work is amplified in the current climate, at a time when we need to ensure music, and the overall creative economy, are included in recovery plans. This work is necessary to ensure Surrey can support the venues, the musicians and the music ecosystem – now and into the future. We know there is no better time for business and the music community to focus on a project like this one.

“We believe that a comprehensive music strategy plan, and the Surrey Board of Trade’s involvement in its development, will create enhanced opportunities for this vital industry and the local economy as whole. We recognize that Surrey must have a deliberate and intentional approach to its music strategy, including how its policies impact bands, businesses, venues, festivals, educators, licensing and other matters.”

Some perspectives of how music will enhance economic development:

1.     Cities around the world are increasingly recognizing the potential of music as a driver of employment and economic growth.

2.     Use music to generate jobs, taxes and growth.

3.     Put music at the heart of Surrey’s economic development agenda.

4.     Essential elements of a music city and music strategy: Artists and musicians, a thriving music scene, access to spaces and places, a receptive and engaged audience, attraction of record labels and other music-related businesses.

5.     Effective strategies: Music and musician-friendly policies, the creation of Music Offices, the formulation of music advisory boards, engaging the broader music community, access to spaces and places, audience development, music tourism or a music City brand.

6.     Benefits for the city: Music tourism is big business, music can play a powerful role in building a city’s brand, job creation, attracting and retaining talent and investment, music is a strong social unifier.

7.     Music stakeholders: Music festival organizer, music venues, corporate spaces, local promoters (who bring shows into venues that they rent), recording studios, record labels, artist managers, talent agencies, musicians and songwriters, music and record stores, and music educators – post-secondary, private schools.

8.     Allies: Tourism agencies, investment agencies, business organizations, hotel/motel associations, local arts councils, local radio stations – including university/school radio.

City of Surrey Music Strategy Information: culture/music-surrey