Making Smithers a ‘music city’

Chamber of commerce and arts council hope to strike right chord marketing local music.

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce hosted a social on May 30 to introduce local stakeholders in the Bulkley Valley Music industry to a developing music strategy.

According to Chamber manager Heather Gallagher, the project began last spring with a ‘Music City’ initiative toolkit distributed by Music Canada.

“It listed all of the elements that [were] needed to be a Music City, like local musicians, fabulous halls and venues for their concerts, wonderful music teachers that inspire our youth, great festivals like [the Midsummer Music Festival] or the Classical Music Festival, and the Chamber’s own Lawn Chair Lounge,” Gallagher said.

Project coordinator Liliana Dragowska said the local Chamber of Commerce and Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council held a meeting to discuss the initiative.

“We as a group decided we need a music strategy, and we need to understand how music contributes to our economy here in the Bulkley Valley before we can start marketing ourselves as ‘Smithers: the Music City’ … There were some notes that came out of it, and Heather took those notes and applied for some funding through Creative B.C.,” Dragowska said.

“This music strategy had three goals. One was to inventory everything music in the Smithers area – so businesses, organizations, venues, performers, teachers – and then provide them with a survey to help us understand, what are the economic impacts? So, you know, what is the budget of the Bulkley Valley Folk Music Society and the Midsummer Festival? What are teachers making? What are performers making? How many live performances are venues hosting? That was that second goal, collecting all that information, now we have that drafted. The third goal is to create some recommendations that could help foster and grow this music sector,” Dragowska said.

She and Heather Gallagher announced to those in attendance that there are 16 total recommendations in the strategy meant for three categories of stakeholders: the municipal government, the Chamber of Commerce, and those working in the music industry. Examples include a change in policies surrounding home occupation and busking, cross-cultural collaboration, creating new events, and increased networking.

One of the recommendations includes the creation of a website, which Gallagher said is already underway.

“Along with the funding we received from Creative B.C. to do a music strategy, we’re happy to report that an NDI application was also successful; Northern Development Initiative Trust will provide funds towards the development of the ‘All Things Music’ website,” Gallagher said.

Dragowska said she hopes the strategy will instigate further collaboration amongst those involved in the region’s arts and culture scene.

“We’re a small demographic of people, and we cross all sectors, and it’s amazing what we have, the opportunities we have going. We just wanted to bring attention, in this project, to the fact that music is part of this local economy, and that we can create a bit of a strategy together by bringing all your comments together, and use this collectively as a tool to hopefully bring in more funding and bring in more projects and collaborate to create a stronger community,” Dragowska said.

The finalized strategy will be formally presented to the Smithers town council on June 26.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Search on for mushroom picker missing from near Kitwanga

Tommy Dennis was last seen Sept 16 wearing blue jeans, black cap, rubber boots, grey checked sweater

Northwest firefighters headed to Oregon to battle wildfires

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read